SEX PISTOLS Bassist GLEN MATLOCK Was 'Very Disappointed' In 'Pistol' Series: 'I Just Think It Should Have Been More Truthful'
April 9, 2023
In a new interview with Canada's The Metal Voice, SEX PISTOLS' original bassist Glen Matlock shared his views on "Pistol", a six-episode limited series about the legendary SEX PISTOLS guitarist Steve Jones, which premiered last May exclusively on Hulu in the U.S. and on Disney+ in U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Based on Jones's 2018 memoir "Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol", the series from Academy Award winner Danny Boyle, who also serves as executive producer and director, was created by Craig Pearce and written by Pearce and Frank Cottrell Boyce.
Glen said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I'm very disappointed in it, actually, considering I had meetings with Danny Boyle about it. I'm not disappointed that it came out, and I thought it was important that it went ahead because it was based on Steve's story and take on things. And he was the guy that formed the band — not John [Lydon, SEX PISTOLS singer]; Steve. John was the last one in the band… But my portrayal, and particularly my leaving the band — I left the band; I was not sacked. That whole episode where Steve sacked [me] is just bollocks."
Matlock went on to say that "Pistol" should have depicted his departure from the SEX PISTOLS more accurately.
"I [talked to then-SEX PISTOLS manager] Malcolm [McLaren] about it, and Steve and Paul [Cook, drums], and they all said to me, 'Can't you just pretend you like John?'," he recalled. "I said, 'Not really, no. I'm writing all these kind of tunes and things, and if you can't back me up a bit more… If that's what you want, that's what's gonna happen.'
"I just think it should have been more truthful," Glen said. "And I think the real story is more gritty… And I met Danny Boyle again in Los Angeles after it had come out and I had [attended] a private screening. [He said to me], 'Hey, Glen, how are you doing?' [And I said], 'Danny, you're a cunt.' So he knows where I'm coming from on it."
Asked if he had any input in the series, Glen said: "At the beginning, I had some meetings with Danny in particular and the production team. And I thought it had all been ironed out. But then I was ignored. So, I'm not happy. I feel shafted."
"I went to see it with my son Louis, and I was a bit embarrassed, really," he added. "Louis sort of quite astutely said, 'The thing is I know you did this, that and the other, and I also know this about Steve,' he said, 'but you and Paul just come across like two-dimensional characters; there's no background [or information about] your family and all that.' A bit of that could have been in there and [they could] have fleshed things out a little bit more. And [Danny] can say, 'Well, there's no time for all that in there.' Well, there was a whole episode on Chrissie Hynde not getting married to Steve, which took up an hour of everybody's lives, which never happened."
Matlock also touched upon Hynde's portrayal in "Pistol" as a main character in the SEX PISTOLS saga and an on-again/off-again love interest of Jones.
"I know Chrissie," Glen said. "She's my neighbor in London. I was talking to her about it. She said, 'I only slept with [Steve] once.' They were mates, and they're still mates to this day."
Last May, Jones admitted to The New York Times that Hynde was "shocked" when she saw "Pistol" for the first time. "But I do think it's a good story," he said. "Even if it wasn't as long as that, my relationship with her, I just think the way it's been written makes it interesting. If you're a train spotter, you're going to hate it, because it's not in the timeline, but whatever."
Matlock left SEX PISTOLS in early 1977. In "Pistol", his character is seen having numerous fights with Lydon and chiding McLaren for not paying them enough. At a pub one night, McLaren urges Jones to fire him. Jones then takes Matlock into a bathroom and does just that.
According to Rolling Stone, as Matlock lays out in his book "I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol", his departure from the band wasn't nearly that sudden or unexpected. Lydon's growing ego and bombastic behavior had been gnawing at him for months, and by the time of their tour of Holland in January 1977 he didn't even want to stand on the same stage as the singer. "He was totally conceited, arrogant, and stroppy just for the sake of it," Glen wrote. "I didn't need it. I thought, 'This is stupid. I'd had enough. I've really had enough.'"
SEX PISTOLS' "Never Mind The Bollocks" 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.
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