Sex Pistols’ Guitarist Steve Jones Gets Candid About Johnny Rotten And The Demise Of Sid Vicious

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Best known as the guitarist for the Sex Pistols, Steve Jones’ recently-released memoir Lonely Boy tells a story far beyond the realm of just music, detailing his childhood abuse that led to bouts of kleptomania and subsequent rug addiction. Jones is very forthcoming in the book, and a new interview with Noisey reveals even more about the bleak future of his seminal punk band, and offers thoughts on whether Sid Vicious killed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen.

On his relationship with John Lydon, better known as Johnny Rotten:

“We don’t have a relationship. We haven’t spoke since 2008 when we did some Europe shows and festivals — we did like 30 shows and festivals — and it always ends in a f***ing disaster. It’s horrible, and I don’t make enough money at the end of the day to put up with him, personally. I just can’t stand being around the guy. You have to act a role and at 61-years old I refuse to do that anymore. To act this role and kiss his ass to keep the ball rolling and it just — there is no relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got all respect for him, what he did, you know like you say we made a f***ing brilliant album, and it was just the four of us before we were famous we made this great record, and there was a period when it was fantastic, a short period, but now it’s just, we drifted apart and it’s all good. I’m all good with it. No animosity towards him, but I’ve no desire to hang out with him and I’m sure he has no desire obviously to hang out with me, which is fine.”

On the possibility of future reunions of the Sex Pistols:

“I don’t know. It doesn’t look good, you know. It doesn’t look good as far as if anyone is holding their breath to see us play. I think it’s just better left alone, at this stage of the game. We ain’t even having fun when we do it, it’s purely to make dough, which is why most bands do it but most bands when they go back out on the road they kind of have an agreement with one another that they will get along with each other, that they make it as painless as possible. We don’t have that luxury for some reason — well, it’s not for some reason I just explained to you what the reason is. And it’s a drag. It’s a drag. It’s an easy way to make a bit of bread, but it just don’t look like that’s on the cards.”

Finally, the interview turns to Jones’ thoughts on the possibility that his apparently well-mannered and good-natured friend Sid might have only become so “vicious” after the media began to portray him as such, then the burning question: “Do you think that Sid Vicious killed Nancy Spungen?”

“I have no idea. I really have no idea. I didn’t speak to Sid after the band kind of split and he f***ed off to New York. I didn’t really have any contact with him, so even though I was in a band with him but that really didn’t give me any insight into what really happened. I’m just as clueless as anyone else.”

Lonely Boy is available to order here.