John Lydon accuses Sex Pistols of cashing in on late Queen’s death

·3-min read
John Lydon is seen wearing a striped shirt and waistcoat
John Lydon. (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/John Lydon)

John Lydon has said that he “wishes to distance” himself from the Sex Pistols after accusing them of trying to “cash in” on the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The former Sex Pistols singer made his intensions clear in a thread posted to Twitter by his band, Public Image Ltd. In particular, the band explained that Lydon rejects any alleged activity related to the Pistols’ controversial, anti-monarchist 1977 single ‘God Save The Queen’.

John Lydon wishes to distance himself from any Sex Pistols activity which aims to cash in on Queen Elizabeth II’s death,” the post reads. “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.”

A Sex Pistols spokesperson responded to Lydon’s claims in a statement to Deadline: “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.”

Lydon initially shared the same portrait of Queen Elizabeth II that was used for the ‘God Save The Queen’ – without its punk illustrations – on Twitter to pay his respects to the late monarch. “Rest in Peace Queen Elizabeth II,” he captioned the tweet. “Send her victorious. From all at johnlydon.com.”

Earlier this year Lydon publicly renounced anarchy, which is promoted in ‘God Save The Queen’, calling it a “terrible idea”. He also came out in support of the late Queen despite the Sex Pistols being vocally anti-monarchy: “God bless the Queen. She’s put up with a lot. I’ve got no animosity against any one of the royal family. Never did.”

Queen Elizabeth died last Thursday (September 8) at the age of 96 from undisclosed causes. Her state funeral is scheduled for this Monday (September 19) at London’s Westminster Abbey.

Acts including Elton John, Ozzy Osbourne, Def Leppard, and Mick Jagger/The Rolling Stones. have all honoured the late monarch.

Meanwhile, Rolling Stone UK has rounded up the most memorable times that the late Queen was portrayed in pop culture by actors or by her royal self – see the list here.