Sex Pistols’ John Lydon Condemns “God Save the Queen” Promotion in Wake of Elizabeth II’s Death

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John Lydon has released another statement regarding the late Queen Elizabeth II. The Sex Pistols singer wrote, “John Lydon wishes to distance himself from any Sex Pistols activity which aims to cash in on Queen Elizabeth II’s death.” He continued, “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.” Find the full statement below.

It is unclear what activity Lydon is referencing. The band has not promoted “God Save the Queen” on its social media pages in the days since Queen Elizabeth II’s September 8 death. Sex Pistols also haven’t formally released a statement on the death of the queen. Earlier this year, while the queen was alive, Sex Pistols announced a “God Save the Queen” commemorative coin and NFT.

Lydon and his former bandmates have previously gone to court over licensing rights. The band sued Lydon after he refused to license his music for Danny Boyle’s Pistol. The band prevailed in court after it was determined that, under the terms of a 1988 agreement, no single Sex Pistols member holds a veto over licensing rights, which can be granted by majority vote.

Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for John Lydon and Sex Pistols for comment and more information.

John Lydon:

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.



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