Johnny Rotten Says There Was No 'Glory' In Fronting Sex Pistols In The '70s


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The Sex Pistols never got to enjoy their "glory days."

As far as John Lydon a.k.a. 'Johnny Rotten' is concerned, there weren't any.

Looking back on the early days of the punk rock revolutionaries in an interview with Metro, Lydon explained that he was actually quite fearful of the legal ramifications his music might have.

"I don’t know that there was much glory. It was mostly hell on earth," Lydon said. "There was constant pressure but I got to write the songs I wanted to write, got those lyrics out to Joe Public and Joe Public was very nice and appreciated it."

The Sex Pistols' surge in popularity captivated the U.K., but Lydon and his bandmates knew that their provocative music made them an instant target.

"But then I had a media and a police force who did not appreciate it," he continued. "I was discussed in the Houses of Parliament under the treason act.

"And you go ‘Ooh, ha ha’, but that carried a death penalty! For words! A few soppy little pop songs like 'Anarchy In The U.K.' [laughs] and you can be dead. Off with his head!"

Lydon has been in the news all summer for his opposition to the forthcoming band biopic miniseries, Pistol, which is being produced by bandmates Steve Jones and Paul Cook and has the approval of bassist Glenn Matlock and the estate of the late-Sid Vicious.

In August, Lydon lost a legal challenge attempting to block the miniseries from licensing Sex Pistols' music. While Jones and Cook say they hoped to work in concert with their longtime bandmate, Lydon says they deliberately excluded him from discussions about the series. He says his legal defense broke him financially.

Lydon is currently on a 54-date Q&A and book tour in the U.K. through November 13. Go here for his live dates.


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