John Lydon calls Steve Jones & Paul Cook “filthy liars” over Sex Pistols miniseries
Even though the matter was put to rest in August in High Court in London, the members of the Sex Pistols are still sniping at each other over the use of the band's songs in Danny Boyle's upcoming biopic miniseries based on guitarist Steve Jones' memoir, Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol.
If you haven't been following along, frontman John Lydon tried to block the use of Sex Pistols songs in the series, but a High Court found that Jones and drummer Paul Cook could invoke "majority rules" on band matters, as per the Sex Pistols' band member agreement. Cook and Jones said in a statement that they believed the court decision "was necessary to allow us to move forward and hopefully work together in the future with better relations.” Lydon then posted a statement on his website, still claiming he didn't know about the miniseries until the press announcement about it, saying "I don’t think there are even words that I can put forward to explain quite how disingenuous this is."
Cook and Jones have now hit back with their own longer statement, writing, "Despite John Lydon's comments on his website, we reiterate that he was informed of the 'Pistol' TV series, offered meetings with the director and to be involved in the show months before principal photography began. He refused these offers and we were saddened he would not engage and at least have a conversation with the director Danny Boyle and co-showrunner Craig Pearce."
"And while John's contribution is rightly acknowledged," the statement continues, "his claims to be the only band member of consequence are hard to take. Steve, Paul and Glen started the band and it was completed when John joined. All songs on the band's seminal 'Never Mind The Bollocks' album were written by Paul Cook, Steve Jones, Glen Matlock and Rotten except 'Holidays In The Sun' and 'Bodies' which were penned by Cook, Jones, Rotten and Vicious. In addition, 'Pistol' is based on Steve Jones' book 'Lonely Boy'...John Lydon sold his rights to control the use of these songs in the 1990s in return for money. The majority rule agreement existed as a result — so no outside party could dictate the use of the band's music. And to have a mechanism in place if one member was unfairly blocking the decision making process — which is what happened in this instance. The rest of the band and many others involved in the punk scene of the time are all involved in the 'Pistol' TV series. Danny Boyle, has worked with the PISTOLS previously and is a highly respected, Oscar winning filmmaker. He understands the band and experienced the time that made them."
But if you thought Lydon would let them get the last word, you don't know him very well. Blabbermouth notes he was on Good Morning Britain today where he called Cook and Jones "filthy liars," saying "They kept the whole operation a secret behind my back and then slung a nasty little email to us on January 4 of this year saying they demanded my permission [to use the music]. The obvious question for me is permission for what? And bam, there it is. A few days later spread out all over the Internet about what a lovely documentary this is going to be on punk, using pictures of me and my wife Nora. They know she's ill, this is not nice of them to do that."
"I didn't actually deny permission," Lydon also says, "I merely asked a question."
Lydon went on to call them "two-faced hypocrites," saying, "How are you gonna do a documentary on punk without, hate to be pretentious about this, without Mr. Rotten?"
You can watch Lydon's Good Morning Britain interview below.