The FX series ‘Pistol’ is in jeopardy after Johnny Rotten refuses permission for Sex Pistols music.
The former bandmates have landed before the London High Court to resolve the dispute. Lead singer Johnny Rotten, real name John Lydon, is defending a lawsuit from guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook. The duo sued Lydon after he refused to give permission for Sex Pistols’ hits, “God Save the Queen,” for the show.
The series is based on Jones’ memoir, “Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol.” Lydon also refused the song to be used for the Netflix show, “The Crown,” which his bandmates resented. The current legal row is over language in the band’s contract from 1988. It says licenses for music can be granted by agreement from the majority of the band.
Lydon argues that the contract has never been adhered to and any requests for licenses are subject to veto by individual members of the band. Lydon’s lawyer told The Telegraph that he fears the lawsuit is an attempt to get control of the band’s music.
Earlier this year, Johnny Rotten confirmed he was seeking legal advice over the show.
He said the script was written without his consent, and he had no say in the casting. Anson Boon is set to play Lydon in the show. “Sorry, you think you can do this, like walk all over me – it isn’t going to happen. Not without a huge, enormous f**king fight,” Lydon told The Telegraph.
“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. I fronted this band. I’m the man that wrote the words. I supplied the image and direction, and I think the questions hang on their actions here. If they needed to be this secret squirrel about it, then they must have something to hide.”
The hearing for the case continued today. The lawyer representing Jones and Cook says they have the support of bassist Glen Matlock and the estate of Matlock’s replacement, Sid Vicious. The six-part mini-series will be directed by Danny Boyle, but Lydon dislikes how the series portrays him.
He says it paints him as “the annoying little brat with the great bone structure whose always asking for more.” The court case will continue into next week.