John Lydon: court decision on Danny Boyle film ‘so destructive’ for Sex Pistols

In a new written statement, John Lydon has responded with worry and dismay after losing a court case over the use of music by the Sex Pistols in an upcoming TV series, directed by Danny Boyle.

Lydon, known as Johnny Rotten during his time fronting the punk band, had been sued by drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones after Lydon prevented the use of Pistols songs in the series Pistol. Lydon lost the case, with a judge ruling that Jones and Cook were allowed to overrule him using a majority rule created in the terms of a band agreement.

Lydon had claimed he wasn’t aware of the extent of the agreement, but judge Sir Anthony Mann said: “I reject the suggestion made by him that he did not really know or appreciate its effect. That piece of evidence was a convenient contrivance. It is highly likely that, even if he did not read it himself, it will have been explained to him and he will have understood its effects.”

A statement has now been published on Lydon’s website. It claims that Lydon was only made aware of the announcement of Pistol hours before it was made, and was not made aware of how the band would be portrayed in it. The statement continues:

Lydon also made direct comments, saying that the court decision was “so destructive to what the band is and so I fear that the whole project might be extremely negative. How can anyone think that this can proceed without consulting me and deal with my personal life in this, and my issues in this, without any meaningful contact with me before the project is announced to the world.”

Pistol is based on Steve Jones’s memoir Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol. Filming began in March, and no transmission date has yet been announced.

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