**UPDATE** A spokesperson for Steve Jones and Paul Cook has released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET regarding Lydon's comments: "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."
The original article follows below.
John Lydon, known as Johnny Rotten when the SEX PISTOLS sneered their 1977 anti-monarch anthem "God Save The Queen", has blasted his bandmates for cashing in on Queen Elizabeth II's death.
Roughly 45 years after Rotten penned the words "God save the Queen / the fascist regime" and "God save the Queen / she ain't no human being," he issued the following statement via social media: "John Lydon 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.
"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.
"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."
After Queen Elizabeth II's death a week ago, Lydon shared a short tribute on Twitter, writing: "Rest in Peace Queen Elizabeth II. Send her victorious." ("Send her victorious" is a line from "God Save The Queen".) The short statement was accompanied by a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, the same image featured on the cover of the SEX PISTOLS' single.
This past June, to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, Lydon penned an op-ed in which he wrote: "God save the Queen. She's put up with a lot. I've got no animosity against any one of the royal family. Never did. It's the institution of it that bothers me and the assumption that I'm to pay for that. There's where I draw the line. It's like, 'No, you're not getting ski holidays on my tax.'"
Lydon also reflected on the SEX PISTOLS' anthem "Anarchy In The U.K.", saying: "Anarchy is a terrible idea. Let's get that clear. I'm not an anarchist. And I'm amazed that there are websites out there — .org anarchist sites — funded fully by the corporate hand and yet ranting on about being outside the shitstorm. It's preposterous."
At the time of "God Save The Queen"'s original release, the song was criticized for being anti-monarchy and was even banned by the BBC's radio stations for its lyrical content.
SEX PISTOLS guitarist Steve Jones previously spoke about the song's connection to the Royal Family.
Jones said: "I've never had any connection to the monarchy, to be honest. It meant nothing to me, still doesn't."
He said of the lyrical content: "To me, it was just a laugh, it was a giggle. I didn't realize it would offend a lot of English people. They took it personally. It was a stab against the Queen."
Lydon said in a May 2022 interview with Piers Morgan that he was "actually really, really proud of the Queen for surviving and doing so well." He told TalkTV that "God Save The Queen" was "anti-royalist, but it's not anti-human.
"I've got to tell the world this," he added. "Everyone presumes that I'm against the royal family as human beings. I'm not. I'm actually really, really proud of the Queen for surviving and doing so well. I applaud her for that, and that's a fantastic achievement. I'm not a curmudgeon about that."
More than a year ago, Jones and SEX PISTOLS drummer Paul Cook blasted Lydon for his disparaging comments after he lost a legal battle over the right to use the band's songs in "Pistol", a six-episode limited series about Jones,
Jones and Cook argued in court that an agreement they signed with Lydon meant decisions regarding licensing requests could be determined on a "majority rules basis."
Lydon, for his part, claimed that the bandmember agreement had not been applied since it was signed more than 20 years ago and that "all decisions" about the use of SEX PISTOLS music and imagery had been made with "unanimous" agreement. However, a judge ruled that the contract was valid and active, and that the majority of the band could overrule any individual member's veto.