“I’m not a slave,” John Lydon tells BBC Radio 5 Live about his decision to rejoin the Sex Pistols.
The johnny rotten is a band that was created by John Lydon. He has compared the agreement of the band to slave labour.
Today, John appeared before the High Court for the second time (Picture: PA)
John Lydon – AKA Johnny Rotten – has claimed that an arrangement between him and his former Sex Pistols bandmates “smacks of slave labor” in the midst of a heated legal fight with them.
The deal is at the center of a High Court battle in which the band’s former drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones are suing the punk group’s ex-lead vocalist for permission to use their songs in the TV drama Pistol.
The six-part series, directed by Danny Boyle and featuring Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones, will premiere next year. It’s based on Jones’ book Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol, which he published in 2016.
Jones and Cook claim that decisions on license requests may be decided on a “majority rules basis” under the terms of a band member agreement (BMA) signed in 1998.
However, Lydon, who previously told the Sunday Times that the series is the “most disrespectful s**t I’ve ever had to suffer,” refuted this claim, claiming that licenses cannot be given without his permission.
Lydon claimed the Sex Pistols had so far managed to agree on how to run their company with “unanimity” while giving testimony at the Rolls Building in London on Wednesday.
A witness statement was provided by the singer (Picture: PA)
‘The BMA has never been used in anything we have ever done since 1998,’ he added in a witness statement before the court.
‘It also seems to be totally pointless since there is no purpose in my being here or ever being here if I can be completely outvoted by the entrenched interests of everyone in one management camp… There’s no getting around it.
‘That feels like a total trap or prison, and my fear is that they’re pressuring me to sign over the rights to a drama documentary to which I have no access.’
‘That smacks to me of some sort of slave labor.’
‘I don’t see how Steve and Paul believe they have the right to force me to do something that I so ethically, heart and soul oppose without my participation,’ he said.
The Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones, John Lydon, Glen Matlock, and Paul Cook (Picture: PA)
‘It irritates me to no end. All choices regarding the Sex Pistols’ music and imagery have always been made unanimously.’
Jones and Cook’s lawyer, Edmund Cullen QC, told Lydon that his remark to “slave labor” was an indication of “how profoundly you regret having signed the BMA.”
‘Given that you view it as slave labor, you will do whatever it takes to get out of it,’ the lawyer said.
‘You are willing to go to any length, even fabricating proof.’
‘False evidence?’ said Lydon. I’m sorry, but how did you do it? Where?’
‘I don’t believe the BMA applies, therefore I would oppose that,’ he said. I didn’t seek for this court case; it was thrust upon me, and I will, of course, defend myself.’
Anarchy In the United Kingdom, rocker Lydon said that he is unable to comprehend legal papers and that they “terrify” him, adding, “It’s clear that I didn’t grasp what the BMA was.”
‘Unanimity is what has made this band as a business tick over,’ he said, adding that it has ‘never come up’ in their years of working together.
The Sex Pistols were formed in 1975 and disbanded in 1978, but they have reunited for a few live shows since then, most recently in 2008.
Cook admitted in court on Tuesday that the Sex Pistols were most likely ‘gone for good’ after he and Jones took legal action.
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Jones told the court last week that he thinks Lydon is a ‘total d**k,’ but added, “This is not about slamming anyone in this TV show at all.”
Cullen, Jones and Cook’s lawyer, has already said in court that his clients’ suit is solely against Lydon. He claims that founding band member Glen Matlock, who was replaced by Sid Vicious, and the representatives of Sid Vicious’ estate, who died in February 1979, support their stance in written filings.
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- john lydon
- nora forster
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