John Lydon says it’s ‘tasteless’ if Sex Pistols benefit from the death of Queen Elizabeth II

·2-min read

John Lydon, more commonly known by his stage name Johnny Rotten, has announced he would like to “distance himself” from what he calls his former bandmates’ attempts to “cash in” on the death of Queen Elizabeth II. However, the Sex Pistols have called his statement “baffling” and say they do not know what Lydon is referring to.

Since the Queen’s death, Lydon has alleged via Twitter that the Sex Pistols “have approved a number of requests” against his wishes. The tweets originated from the account belonging to Lydon’s current band, Public Image Limited.

The Sex Pistols famously released their punk single God Save The Queen just before the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. Lydon, who wrote the hit song’s lyrics, now believes that it is “tasteless and disrespectful” to financially benefit from her passing. (The track was re-released earlier this year.)

On Thursday (15 September), reps for Lydon tweeted publicly about the supposed disagreement: “John Lydon wishes to distance himself from any Sex Pistols activity which aims to cash in on Queen Elizabeth II’s death. 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.”

The tweets go on to explain the basis for his opposition to the alleged deals: “In John’s view, the timing for endorsing any Sex Pistols requests for commercial gain in connection with ‘God Save The Queen’ in particular is tasteless and disrespectful to the Queen and her family at this moment in time.”

“John wrote the lyrics to this historical song, and while he has never supported the monarchy, he feels that the family deserves some respect in this difficult time, as would be expected for any other person or family when someone close to them has died.”

A spokesperson for the Sex Pistols called Lydon’s remarks “baffling” in an email to The Independent.

The spokesperson also sent a statement: “We cannot understand what [Lydon] 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.”

The Independent has reached out to Lydon’s team for further comment.