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John Lydon says bandmates are attempting to cash in on the Queen’s death

By | Published on Friday 16 September 2022

Sex Pistols

John Lydon has accused the other Sex Pistols of attempting to exploit the death of Queen Elizabeth II for commercial gain via new uses of the band’s track ‘God Save The Queen’. His former bandmates have countered this by saying that they have absolutely no idea what he’s banging on about.

In a statement on his website, Lydon says he “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”.

He’s referring there, of course, to the court case in the UK last year where Lydon attempted to block the use of the band’s music in the Danny Boyle directed TV series ‘Pistol’. He lost that battle, after it was ruled that he had given up his right to veto such licensing agreements via an old band agreement that said only a majority of band members must agree to such 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”, the statement goes on. “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”.

Responding, a spokesperson for guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook said: “We cannot understand what he 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”.

There were a number of efforts to cash in on ‘God Save The Queen’ at the time of the Queen’s platinum jubilee earlier this year, of course, including the re-release of the single itself and a commemorative coin and NFT bundle.

Both of those remain for sale on the Sex Pistols website, which may partly be what has irked Lydon. Although he does seem to be suggesting that there have been new efforts to profit from ‘God Save The Queen’ following the Queen’s death last week.