Johnny Rotten Slams Former Sex Pistols Bandmates Over Biopic – ‘They Can All F–k Off’
Ever since the Sex Pistols biopic series Pistol was announced early last year, Johnny Rotten has expressed his disdain for it, and even faced a legal battle as a result. In a new interview with The Sun, he slammed his former bandmates for making the series without his approval, stating they "they can all f--k off."
The Danny Boyle-directed mini-series was based on guitarist Steve Jones' 2018 memoir Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol, and will be available on Hulu and Disney+ on May 31. Rotten, who's now primarily known by his given name John Lydon, called the show "disrespectful" shortly after it was announced, and was against the use of authentic Sex Pistols recordings in the show. Jones and drummer Paul Cook, as a result, sued the singer in July of 2021, citing a 1998 band agreement that licensing decisions would be made by a "majority rule basis."
When Pistol was given an official release date earlier this year, it was also revealed that a Sex Pistols compilation album titled The Original Recordings would be issued through Universal Music Group a few days prior to the premiere of the show. Rotten, in turn, denounced the release of the record.
Rotten explained to The Sun that his former bandmates spent years plotting the series without him.
"Cutting me out is a shockingly stupid move. It’s so ridiculous. It’s so preposterous," he declared. "They can all fuck off. I supported them for years and years and years, knowing they were dead wood. None of these fucks would have a career but for me. They did nothing before, they’ve done nothing since.”
Despite his anger over Pistol, the vocalist admitted that he still plans on watching it, mainly so that he can see how he's been portrayed by his former bandmates.
“I don’t really want to watch it but I will need to fact-check it. I have not seen one single second of it. Not any script, I’ve been completely ostracized. To be misrepresented in such a rude manner is unacceptable. If there was any truth in it, they wouldn’t have kept it from me. They were putting this together for three solid years behind my back without involving me in any way, shape or form," he explained.
“The underhandedness of it is preposterous and the assumption that I would be negative right from the start is clearly ludicrous in itself. I wrote all those songs. I’m the image, it’s my name they’re using to promote it, Monsieur Rotten here.”
Rotten further added that the members used to uphold an informal agreement that if there were any discrepancies amongst them over endeavors related to the band, that they wouldn't carry on with it, so as not to hurt anyone.
“But they now disagree with that prospect, so they won the case on the grounds of majority rather than unanimity, so I’m outvoted all the time, on everything, from here on in. I wrote all the songs. I’m the image. I’m the frontman, and now I’m not there," Rotten elaborated. "It’s bizarre that a bloke like Danny Boyle would consider doing something without speaking to me. I mean, where is the accuracy? If you cut me out, then you’ll never know how those songs were formulated. Not ever.”