GMB: John Lydon rages over Sex Pistols documentary
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John Lydon branded Paul and Steve “filthy liars” in an explosive outburst on Good Morning Britain when he was asked by Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard about losing his recent high court battle to stop Sex Pistols songs being used in a TV series. In August of this year, a court ruling said Paul and Steve were entitled to involved “majority voting rules” against John so they could move ahead with using the band’s music in the upcoming series on Disney.
“They left the whole operation a complete secret behind my back,” John stated when asked about the series.
“That includes Universal records, Disney Corporation, FX Tv channel, the bad management that the other members of the band have, and the band members themselves.
“Then they slung a nasty little email to us on January fourth of this year saying they demanded my permission.
“And the obvious question from me was ‘Permission for what?’ and bang there it is, a few days later, spread out all over the internet all about what a lovely documentary this is going to be on punk.
“Using pictures of me and my wife Nora and they know she is ill. It’s not nice of them to do that.
“Then they forced me into a court case. They sue me for not giving them permission.
“I didn’t actually deny permission, I merely asked a question.”
Susanna cut in: “We’ve got a statement from Steve Jones and Paul Cook. They say, ‘We reiterate he was informed of the Pistols TV series, offered to meet the director and to be involved with the director months before principal photography began.’”
“Liars! Filthy liars!” John shouted as Susanna read out the statement.”
In the court case, which took place over a week, Paul and Steve argued under terms of a band agreement from 1998, decisions regarding licensing requests could be made on a “majority rules basis”.
However John claimed the series was the “most disrespectful s**t I’ve ever had to endure” insisting the license for the band’s music could not be obtained without his consent.
Following the court case, Paul and Steve issued a joint statement which read: “It brings clarity to our decision-making and upholds the band members’ agreement on collective decision-making.
“It has not been a pleasant experience, but we believe it was necessary to allow us to move forward and hopefully work together in the future with better relations.”
When approached for comment by Express.co.uk, Steve and Paul said: ““Despite John Lydon’s comments on his website, we reiterate that he was informed of the ‘Pistol’ TV series, offered meetings with the director and to be involved in the show months before principal photography began. He refused these offers and we were saddened he would not engage and at least have a conversation with the director Danny Boyle and co-showrunner Craig Pearce.
“And while John’s contribution is rightly acknowledged, his claims to be the only band member of consequence are hard to take. Steve, Paul and Glen started the band and it was completed when John joined. All songs on the band’s seminal Never Mind The Bollocks album were written by Paul Cook,Steve Jones,Glen Matlock and Rotten except Holidays In The Sun and Bodies which were penned by Cook,Jones,Rotten and Vicious. In addition, ‘Pistol’ is based on Steve Jones’ book ‘Lonely Boy’.
“John Lydon sold his rights to control the use of these songs in the 1990s in return for money. The majority rule agreement existed as a result – so no outside party could dictate the use of the band’s music. And to have a mechanism in place if one member was unfairly blocking the decision making process – which is what happened in this instance.
“The rest of the band and many others involved in the punk scene of the time are all involved in the ‘Pistol’ TV series. Danny Boyle, has worked with The Pistols previously and is a highly respected, Oscar winning filmmaker. He understands the band and experienced the time that made them.”
In the same Good Morning Britain interview, John spoke about how he will never abandon his wife of 45 years, Nora, after becoming her primary carer.
Speaking of her Alzheimer’s, John detailed: “It’s come on really strong and really quick. You’re asked questions of course by the doctors, ‘When did the symptoms first start?’
“But I really don’t know as I told the last doctor, she’s always been able to lose her keys. Are these indicators?”
He later added: “They lose the connections and they can’t verbalise what it is they feel sometimes, sometimes they can.
“Sometimes her memory is lethal. She can go back 20 years and remember in the greatest detail with complete accuracy. Now that’s fascinating.
“For me it’s a journey I have to travel and I’m not going to abandon her.”
Express has contacted a representative for Paul Cook, Steve Jones and Danny Boyle for comment.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV at 6am.
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