John Lydon accuses The Sex Pistols of "cashing in" on Queen's death

John Lydon of The Sex Pistols next to the Queen
(Image credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images, Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

John Lydon, formerly known as Johnny Rotten, has accused his ex-band The Sex Pistols, of "cashing in" on the Queen's death.

Lydon's current band, Public Image Ltd, have released a statement on Twitter, explaining how the vocalist wishes to "distance himself" from the former punk icons due to the alleged increase of commercial activity surrounding their 1977 establishment-slating hit God Save The Queen. 

“John Lydon wishes to distance himself from any Sex Pistols activity which aims to cash in on Queen Elizabeth II’s death,” the statement reads. “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.”

It continues, “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.”

A spokesperson for The Sex Pistols has since responded to the statement to Deadline

"We cannot understand what he would be referring to" they say. "Other than a couple requests for use of imagery or audio in news reports on The Queen and her impact on culture, there’s nothing new relating to God Save The Queen being promoted or released in any way.”

Earlier this year, the frontman reclarified his views on the royal family, while again speaking of the monarchy-bashing tune.

"I've got to tell the world this," he says, during an appearance on Piers Morgan Uncensored. "Everyone presumes that I'm against the royal family as human beings, I'm not.".

Raising his hand to his brow to offer a salute, he continues, "I'm actually really, really proud of the Queen for surviving and doing so well. "I applaud her for that and that's a fantastic achievement. I'm not a curmudgeon about that."

Defending his views in the song, Lydon adds: "I just think that if I'm paying my tax money to support this system I should have a say so in how it's spent."

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.