Johnny Rotten Faces A Legal Battle With Sex Pistols Bandmates Over Song Rights


According to the article released by Associated Press, Johnny Rotten is sued by his former bandmates, Steve Jones and Paul Cook, for the rights of using Sex Pistols songs in an upcoming television series about the band.

A British punk rock band, The Sex Pistols were formed in London in 1975, and although they had a career span that lasted two and a half years, the band is considered one of the most scandalous and groundbreaking bands in music history. The band is known to be a significant influence on the punk rock and alternative rock scene as well as being responsible for initiating the punk movement in the UK.

Often associated with anarchism and shaping the punk image, Sex Pistols disbanded in 1978 after releasing their only album titled ‘Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols’ although the bandmembers appeared on several occasions later on together.

It is known that the band’s guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook has been working on an upcoming six-episode TV series titled ‘Pistol’ which was directed by the award-winning director Danny Boyle, who also directed ‘Trainspotting’ and ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ in the past. The series will be broadcasted next year and is based on Jones’ memoir ‘Lonely Boy’ released back in 2016.

As reported by Associated Press, Steve Jones and Paul Cook are known to be willing to use band’s songs in the series ‘Pistol,’ but John Lydon, who is known to use the stage name Johnny Rotten, refuses to grant permission for them to use the songs claiming the series are disrespectful. However, the pair’s lawyer Edmund Cullen argued at the High Court in London on July 15 that according to a 1998 band agreement, decisions on licensing requests could be determined on a ‘majority rules basis.’

Lydon still argued that licenses cannot be granted without his permission though. His lawyer Mark Cunningham also stated in a written document that the memoir which will be used in the TV series has depicted Lydon in a ‘hostile and unflattering light’ and described him as ‘the annoying little brat with the great bone structure who’s always asking for more’ in one of its parts. As the court case is known to continue through next week, the result of the debate between band members will be revealed in the near future.