Is this perfect timing, or perhaps a contradictory attempt to cash in on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee? Or is it a genuine second stab at the monarchy, a reminder from 1977?
The 35th anniversary of the controversial, anti-establishment punk album, “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols” is going to be re-released to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
However, Sex Pistols singer John Lydon, AKA Jonny Rotten, wants no part in the campaign to make their punk version of ‘God Save The Queen’ Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart.
“ I would very much like to distance myself” says Lydon
“ I am very proud of what the Sex Pistols achieved and always will be but this campaign totally undermines what the Sex Pistols stood for”
Anarchy In The UK
Along with ‘Anarchy In The UK’, ‘God Save The Queen’ was an attack on Britons’ social conformity and deference to the Crown. Take a snippet from the song, ‘God Save The Queen’ for instance: “God save the queen. She ain’t no human being. And there’s no future. In England’s dreaming”– there couldn’t be a more offensive song directly aimed at the Monarchy.
In 1977, The Sex Pistols held a press ceremony outside of Buckingham Palace when they signed to A&M Records. The late Sid Vicious smashed a toilet bowl, cutting his foot. As Vicious trailed blood around the offices, frontman, Johnny Rotten verbally assaulted the staff. The icing on the cake was when one of Rotten’s pals threatened the life of a friend of A&M’s director – the 25,000 singles due to be released were subsequently destroyed. If that isn’t true passion in what you believe in, then I don’t know what is.
There is a tie-in with all this Jubilee business, however, as the original single was eventually released under Virgin records to coincide with the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. Needless to say, it was an enormous success during the punk era, as over half the singles sold by the Jubilee weekend.
35 years on and The Pistols have signed a deal with Universal Music Catalogue UK, who plans to put out an expanded and repackaged anniversary version of their classic album that changed the punk and rock genres forever. Johnny Rotten commented on their website: “Music can be great, when done by the great. The Sex Pistols are the greatest. Universal now has a trophy room. Music is the imitation of nature. The Sex Pistols are nature, so please give generously. Thank You”.
Apparently there will be events taking place, too, although they’ve been kept under wraps. Whatever they’ll be, The Sex Pistols ain’t The Pistols without Sid Vicious, and Johnny Rotten has surely softened in his old age – he’s starred in a TV ad for Country Life Butter, dressed as a country bumpkin, everything he detested. A sell out? Or a clever mockery? Whatever it was, he managed to increase County Life’s sales by 85%.
I love The Sex Pistols, and have merchandise such as a rocking sex pistols iphone case from FANPAC and a large musci collection so I’ll be blasting out in anarchy over the Jubilee weekend, but however you take this news, The Pistols will surely cash in as the nation munches on salmon and cucumber sandwiches.