Johnny Rotten slams ‘dumbfounding’ court ruling on use of Sex Pistols songs

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Johnny Rotten (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)
Johnny Rotten (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)

Johnny Rotten has slammed a “dumbfounding” High Court ruling over the use of Sex Pistols music in a forthcoming television series.

Last week the group’s former frontman, real name John Lydon, was sued by the band’s drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones in order to allow their music to be used in the TV drama Pistol, directed by Danny Boyle

The six-part series, which is being made by Disney and is due to air next year, is based on a 2016 memoir by Jones titled Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol.

Johnny Rotten outside the High Court (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)
Johnny Rotten outside the High Court (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)

Judge Sir Anthony Mann found Cook and Jones were entitled to invoke “majority voting rules” against Rotten in relation to the use of Sex Pistols material in the series under the terms of a band member agreement (BMA).

However, Rotten criticised the move in a statement issued on Tuesday.

He said: “I am the lead singer and songwriter, front man, image, the lot, you name it. I put it there.

“How is that not relevant? It is dumbfounding to me. It is so destructive to what the band is and so I fear that the whole project might be extremely negative.

Johnny Rotten (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
Johnny Rotten (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

“How can anyone think that this can proceed without consulting me and deal with my personal life in this, and my issues in this, without any meaningful contact with me before the project is announced to the world?

“I don’t think there are even words that I can put forward to explain quite how disingenuous this is.

“As I said in the lyrics of The Order Of Death: this is what you want, this is what you get.”

Lydon previously told the Sunday Times he thinks the series is the “most disrespectful shit I’ve ever had to endure”.

Paul Cook arrives at the Rolls Building at the High Court in London with his wife Jeni (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
Paul Cook arrives at the Rolls Building at the High Court in London with his wife Jeni (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

Cook and Jones have welcomed the High Court ruling.

In a joint statement previously issued to the PA news agency after the judgment was made public, they said: “We welcome the court’s ruling in this case.

“It brings clarity to our decision-making and upholds the band members’ agreement on collective decision-making.

“It has not been a pleasant experience, but we believe it was necessary to allow us to move forward and hopefully work together in the future with better relations.”

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