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Sex Pistols are probably “gone for good” following sync deal bust up, Paul Cook confirms

By | Published on Wednesday 21 July 2021

John Lydon

Steve Jones and Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols previously chose not to enforce a 1988 band agreement in a bid to maintain a better relationship with former bandmate John Lydon, the outfit having reunited at various points over the years of course. However, now Jones and Cook have gone legal over said agreement, the band is probably “gone for good”. These were the most recent revelations in the ongoing Sex Pistols court case in the UK high court.

Lydon is currently blocking a sync deal that would allow the band’s music to be used in ‘Pistol’, a new Danny Boyle directed TV series based on Jones’ memoir ‘Lonely Boy: Tales Of A Sex Pistol’. However, Jones and Cooke argue that under a 1988 band agreement a sync deal can be issued providing a majority of the band’s members support it. And, they add, Glen Matlock and the estate of Sid Vicious are happy with their music being used in the ‘Pistol’ show.

Giving testimony last week, Jones explained how Lydon had previously blocked the use of the band’s track ‘God Save The Queen’ in an episode of the Netflix series ‘The Crown’. He and Cook considered enforcing the 1988 agreement that time too, Jones revealed, however there simply wasn’t time to go through that process and meet the deadline of the producers of the royal family drama series.

Speaking in court yesterday, Cook added that he and his bandmates had “always wanted to work harmoniously”, and had, in the past, feared that enforcing the 1988 agreement would result in a falling out with Lydon.

According to the Evening Standard, Cook observed that Lydon “can be a difficult character and always likes to feel that he has control”. Which meant that, if they ever relied on the 1988 agreement, “I thought that our relationship with John would get worse”.

He went on: “Maybe Steve and I have been too nice to John over the years in trying to maintain good relations and … we should have been tougher”.

As for the current dispute, and the decision to go legal this time, he added: “I am unhappy that he would behave like this over an important personal project for Steve, particularly as we have always backed his personal projects”.

Lydon’s lawyer Mark Cunningham then asked if, by pursuing this litigation, the chances of any future collaborations between the former bandmates were now very slim indeed, meaning the Sex Pistols were pretty much “gone for good”. Cook replied “probably”.

Both Jones and Cook have also denied that they tried to conceal the TV project from Lydon. When Lydon first criticised the show in a media interview earlier this year, the producers of ‘Pistol’ insisted that they’d tried to contact the musician via his management but that “direct contact was declined”.

Meanwhile, in court yesterday Cook said that Lydon had had “plenty of time to get on board” with the ‘Pistol’ production.

The case continues.