John Lydon Loses Court Case over Use of Sex Pistols' Music in Danny Boyle's TV Series

BY Allie GregoryPublished Aug 23, 2021

Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon — a.k.a. Johnny Rotten — has lost his legal bid to block the use of the band's music in Danny Boyle's upcoming TV miniseries, Pistol.

As the Guardian reports, former drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones — who sued Lydon for refusing to let Boyle use Sex Pistols' music in the series — have been granted "majority voting rules" by London High Court judge, Sir Anthony Mann, upholding the terms of the members' band management agreement (BMA), which was written in 1998.

Cook and Jones' lawyers argued that Lydon was in breach of the BMA by not offering his consent to the majority. While Lydon claimed that he was not made aware of the BMA's details, Judge Mann did not accept his position, saying, "On [Lydon's] side he had an English lawyer, a U.S. attorney and his manager ... it is impossible to believe that he did not know what [the BMA's] effect was and I reject the suggestion made by him that he did not really know or appreciate its effect."

Cook and Jones said of the win in a joint statement: "It brings clarity to our decision-making and upholds the band members' agreement on collective decision-making. It has not been a pleasant experience, but we believe it was necessary to allow us to move forward and hopefully work together in the future with better relations."

As previously reported, Lydon has been a vocal critic of the upcoming show, which is due to premiere on FX next year, calling the series "the most disrespectful shit ever."

The miniseries is based on Jones' memoir Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol.

Latest Coverage