Sex Pistols star John Lydon has revealed his grudging respect for the Queen, despite branding the Royals ‘a bunch of German tourists with a Greek thrown in’.
The music icon, 66 – whose controversial legacy with the band rests upon their anti-establishment values and calling the Royal family ‘fascists’ in 1977’s God Save The Queen – said he now totally respects Her Majesty ‘as a real person’ during a chat on Tuesday’s TalkTV’s Piers Morgan Uncensored.
The lead singer, known by his stage name Johnny Rotten, could not resist one more dig at the Royal Family though – saying they were: ‘a bunch of German tourists with a Greek thrown in.’
Outspoken: Sex Pistols star John Lydon has revealed his grudging respect for the Queen, despite branding the Royals ‘a bunch of German tourists with a Greek thrown in’
He said: ‘I’m just as solid about the monarchy and my dislike of it as I ever have been to me….I don’t want to pay no more tax to keep that institution alive.
‘But I totally respect her as as a real person. She’s enjoyed that and maintained, yes, a sense of dignity. I’m always attracted to pageantry.
‘God bless her, when she kicks the bucket, what’s gonna follow?… I pity what comes after her, I’ve got no hope for it. I think we should really start voting on a new Queen, in an election. Someone from Australia.’
John even attended a Jubilee street party himself over the weekend, saying: ”Why not? I love the party side of it, the pageantry, the flag waving and and being part of a wonderful bloody country.
Punk icons: The music icon, 66 – whose controversial legacy with the band rests upon their anti-establishment values – said he now totally respects the Queen (pictured Sid Vicious, John and Paul Cook are seen performing on a boat on the Thames in June 1977)
He said: ‘But I totally respect her as as a real person. She’s enjoyed that and maintained, yes, a sense of dignity. I’m always attracted to pageantry’ (Queen Elizabeth II pictured last week)
‘No shame, plenty of pride about Britain and I’ll wave the flag anyway I like, safety pins included.’
This was a far cry from the Queen’s 1977 Silver Jubilee marking 25 years on the throne, which saw the punk rockers release controversial track, God Save The Queen.
The song, which included lyrics that branded the Queen ‘not a human being’ and saying the monarchy was a ‘fascist regime’, was banned by the BBC and other broadcasters after shocking polite society.
When it was first released, the song, which featured a defaced image of the Queen on its cover, reached number two in the UK singles chart despite the broadcasting ban and was only denied top spot by Rod Stewart’s I Don’t Want to Talk About It.
Fuming: The God Save The Queen artist, known by his stage name Johnny Rotten, could not resist one more dig at the Royal Family though – saying they were: ‘a bunch of German tourists with a Greek thrown in’
Oh dear: The Sex Pistols 1977 hit God Save The Queen included lyrics that branded the Queen ‘not a human being’ and saying the monarchy was a ‘fascist regime’. Above: Her Majesty with Prince Philip and earl Mountbatten of Burma on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in 1977
Rumours have persisted ever since that the charts were manipulated to keep the song from number one.
Despite the avowed anarchist aims of the punk rocker band – members John , Paul Cook, Steve Jones and Glen Matlock, who was later replaced by Sid Vicious, the surviving stars re-released the track last month to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The Sex Pistols first burst onto the British music scene with their 1976 single Anarchy in the UK.
The song immediately received criticism for endorsing anarchy, a point that was taken up by the band’s manager when he said the track was a ‘call to arms to the kids who believe that rock and roll was taken away from them. It’s a statement of self rule, of ultimate independence.’
Released in May 1977, God Save the Queen was given the same name as the UK’s national anthem, a fact that was deemed in itself to be offensive.
The song was co-written by all four of the band’s original members and was intended to create resentment towards the monarchy, whilst generating sympathy for the English working class.
It was released amid a backdrop of economic crisis and industrial decline in the late 1970s.
Wow: When it was first released, the song, which featured a defaced image of the Queen on its cover, reached number two in the UK singles chart despite the broadcasting ban and was only denied top spot by Rod Stewart’s I Don’t Want to Talk About It
Despite the timing of its release, Cook later insisted that it was not ‘written specifically for the Queen’s Jubilee’ and claimed that the band were not even aware of the celebration.
However, while the Silver Jubilee celebrations were in full flow in London on June 7, 1977, the band hired a boat called the Queen Elizabeth to perform on as it sailed down the Thames.
It was a gesture that mocked the Royal river procession that followed a few days later. When it docked, several members of the band were arrested.
At the time, the group were dropped by their record label A&M and the band released the single through Virgin after signing a new deal.
The song was banned by the BBC and commercial radio stations, with the then controller of Radio 2, Charles McLelland, saying it was ‘in gross bad taste’.
Many retailers, including WH Smith and Boots, refused to stock the single and one shop even blanked out the title in its chart countdown to avoid offending the Queen.
The Pistols were also banned from television and many councils stopped them from playing concerts.
Before their TV ban, the Sex Pistols and several other singers were invited onto the hugely popular ITV show Today, which was presented by Bill Grundy.
The discussion infamously descended into chaos when Grundy appeared to provoke the band members, and many of them ended up swearing.
Punk pioneers: (L-R) Johnny Rotten (John Lydon), Sid Vicious, Steve Jones and Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols during their final tour
The interviewer sparked fury when he said to singer Siouxsie Sioux: ‘We’ll meet afterwards, shall we?’
Pistols guitarist Steve Jones said: ‘You dirty b******! You dirty f*****! What a f****** rotter!’
Grundy also asked Lydon to repeat the word ‘s***t’ that he had uttered off camera. When Lydon did so, he added: ‘Keep going. You’ve got another five seconds to say something outrageous.’
The exchange then continued with Grundy being branded a ‘dirty b*****d’, a ‘dirty f****r’ and a ‘f*****g rotter’, with the presenter encouraging the band members after each insult.
The interview led to hundreds of complaints. Today was later cancelled and Grundy was dropped from prime-time TV. The interviewer’s career was effectively ended by the saga.
Queen had initially been booked to appear on Grundy’s show but then pulled out when Freddie Mercury got toothache. The Sex Pistols were then called on as last-minute replacements.
‘I’m upset’: John recently branded Pistol director Danny Boyle an ‘a***hole’ before insisting he ‘gave his bandmates everything’ in a chaotic interview on This Morning
Elsewhere in the interview John took aim at ‘professional liar’ Boris Johnson and the ‘Partygate’ scandal,
He said: ‘If you’re going to write these laws in and insist on them and then deliberately go and break them yourself! Well, that’s that kind of hypocrisy is is just a little unfeasible for me.
‘Sod him. Like all politicians, really, he’s a professional liar… But on top of that, I would like a Prime Minister that is capable of partying, but then don’t be introducing laws that you’re not going to follow yourself and expect the rest of us to oblige. It’s wicked, wicked. I wish I was at that party though!’
The interview comes as John branded director Danny Boyle an ‘a**hole’ in a chaotic live interview as he continued to slam the band’s upcoming biopic, Pistol.
The punk rocker has been highly critical of the upcoming Disney+ miniseries and claimed he was intentionally excluded from the show.
Targeted: The punk rocker – known for his stage name Johnny Rotten – has been highly critical of the upcoming Disney+ miniseries which has been helmed by Danny Boyle
Addressing John, Alison read out a statement from the director, stating: ‘Danny Boyle has previously said, ‘I love Lydon for what he does and I don’t want him to like it. I think that he’s he has an absolute right. Why would you change the habit of a lifetime?’ That’s Danny Boyle.’
John quickly jumped in and remarked ‘You a***hole,’ prompting Alison and Dermot to apologise for his colourful language.
Elsewhere in the chat, John stated: ‘The decision was made between Disney, Universal Records, their management and them to exclude me and they went all out to do that because almost immediately after those emails in came the affidavits from Paul and Steve who told me they were taking me to court.’
He continued: ‘Now I never denied my rights to them. That was Warner Chappell, the publishing company. They withheld because they thought this was a little on the suspect side… so I’m slammed into a ridiculous court case.’
John added: ‘I’m upset with that, I’m the man what wrote those songs…I gave them their image, I gave them everything.’
John also said: ‘Danny Boyle… never made any effort to speak to me at all, so his behaviour in this really is quite appalling.
‘It seems like a gargantuan effort to deny that I really do exist…Rather than deal with me they’ve gone into this fakery.
‘Now, by not showing me the script that tells me, secrecy. And secrecy to me implies lies.’
Despite everything, John says he will watch the show because he ‘has to’.
Hitting back: Steve Jones (pictured right with Paul Cook) has urged his former bandmate John to ‘grow up and move on’ after he expressed his annoyance with new series Pistol
‘It’s about me,’ he said. ‘But it excludes me.’
Dermot in the show included a right to reply from Disney, which claims that Danny Boyle contacted John’s management about the series ‘but direct contact was declined’.
Alison added that Boyle has in the past expressed that he loves Lydon for what he does, remarking he didn’t want the former Pistol to like it, apparently saying he has ‘every right…why would you change a habit of a lifetime’.
Danny Boyle’s representatives said: ‘Danny Boyle, the director of Pistol, wished to speak directly with Mr Lydon about the series prior to production and wrote to him via Mr Lydon’s management company, expressing his desire to do so.
‘His manager replied and there was a further phone call, but direct contact with Mr Lydon was declined.
‘The intention was always to communicate with Mr Lydon before filming began but unfortunately that was not possible.’
Here we go: The raw energy of punk is reenacted in all its nihilistic glory in the first trailer for Danny Boyle’s eagerly anticipated Sex Pistols biopic
MailOnline has also reached out to Disney+, FX, Universal Records and Warner Chappell for comment.
Recently Steve Jones has hit back at John’s remarks and urged him to ‘grow up and move on’, saying he doesn’t understand why the singer is so upset about the series.
The rock guitarist, 66, insisted the show is about him and not John as it is based on his memoir Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol.
‘I ain’t got time for all that c**p any more,’ he told The Sun.
‘You’ve just got to grow up and move on. The show is about me, it ain’t about John, even though he is obviously a big part of it.’
Steve admitted that he couldn’t understand why John, who is being played by Anson Boon in the show, is so upset about the series.
DANNY BOYLE’S PISTOL: WHO’S PLAYING WHO IN THE BIOPIC
Uncanny: Louis Partridge, left in character, and bassist Sid Vicious, pictured right in 1978
Wow: Anson Boon, pictured left in character, and Johnny Rotten, pictured right, in 1976
Character: Toby Wallace, left in character, and guitarist Steve Jones, pictured right in 1978
Role: Jacob Slater, left in character, and drummer Paul Cook, pictured right in 1978
Photos released from the set of Pistol show actress Emma Appleton, who plays Nancy, arm-in-arm with the actor playing guitarist Steve Jones (left). Jones claims to have had sex with Nancy, but it is for her relationship with Sid (right in 1978) for which she will be forever remembere
Exciting: Iris Law (L) will follow in her father Jude’s acting footsteps by making her screen debut as Soo Catwoman (R) in the Sex Pistols drama
The man behind the band: Thomas Brodie-Sangster (L) is set to take on the role of Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren (pictured right in 1978)
Actress Sydney Chandler (left) plays rocker Chrissie Hynde (right)
Source: | Dailymail.co.uk