John Lydon calls sex pistols ruling dumbfounding and destructive

John Lydon has railed against a High Court ruling allowing Sex Pistols music to be used in a new TV drama, calling it “dumbfounding and destructive”.

In his first public statement on the decision, the singer said he feared the drama would be “extremely negative”.

Former drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones had sued Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, after he tried to veto the use of the punk group’s songs.

A judge ruled they could overrule him due to a “majority rule” agreement.

Lydon had argued the band member agreement (BMA) had never been adhered to and that requests for licenses had previously been subject to individual members’ vetoes.

However, Sir Anthony Mann ruled last week that the contract was valid and active and that the majority of the band could overrule any individual member’s veto.

Cook and Jones welcomed the decision, saying it brought “clarity to our decision-making and upholds the band members’ agreement on collective decision-making”.

A press statement posted on Tuesday on Lydon’s website said it was “disappointing that a High Court judge has decided that John Lydon is bound by an undated agreement signed in 1998”.

It went on to declare that the singer was now “powerless to prevent any distortion of the true history of the Sex Pistols”.

“I am the lead singer and songwriter, frontman, image, the lot, you name it. I put it there,” Lydon says in the statement.

“How is that not relevant? It is dumbfounding to me. It is so destructive to what the band is and so I fear that the whole project might be extremely negative.

Johnny Rotten (left) and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols in 1978

“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?” he continued.

“I don’t think there are even words that I can put forward to explain quite how disingenuous this is. As I said in the lyrics of The Order of Death, This is what you want, this is what you get…”

The Order of Death featured on a 1984 album by Lydon’s Public Image Ltd band, also entitled This Is What You Want… This Is What You Get.

Lydon has spoken out before against Danny Boyle’s Pistol TV drama, calling it the “most disrespectful [expletive] I’ve ever had to endure”.

The six-part series, which is being made by Disney and is due to air next year, is based on a 2016 memoir by Jones titled Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol.

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