By this point, John Lydon’s status as a one-time punk pioneer has been overshadowed by a series of right-leaning political faux pas. But perhaps unsurprisingly, the man once known as Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten has now gone so far as to retract the message of his band’s debut single “Anarchy in the U.K.,” saying that he isn’t an anarchist at all.
“Anarchy is a terrible idea,” Lydon wrote in a new essay 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.”
Just in time for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, Lydon also went on to clarify his stance on the concept of monarchy: “God bless the Queen,” he wrote. “She’s put up with a lot. I’ve got no animosity against any one of the royal family. Never did… 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.'”
Lydon didn’t use his Times essay to mention Pistol, Danny Boyle’s new limited biopic series about the Sex Pistols — but we already know how he feels about it. Meanwhile, Lydon’s ex-bandmate Steve Jones recently said he doesn’t care for the Sex Pistols’ music anymore, and would rather listen to Steely Dan.