In some news that prooooobably won’t surprise many people who follow this sort of thing, John Lydon is being sued by his former Sex Pistols bandmates Steve Jones and Paul Cook, for the right to use the band’s songs in an upcoming biopic miniseries about the punk pioneers directed by Danny Boyle.
According to the Associated Press, a lawyer for Jones and Cook told a High Court in London on Thursday that the band members have a “brittle and fractious” relationship with Lydon, but that they’d made an agreement in 1988 that Sex Pistols songs could be used on a “majority rule basis.” They noted that they also had support of bassist Glen Matlock and the estate of the late Sid Vicious.
In response, a lawyer for Lydon said that Jones’ 2016 memoir, Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol, had portrayed him “in a hostile and unflattering light.” At one point, the book refers to Lydon as an “annoying little brat with the great bone structure who’s always asking for more.” I’m obviously no lawyer, but that sounds… irrelevant? From a law perspective, anyway.
As for the miniseries itself, announced earlier this year, it is set to air on FX and is based on Lonely Boy. “Imagine breaking into the world of The Crown and Downton Abbey with your mates and screaming your songs and your fury at all they represent,” Danny Boyle said in a statement back in January. “This is the moment that British society and culture changed forever. It is the detonation point for British street culture…where ordinary young people had the stage and vented their fury and their fashion…and everyone had to watch and listen…and everyone feared them or followed them. The Sex Pistols. At its center was a young charming illiterate kleptomaniac — a hero for the times — Steve Jones, who became in his own words, the 94th greatest guitarist of all time. This is how he got there.”
The limited series began filming in March, but no official premiere date has been confirmed yet.