John Lydon distances himself from 35th anniversary re-release of Sex Pistols’ ‘God Save The Queen’

PiL frontman says he 'wants no part in the circus' around May 28 release

John Lydon has distanced himself from the scheduled re-release of Sex Pistols‘ ‘God Save The Queen’ next month.

Yesterday (April 16), it was announced the band’s controversial classic would be re-released on May 28, almost 35 years to the day that it first hit shelves and ruffled feathers around the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

With this year’s 35th anniversary re-release also coinciding with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Lydon has released a statement claiming he is unhappy with the “campaign to push ‘God Save The Queen’ for the Number 1 spot over the Jubilee weekend”.


He commented:

It is certainly not my personal plan or aim. I am proud of what the Sex Pistols achieved and always will be but this campaign totally undermines what the Sex Pistols stood for. This is not my campaign.

Lydon continued by acknowledging that although he is “pleased” that a new generation of music fans are being given the chance to discover the punk legends’ music, he wants “no part in the circus that is being built up around” the release.

He concluded that he was instead focusing on Public Image Ltd, his post-Pistols band who are preparing to release their first album for 20 years – also on May 28. Universal Records, which is re-releasing the track, declined to comment on Lydon’s remarks when contacted by NME.

Public Image Ltd, who made their live comeback last month, are also set to release an EP titled ‘One Drop’ this Saturday (April 21), to coincide with this year’s Record Store Day.

Scroll down and click below to watch an exclusive NME video with Lydon where he talks about PiL’s new album, and the sexual fears that made him want to sing in the first place.

Meanwhile, to read a huge guide to this year’s Record Store Day, including the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Jack White talking about the records that changed their lives, pick up the new issue of NME, which is on UK newsstands and available digitally from tomorrow (April 18).