Sex Pistols TV series cleared to use band music after argument among band members


A judge has ruled in favor of two members of the Sex Pistols over a disagreement over the use of the English group’s music in a television series based on a member’s memoir.

Former Pistols guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook have sued frontman John Lydon, formerly known as Johnny Rotten, after he tried to block the use of the band’s music in “Pistol,” a next series supported by Disney and based on a memoir by Jones.

Lydon told High Court hearings last month that he objected “heart and soul” to the use of music on a show he saw as “nonsense.”

Lydon’s attorney, Mark Cunningham, said in written submissions that Jones’ memoir portrayed the singer “in a hostile and unflattering light”, at one point describing Johnny Rotten as “the boring little kid with the big structure. bone that always asks for more “.

Lydon said the songs couldn’t be licensed without her consent, but Cook and Jones argued that a 1998 deal allowed for a majority decision.

Judge Anthony Mann agreed the couple had the right to invoke “majority voting rules” as outlined in the group’s agreement.

He said Lydon’s claim that he was unaware of the details or implications of the deal he signed was “a practical trick”.

“I reject the suggestion made by him that he didn’t know about it or really didn’t like the effect,” the judge said.

Cook and Jones welcomed the decision and said the court battle had “not been a pleasant experience, but we believe it was necessary for us to move forward and hopefully get to work. together in the future with better relations “.

Pistol is expected to air next year.

It is directed by Danny Boyle, the Oscar-winning director of Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire.

Formed in London in 1975, the Sex Pistols energized and scandalized the British music scene with songs such as God Save the Queen and Anarchy in the UK.

The band broke up in 1978 after releasing an album, and bassist Sid Vicious died the following year. The surviving members have reunited for several concerts, most recently in 2008.

“Mr. Lydon was not shy about describing his difficult relationship with the other members – difficult in different ways with different members – and this persisted even during their return tours in the 1990s and 2000s,” the judge said. “It persists today.”


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