John Lydon is continuing to blast his former Sex Pistols bandmates Steve Jones and Paul Cook, who won in court the right to use the bands' songs in Danny Boyle's upcoming Sex Pistols biopic miniseries, which is based on Jones' memoir. In a new interview with Ireland's The Telegraph, he says, "These guys were out to destroy me. But it ain’t gonna happen. You can steal my money, but you cannot steal my soul."
On the subject of money, Lydon tells The Telegraph that is in desperate financial shape. “Let’s be real serious. This entire juggernaut of confusion has cost me millions.” A big component of this is that Lydon's wife of over 40 years, Nora, is suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. “I’ve got no more savings, no more loans, no pensions. I’ve got nothing. All right? I’m practically this close to zero. And I’ve got a lovely wife I have to take care of who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, which is a hideously expensive illness. I’m fucked, and I’m scuppered in so many different ways. All I’ve got at age 65 is the chance to start again.” The writer of The Telegraph feature does note that Lydon has California homes in Venice and Malibu ("I suspect that the wolf is not at the door just yet").
Lydon maintains that he was not made aware of the miniseries' pre-production until right before it was announced. “This was being developed for three years, with not one word said to me. I never denied rights, I just asked questions. I still don’t know what I’m supposed to be agreeing or disagreeing with. So this is quite an alarming situation I was put into. I didn’t ask to go to court. They did. Smells rotten to me.”
“This became Walt Disney money versus me,” says Lydon, noting that the network, FX, is owned by Disney. “Who do you think’s gonna win? Money talks and Johnny Rotten takes a walk. It’s a strange, strange world we live in. The Sex Pistols have become the property of Mickey fucking Mouse.”
He also maintains that The Sex Pistols was more his band than anyone else's: “I don’t want to blow me own trumpet, mate, but I wrote all those lyrics. I gave that band their image. I was the frontman, I took all the guns and warfare put against us, and I’ve stood up there and shivved through the lot. I’m not bragging here, but I can’t imagine the Sex Pistols without Johnny Rotten amounting to very much at all.”
Lydon is currently on a book tour of the UK for his 2020 release, I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right.