When John Lydon Blamed Nirvana For Ripping Off Sex Pistols

In the music business, it’s not unusual for an artist to be inspired by another and shape their sound in a way similar to them. However, sometimes these inspirations end up being rip-offs — and there are many music efforts out there that have ‘almost’ the same melody, riff, rhythm, or flow as another song.

In the end, these rip-off accusations sometimes turn into feuds between the artist that claims his music has been ripped off and the other one who claims his effort is genuine. It seems Sex Pistols’ John Lydon also blamed Nirvana for ripping off Sex Pistols. But why? Let’s see the details of the incident.

John Lydon Claimed Nirvana Ripped Off Sex Pistols’ Album Title ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’

On October 28, 1977, Sex Pistols released their only studio album ‘Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols.’ The album has influenced many bands, musicians, and the music industry, and it became the most influential punk album.

According to John Lydon, Nirvana did more than being influenced by this album. He claimed that they ripped off its title which inspired their 1991 record ‘Nevermind.’ In a 2016 interview with Pitchfork, Lydon recalled that he was very angry at Nirvana’s album title and thought they have ‘lost their bollocks.’

However, the Sex Pistols icon said he later changed his mind and noticed how ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit was a great hit. He then said he forgives them, and they are one of the few bands that came up with one complete song like ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’

In the interview with Pitchfork, John Lydon said:

“I remember being very angry at their album title being ‘Nevermind.’ I thought, ‘Nevermind? Have you lost your bollocks or something?’ I was drawing a line on it all, perhaps too sharply, but I have to say ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ is one of pop music’s all-time greatest.

That song is firmly embedded in my psyche. So, I forgive them. Most bands can’t come up with one complete song, and sometimes one is enough.”

So, John Lydon was angry at Nirvana for choosing ‘Nevermind’ as their album title, considering that Sex Pistols has an album titled ‘Never Mind The Bollocks.’ However, it seems the musician decided to forgive them after noticing how great the album and its single ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ are.