John “Johnny Rotten” Lydon has lost his very dumb legal battle trying to block Sex Pistols music from appearing in Danny Boyle’s upcoming biopic miniseries. As The Guardian reports, judge Sir Anthony Mann ruled that a 1998 Sex Pistols band member agreement (BMA) allowing “majority voting rules” took legal precedent over Lydon’s more recent announcement that he could do whatever he wanted, and fuck those other guys.

The drama revolves around Pistol, a six-episode limited series based on Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol by the band’s former guitarist Steve Jones. As the person who actually wrote the book, Jones is set to make some money on the venture. This doesn’t sit right with Lydon, who’s done nothing of value for the last four decades, but still felt entitled to a windfall.

In April, Lydon threatened to sue the miniseries, based mainly on the “disrespectful” decision not to hire him as a consultant. Hard as it may be to believe, Boyle and the other producers didn’t seem to want Lydon around. And when that sweet consulting check failed to materialize, he went a step further and blocked Sex Pistols songs from being loaded into Pistol‘s chamber.


In response, Jones and former drummer Paul Cook sued Lydon. They wanted the music to appear in Pistol, as did former bassist Glen Matlock and the estate of Sid Vicious. Together they invoked the 1998 BMA, and the only doubt in the legal proceedings was whether they could prove that the “majority voting rules” agreement existed. Luckily for them, Lydon didn’t even try to dispute it, instead arguing that such a BMA allowed them to “impose their wishes” on him, which, yeah, was kind of the point. In lieu of evidence, his lawyers also cited his “deep-felt and passionate aversion to becoming a ‘prisoner’ of a hostile majority.” In case that emotional appeal didn’t do the trick, Lydon argued in court that the agreement — which he himself willingly entered into in 1998 — “smacks of some kind of slave labour.”

Unless Lydon can manifest another ‘but it hurts my feelings’ defense, Pistol is expected to fire away on FX sometime in 2022. If you want to remember Lydon’s better days — before he became a literally flea-infested Trump supporter — check out our 2021 Punk Week coverage, including the 30 best punk bands and the 50 best punk songs.