John Lydon recalls the risk of death penalty for Sex Pistols songs
John Lydon dismissed the idea that “there was a lot of glory” in facing the Sex Pistols, recalling that he risked the death penalty for some of the lyrics he wrote.
At the time of the glory of punk icons, the death penalty remained in the law for the crime of high treason even though it had been abolished for all other crimes. While it is unlikely that Lydon and his band mates were charged with the offense, media speculation called for them to be accused of treason for the words to “God Save the Queen” in 1977.
“I don’t know if there was a lot of fame. It was mostly hell on earth, ”Lydon told the Metro of the period of his life. “There was constant pressure, but I had to write the songs I wanted to write, I passed those lyrics to Joe Public, and Joe Public was very nice and enjoyed it. … But then I had a media and a police who did not appreciate. I was discussed in the Houses of Parliament under the Treason Act. And you say, ‘Ooh, ha ha’… but that resulted in a death sentence! For words! A few little pop songs like ‘Anarchy in the UK’ and you can be dead. With his head!
He admitted that some of his comments were simply meant to force a reaction. “I can’t help but be contentious,” he noted. “I’m a free thinker and, yes, you can rub people the wrong way… but we are a gift from God to the universe, we clumsy people, because it challenges you and it wakes you up. he was asked if he was surprised to be considered “still as current”, he replied: “No. That shows that I am right!”
Lydon is currently embarking on a spoken word tour, reading her 2020 memoir I could be wrong, I could be right. He described the experience as a “feeling of immersion or swimming”. “he explained.
These negative memories likely include his recent legal battle with his former group mates. “I just went and matched them bullet for bullet,” he said. “It puts me in a bit of a financial hole right now. It won’t kill me – people like me are resilient.