Sex Pistols Issue Statement on Johnny Rotten’s Claim Band Is Trying to ‘Cash In’ on Queen’s Death
UPDATE: In response a spokesperson for Sex Pistols issued the following statement: “We cannot understand what he would be referring to. Other than a couple requests for use of imagery or audio in news reports on The Queen and her impact on culture, there’s nothing new relating to 'God Save The Queen' being promoted or released in any way.”
Johnny Rotten may always be tied to Queen Elizabeth thanks to the Sex Pistols song "God Save the Queen," but the vocalist, who now goes by John Lydon, is making it clear he wants no part of any activity that would use their music to cash in on the Queen's death.
Lydon initially offered a succinct and respectful message via social media after learning of Queen Elizabeth's death last week. The vocalist stated, "Rest in Peace Queen Elizabeth II. Send her victorious," while posting a photo of the Queen in her younger years.
Taking things a step further, Lydon has now distanced himself from any Sex Pistols-related activity where the Queen is concerned. "John Lydon wishes to distance himself from any Sex Pistols activity which aims to cash in on Queen Elizabeth II's death," the singer commented via his social media, utilizing the same photo of Queen Elizabeth II. "The musicians in the band and their management have approved a number of requests against John's wishes on the basis of the majority court-ruling agreement.
Lydon has been at odds with his former bandmates after going to court over the usage of the band's music in the FX series Pistol. The band used a majority rules clause in their band aggreement to overrule Lydon's objections. The singer lost in court and has claimed the case left him in "financial ruin." And now it appears as though the majority rule clause is once again rubbing Lydon the wrong way concerning usage to the band's music in the wake of Queen Elizabeth's death.
"God Save the Queen" first became popular during the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebration, viewed by many as a protest against the monarchy's treatment of the working class. The band performed the track on a boat trip that coincided with the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebration. Hopping aboard a boat named the Queen Elizabeth, they traveled down the River Thames and several members of their party and entourage were arrested after they docked. The song returned to the top of the U.K. streaming charts earlier this year.
Earlier this year, as the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration was about to begin, John Lydon offered further insight on his views toward Queen Elizabeth II during a chat on U.K.'s Talk TV program Piers Morgan Uncensored.
When Morgan started up a discussion on Lydon's views of the Royal Family, bringing up the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen," the singer stated, "It's anti-royalist, but it's not anti-human."
"I've got to tell the world this. Everyone presumes that I'm against the royal family as human beings, I'm not. I'm actually really, really proud of the queen for surviving and doing so well," said Lydon, while also raising his hand to his brow with a salute. "I applaud her for that and that's a fantastic achievement. I'm not a curmudgeon about that."
That said, he defended his stance within the song, stating, "I just think that if I'm paying my tax money to support this system I should have a say so in how it's spent."
Discussing the Royal Family's future amidst the Queen's health issues earlier this year, Lydon also added, "I think it's possibly the end of the monarchy because Prince Charles is not going to be able to handle it. This is the man who plays Pink Floyd to his cabbages."
Lydon was far from the only musician to share their thoughts in mourning the Queen's death. See some of other commentary on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II here.