Sex Pistols’ John Lydon: “Anarchy is a terrible idea”

Former frontman contradicts the message of 'Anarchy In The U.K.'

John Lydon has said that “anarchy is a terrible idea”, in contradiction to the Sex Pistols‘ debut 1976 single ‘Anarchy In The U.K.’.

The former Pistols frontman, who has led the band Public Image Ltd. since 1978, said in a new article that he’s “not an anarchist”. It’s an allusion to protest single ‘Anarchy In The U.K.’ and its lyrics: “I wanna be anarchy“.

“Anarchy is a terrible idea,” he wrote in a piece for The Times. “Let’s get that clear. I’m not an anarchist. And I’m amazed that there are websites out there – .org anarchist sites – funded fully by the corporate hand and yet ranting on about being outside the shitstorm. It’s preposterous. And they’re doing it in designer Dr Martens, clever little rucksacks and nicely manufactured balaclavas.”


Elsewhere in the article Lydon echoed comments he made last month to Piers Morgan about being “anti-royalist” but not “anti-human” when asked about the reissuing of Sex Pistols’ classic and controversial anti-monarchy single, ‘God Save The Queen’.

John Lydon
John Lydon, also known by his stage name Johnny Rotten arrives at court as he gives evidence against his band. CREDIT: Joshua Bratt / Alamy Stock Photov

“God bless the Queen. She’s put up with a lot. I’ve got no animosity against any one of the royal family. Never did,” Lydon continued in The Times piece.

“It’s the institution of it that bothers me and the assumption that I’m to pay for that. There’s where I draw the line. It’s like, “No, you’re not getting ski holidays on my tax.”

Sex Pistols' 'Pistol Mint Commemorative Coin' for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee
Sex Pistols’ ‘Pistol Mint Commemorative Coin’ for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. CREDIT: Press

The Sex Pistols have been in the spotlight recently owing to the single reissue for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee (June 2-5) and for minting their own commemorative coin.


They are also the subject of Danny Boyle’s new biopic series Pistol, which is based on guitarist Steve Jones memoirs of being in the legendary punk band.

Meanwhile, Jones has admitted that he no longer listens to music by his former band, saying that his tastes have long moved on.

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