John Lydon Sued By Ex-Sex Pistols Bandmates
John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, is being sued by his former Sex Pistols bandmates over the use of he band’s songs in an upcoming television series.
Guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook claim that they have every right to license Sex Pistols music for Pistol, the forthcoming limited-run series based on the iconic U.K. punk band. The show, which is based on Jones’ memoir Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol, will be helmed by Academy Award winning director Danny Boyle.
Back in April, Lydon described the biopic TV series as "the most disrespectful shit I've ever had to endure," and threatened to take legal action against the production. Now he has been beaten to the punch, as his former bandmates have taken the singer to court.
According to the Associated Press, a lawyer for the Sex Pistols frontman argued that licenses to use the band’s music cannot be granted without Lydon’s consent. The statement clashed with that of Edmund Cullen, a lawyer for Jones and Cook, who told the court that members of the band agreed in 1998 that all Sex Pistols licensing agreements would be made on a “majority rules basis.”
Further statements from the lawyers shed a little light on the ongoing acrimony between the two sides. Lydon’s attorney noted that the singer was offended by his depiction in Jones’ memoir, saying he was described “in a hostile and unflattering light.” Meanwhile, Cullen described the relationship between the former Sex Pistols bandmates as “brittle and fractious.”
Of course, the same combativeness, attitude and arrogance that the band’s members currently use against each other also helped make the group legendary. Formed in 1975, the Sex Pistols were icons of the punk movement, causing havoc with their anti-establishment agenda, while scoring hits like “God Save the Queen” and “Anarchy in the U.K.” The band only released one album, 1977’s Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols. Still, their legacy has endured, with its members most recently reuniting to perform in 2008.
Pistol is tentatively slated to air on FX in 2022, though no official release date has been announced. Meanwhile, the court case between the former Sex Pistols bandmates is set to resume next week.