JOHNNY ROTTEN Sued By Two Members Of SEX PISTOLS Over Song RightsJuly 15, 2021
According to the Associated Press, two members of the SEX PISTOLS are suing John Lydon over the right to use the band's songs in the upcoming biopic miniseries about the U.K. punk legends.
Earlier this year, Lydon, who is better known as Johnny Rotten, blasted the upcoming SEX PISTOLS limited series as "disrespectful," insisting that he wasn't approached to take part in the show's production.
"Pistol" is a six-episode series about SEX PISTOLS guitarist Steve Jones. It is based on Jones's 2018 memoir "Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol" and it is being helmed by Academy Award winner Danny Boyle, who serves as executive producer and director.
Edmund Cullen, the lawyer that represents Jones and drummer Paul Cook, told a judge at the High Court in London on Thursday that his clients have a "brittle and fractious" relationship with Lydon, but that the musicians had made an agreement in 1988 that song usage would be on a "majority rules basis" and that they also had the support of bassist Glen Matlock and the estate of the late Sid Vicious.
Lydon's lawyer, Mark Cunningham, said in written arguments that Jones's memoir portrayed him "in a hostile and unflattering light," referring to Lydon at one point as an "annoying little brat with the great bone structure who's always asking for more."
This past April, Lydon reacted to publicity shots promoting "Pistol", telling The Sunday Times: "I think that's the most disrespectful shit I've ever had to endure. I mean, they went to the point to hire an actor to play me but what's the actor working on? Certainly not my character. It can't go anywhere else [but court]."
Lydon also claimed that he has never been contacted by Boyle about "Pistol" even though the two had met during preparations for the 2021 London Olympics opening ceremony.
He added: "Sorry, you think you can do this, like walk all over me — it isn't going to happen. Not without a huge, enormous fucking fight. I'm Johnny, you know, and when you interfere with my business, you're going to get the bitter end of my business as a result. It's a disgrace."
A spokesperson for the "Pistol" production told The Sunday Times that Boyle reached out to Lydon's management company about the planned series but "ultimately direct contact was declined."
"Pistol" was created by Craig Pearce and written by Pearce and Frank Cottrell Boyce.
Jones, Boyle and Pearce serve as executive producers alongside Gail Lyon, Anita Camarata, Tracey Seaward, Paul Lee, Hope Hartman and Wiip. The series is produced by FX Productions.
Anchored by Jones's memoir, which offers a fascinating new perspective on one of rock's greatest ever stories, "Pistol" moves from West London's council estates, to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren's notorious Kings Road SEX shop, to the international controversy that came with the release of "Never Mind The Bollocks", which is frequently listed as one of the most influential albums of all time. Their single "God Save The Queen" was banned by the BBC and reached No. 1 on the U.K.'s NME chart, but appeared at No. 2 on the official U.K. singles chart, leading to accusations that the song was purposely kept off the top spot. For the only time in chart history, the track was listed as a blank, to avoid offence to the monarchy.
"Pistol" stars Toby Wallace ("Babyteeth", "Acute Misfortune") as Steve Jones, Anson Boon ("Crawl", "1917", "Blackbird") as John Lydon, Louis Partridge ("Enola Holmes", "Medici") as Sid Vicious, Jacob Slater as Paul Cook, Fabien Frankel ("The Serpent", "NYPD Blue") as Glen Matlock, Dylan Llewellyn ("Derry Girls") as Wally Nightingale, Sydney Chandler ("Don't Worry Darling") as Chrissie Hynde, Emma Appleton ("The Witcher", "Traitors") as Nancy Spungen, and Maisie Williams ("Game Of Thrones") as punk icon Jordan.
Pistol – First Look images released for Danny Boyle's Sex Pistols Limited Series. Details here https://t.co/8wdEaOs7pQ#SexPistols#DannyBoyle#Pistolpic.twitter.com/ByKKNV7sxW
— Phil Edwards (@Live_for_Films) March 3, 2021
Pistol – first look pictures released from Danny Boyle Sex Pistols biopic https://t.co/tmfdszkyRipic.twitter.com/9XQHUGvfjN
— BetaSeries News (@BetaSeries_News) March 3, 2021
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