Sex Pistols: ‘We were never punk, we bitterly reject it’

Plus John Lydon takes aim at George Bush at Isle Of Wight

Sex Pistols have denied they are a punk band following their headlining performance at the Isle Of Wight festival last night (June 14).

Despite being so closely associated with the genre and the 1977 British “summer of punk”, frontman John Lydon declared the band wanted nothing to do with punk moments after stepping off stage.

“We never liked the moniker ‘punk’ right from the start,” declared Lydon. “That’s something like the press gave to us or attached to us. I’ve always, myself personally bitterly rejected it. I don’t like the term. It means in American, you know, Mr Big’s Bum boy in prison. I really don’t think any big fat Yank fancies my bottom!”


Lydon said though that he enjoyed playing his biggest British date in several years – “a thoroughly enjoyable gig. It’s nice to see the English amusing themselves as per usual – Sex Pistols stylie!” – he had a few words of warning for the country of his birth.

He told Virgin Radio: “Tony Blair‘s Britain! All right! An upper class twat teaching me working class values! Look what he’s done! He took Britain to war! He took us to war right? He became George Bush‘s lapdog, and by association we’re what? We’re Yankee poodle pus? You know, we’re like lap fodder for that?

“It’s insane! And the only troops that did any good anyway over there was the Brits, as per usual, you know with our crappy outfits, and boots that don’t fit, and water bottles that leak. You know! We’re in Basra, in hardcore gaffs, and they sod off to you know, the centre of the city to open up a disco!”

However Lydon, who now lives in America, added he was not anit-American but, on the eve of his last visit Britain as president, he was just anti-Bush.

“I’m not anti-American, I live in America and the soldiers that are sent out there, they’re coming back so distraught and so disillusioned by their government,” he explained. “Don’t hate Americans, hate, like most decent Americans, hate that government. Not the people, hate that government. All right?”

Live highlights of the band’s set are being broadcast at


Keep up with this weekend’s (June 13-15) festival action as it happens on NME.COM. For news, pictures and blogs keep checking the NME.COM’s Isle Of Wight Festival page and NME.COM’s Download Festival page for live coverage from both sites.


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