The singer has reflected in a new interview on the band’s heyday during the late 1970s, saying that the Pistols’ “soppy little pop songs” heightened their notoriety at the time.
“I don’t know that there was much glory. It was mostly hell on earth,” Lydon told the Metro newspaper’s Sixty Seconds column about the Sex Pistols’ first stint between 1975 and 1978.
“There was constant pressure. But I got to write the songs I wanted to write, got those lyrics out to Joe Public and Joe Public was very nice and appreciated it.”
Lydon continued: “But then I had a media and a police force who did not appreciate it. I was discussed in the Houses of Parliament under the treason act. And you go, ‘Ohh, ha ha’, but that [treason] carried a death penalty! For words!
“A few soppy little pop songs like ‘Anarchy In The UK’ and you can be dead. Off with his head!”
Earlier this month Lydon said that he was “seriously in a state of financial ruin” following the outcome of a court case against his former Sex Pistols bandmates in August.
Lydon was sued after he refused to license the band’s music for inclusion in Danny Boyle’s upcoming biopic series Pistol, with guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook legally challenging his objection.