John Lydon hasn't seen Sex Pistols TV drama Pistol, says it's "dead against everything we once stood for"

John Lydon
(Image credit: FOX via Getty Images)

Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon has made his opposition to Danny Boyle's TV drama Pistol very, very clear over the past months, and in a new interview with The Guardian, the artist formerly known as Johnny Rotten has once again taken the opportunity to criticise the show.

According to The Guardian, Lydon, who has arguably drawn more attention to Pistol than all the drama's advertising/promotion combined, is particularly incensed by the fact that the anti-establishment band's story is being told by Disney+

"It’s dead against everything we once stood for," Lydon rages. "The only thing you’ve got of value in your life, and you’re going to cheapen that because you want an extra fiver? Not much of a human being there."

By his own admission, Lydon has not watched Pistol beyond the series trailer, but that was enough to strengthen his opposition to the six-part show, which is based around Sex Pistols’ guitarist Steve Jones’ acclaimed 2018 memoir Lonely Boy.

"It’s karaoke, really," says Lydon. "The voices, the way they’re talking … it sounds like a bunch of kids from Tring, all discussing the latest calamities! That ain’t it at all! It’s so off."

Informed by interviewer Tim Jonze that director Danny Boyle told the newspaper that he was pleased that Lydon is attacking the show, the singer responds, "Oh, how fey of him!"

"It’s disgusting, really," he continues. "How can you be truthful when you don’t involve the main frontman who wrote those songs and had to take the hidings and kickings and public admonishments?"

Pistol is screening in the US on Hulu and on Disney+ in the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

It stars Toby Wallace as Steve Jones, Anson Boon as vocalist John Lydon, Louis Partridge as bassist Sid Vicious, and Jacob Slater as drummer Paul Cook. 

Disney+ costs $7.99/£7.99 per month, or $79.90/£79.90 for an annual sub. It's also the home of Beatles documentary Get Back, Pam & Tommy, the complete Star Wars franchise, all your Disney and Pixar favourites, all the Marvel Originals and movies, The Simpsons and more. 

Hulu, meanwhile, costs $6.99 per month and is home to a wide range of films, TV shows, comedies, dramas, kids programmes and its list of Originals.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.