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Sex Pistols On Rock Hall Induction: 'We're Not Coming'

Sweet Jane 61

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Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

The Sex Pistols have opted not to attend their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which will take place March 13 at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel. "We're not coming. We're not your monkeys," reads a handwritten statement filled with spelling mistakes posted on the infamous punk band's Web site.

"Next to the Sex Pistols, rock and roll and that hall of fame is a p*** stain," the statement says. "If you voted for us, hope you noted your reasons. You're anonymous as judges, but you're still music industry people. We're not coming. You're not paying attention."

The Sex Pistols last toured in 2003, having earlier reformed in 1996 for the first time since their original 1978 split. In a 2003 interview with Billboard.com, frontman Johnny Rotten referred to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as "the rock and roll hall of shame," and proudly proclaimed the group would never write another new song. "We only needed to make one album to absolutely define how the world is," he said.

"Quite frankly, I think it's a miracle that we're still alive, and that's historical in itself," he continued. "We fought this industry tooth and nail non-stop for 25 solid years, and we're still here. Hello? They can't get rid of us. And there's a reason for that. It's truth. You can't hide truth. You can manipulate it. You can slag us or put us down, but you'd be wrong. I've not put a word out wrong, not ever."

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I am not a big fan of punk, but it has more to do with the band themselves. I don't think they really care about music at all. And being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an honor. I don't think they repsect other musicians or even themselves, and they are getting this honor...to me that isn't right, but that is my opinion.

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I'm actually neutral about them. I don't really listen to them, but I know their stuff and appreciate their impact and place in history.

I do think Johnny Rotten makes some idiotic statements, such as:

"We fought this industry tooth and nail non-stop for 25 solid years, and we're still here. Hello? They can't get rid of us."

#1 - Industry people, much to their dismay, do not have the power to erase history and/or alter time for preemptive purposes.

#2 - Industry people don't care about anything other than making money. If you sell records, which the Pistols have, they're not going to kick you out of the club.

#3 - Sleep now, Johnny.

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I don't think they really care about music at all...... I don't think they repsect other musicians or even themselves,

I don't want to go off on one, as I 've been there before, but in one respect at least, I think you've been misled. Their "anti-music" stance has been grossly over-played.

The Sex Pistols cared passionately about music. At the time of their emergence in 1976, they didn't care much for the pomp/prog-rock scene snobbery that dominated in the UK at the time. They were young and "snotty" and didn't believe in kissing a$$. But they were in thrall to bands like Roxy Music, Bowie, The Who, Small Faces, Kinks, etc., bands who exemplified the virtues of excitement, "street-savvy" and youth. Lydon / Rotten was also a devotee of KrautRock, (which influenced his later work with Public Image Limited), space-rock group Hawkwind and reggae/dub music.

Since The Pistols split, all of its surviving members continued to make music in their own preferred fields.

Lydon in particular enjoyed continued success with PIL, whose brilliant "Metal Box" album is a defining moment in post-punk music and tremendously influential, (as was The Pistols album "Never Mind The Bollocks", albeit in a different way). Lydon has also enjoyed successful musical collaborations a(and UK chart hits) with top New York dance producer Bill Laswell and experimental ambient-techno dance maestros Leftfield.

Original bass player and Pistols tunesmith Glen Matlock (a big fan of The Beatles and Abba, apparently) went on to form The Rich Kids (with Midge Ure, later of Ultravox) and continues to tour and record with his band The Mavericks and post-punk "supergroup" Dead Men Walking.

Guitarist Steve Jones played with a number of bands following The Pistols and collaborated with artists such as Billy Idol and some former members of Duran Duran in the group "Chequered Past".

Drummer Paul Cook has also plied his trade in a number of bands and is a highly-rated session drummer, having played on numerous UK chart hits.

It makes no odds to me whether people like punk or The Sex Pistols or not, but they did kick-start a musical and cultural revolution in the UK and beyond, whose resonant impact shouldn't be understated.

PS. I don't know if you've ever seen, read or heard anything about John Lydon, but one thing he doesn't lack is self-respect...

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PS. I don't know if you've ever seen, read or heard anything about John Lydon, but one thing he doesn't lack is self-respect...

I watched the 'Orange Playlist' with him picking his favourite music tracks over the weekend, he actually seems like a really nice bloke.

John Lydon: Sex Pistols, Jungles And Mosquitoes

The Orange Play List: This week legendary music icon and Sex Pistols front man John Lydon talks to Jayne Middlemiss on the No.1 hit music show Orange Playlist.

Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, was the sneering, spitting, enfant terrible of punk. The group's shocking antics, electrifying songs and stage performances blew the cobwebs from a complacent music scene.

The Sex Pistols may have only released four singles, but with tracks like the iconic 'God Save the Queen' they succeeded in capturing the mood of a generation and brought Punk to the masses. In 2004 John signed up to appear in 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here', proving he still had the ability to shock viewers with his expletive live outbursts.

It's a surprising choice for John's track from the past as he picks the Bee Gees 'New York Mining Disaster' - "The lyrics are bizarre and I just adore their vocal techniques. I love Abba too but not as much. The lyrics make it sound like someone's offering their wife to someone else, which I think is really funny. The Bee Gee's song titles often seem to have no relevance to the actual song and I only recently found out this song depicts a man who is stuck in a mine, missing his wife."

John's present track reflects his positive state of mind as he picks his own song 'In The Sun' - "This track is just about being happy and being outdoors. I wrote it before I was in 'I'm A Celeb..' but it fits nicely with my time in the jungle. It's a very cheery little record. It's a contradiction, moaning about missing industry, missing grey concrete London, when in reality nothing could have been further from the truth."

Not famed for keeping his opinions to himself, John chooses his own 'Rabbit Song' as his track for the future - "This song is part of a whole new album I'm putting together, its fun and it's just the way I talk sometimes - it's a conversation. Rabbit is me talking; it's me rabbiting on. I wrote it in LA in my own studio and it's just a bit of fun."

It's clear to see John's love of animals as he chooses The Scorpions 'Still Loving You' as his dedication track - "I'd like to dedicate this song choice to Toby the Cat. When I was a newborn, just under a year old, I went missing from on top of the bed and my parents couldn't find me. They got the police involved and everything but I'd actually just rolled off the bed and ended up trapped in between the wall and the bed. It was a very dilapidated old house and I'd fallen in a gap in the wall, there were loads of rats and basically this cat, Toby kept me safe until my mum & dad found me - that cat saved me. I like this song because it explains that everything works out in the end, I like the sadness of the song."

John goes for a classic from welsh diva Shirley Bassey 'Hey Big Spender' as his all time favourite track - "I love Shirley Bassey, she's got such a great voice. There's real soul in the way she sings. I find her songs really stir up emotions, it gets to you."

A taster of what John had to say in the programme:

How do you solve a problem like.. John Lydon

"I was a very quiet and shy little boy. But I soon grew out of that. I think it was the Nun's and their torturous attitude that changed me from that timid boy into who I am now. I started to fight back and I haven't stopped since. The cruelty of Catholic Schools was horrendous and probably still is. When I was five or six they used to wrap my knuckles with a ruler for being left handed, they thought it was a mark of the devil! You'd think that kind of thinking would have gone out in the 17th century. But education is so important, it's the best weapon - anyone can be stupid."

Promises, promises

"Every day I wake up and think oh god I hope I don't make a mug of myself again!"

I'm a celebrity get me out of here

"I did I'm a celeb to raise money for charity. I thought it would be a sneaky way to quietly raise some money for Charity. I didn't think so many people would watch it, I honestly didn't. So it was an amazing experience to suddenly come back to the UK and be so popular, popular in just about in the same way that I was amazing unpopular during the Sex Pistols."

No such things as Punk

"I think the word Punk is a stupid name, ugly name. I never liked the title 'King of Punk' - especially when I looked up Punk in the dictionary and it read 'Mr Big's play thing'! It's a category that I resent. Music shouldn't have a category. Punk went wrong when it suddenly became an army of people all wanting to look the same and that's wrong. Punk was about being different and being true to yourself at the same time - not conforming to look like everyone else."

Bill Grundy Interview

"Bill Grundy was a drunken. During that whole thing he was just egging us on and that's what eventually created that foul-mouthed outburst. He tried to reduce us to just two or three foul words but it backfired on him totally. I think he lost his job after that. I think he's dead now - I hope so anyway. He was an agitating kind of a sod."

John Peel

"I don't know anything about John Peel really, except to say that in the early days he played nothing of ours he caught on way late. Now in hindsight him and his lot claim credit for something they had nothing to do with. But the Sex Pistols didn't get airplay but that's what helped us, we were so ignored that we couldn't be ignored. We came along at just the right time, the world had become really stale and we just smacked of something original, we were exactly what everyone needed."

Reuniting the Sex Pistols

"We got back together for the fun of it and just for the chance to annoy people again, plus I suppose the money wasn't bad. It was great being back on stage, back on stage with some fat people I knew from the past. We are all the same as before, just with beer bellies. We still don't like each other and yet we do, it's that internal warfare within the band that makes us vibrant and makes the music good."

When will I be famous

"There's a weakness in young people at the moment. People just want to be famous that's it and there's nothing great about being famous! It's nothing but pain, isolation and victimisation. You're opening to jabs and insults. The magazine culture has made fame look so wonderful but it's all lies. Yes, posh hotel rooms are nice and they look pretty but would you really want to live in one? It's a temporary indulgence and those magazines don't paint the whole picture."

Pete Doherty

"Pete's alright I suppose, he played a gig with us for the Jubilee. I do think he's allowed himself to get caught up in the whole magazine culture. I'd just say to him don't let them write that stuff about you and don't be so openly stupid!"

The rebels without a clue

"Drugs kill. It's that simple. They're not used properly because there's no proper form of education on them. Information on drugs should be readily available to everyone. The rules and regulations make drugs seem more glamorous then they truly are and that attracts people, tossers think it's cool to be a rebel."

The simple life

"My life right now is very simple, it's very quiet and mostly consists of a sofa and TV. I love Telly. I'll watch anything any old cack, I'm just thrilled someone made the effort to entertain me."

I did it my way

"If I had to do it all again, I'd be exactly the same and wouldn't change a thing. And if there was only one way I wanted people to remember me it would be as a sexy beast!

Facing your fears & 4,500 mosquitoes!

I hate mosquitoes I don't like being bitten and feeling the blood draining out of me. During filming for my TV show Megabugs we went to Florida State University. They had 4,500 of the damn things in one research room, let loose - so I went in and pulled my pants down! Worst moment of my life. Even three days later I still couldn't speak, bumps on bumps, on bumps. The only cure for the itchiness and irritation was oatmeal, so I sat in a bath of porridge. It worked and I smelt quite nice afterwards, just don't go near the milk!"


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Just voicing my opinion, not saying it has to be so, just how I feel. That is what the boards are for to speak your mind as you did and I read you above post and I repsect what you said. If we all agreed how boring that would be.

Absolutely, my dear. The "don't get me started" (with a wink) was just because a) I have gone on at great and tedious length about the Pistols before, when I first arrived here,(it's a can of worms you wouldn't want to open again....), and B) I had been in a cranky/uptight mood earlier that day manifest in a regrettable "heated discussion" on another thread.

So I was "lightening up" right then, when I responded to your post. I do hope I didn't cause you offence, as I certainly didn't intend to. I wasn't irascible by that point...

As far as I was concerned it was just a reasonable exchange of viewpoints; I try to be pleasant, helpful and informative when I can.

Btw, Foxy. Thanks for the transcription of Lydon's recent TV appearance: I missed this due to "other commitments" and only caught a few minutes of it; The Scorpions selection, which surprised me (and I can't say pleasantly!!!). Anyway cheers, appreciate that. :thumbsup:

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