John Lydon says he allowed the Sex Pistols’ songs to be included in the Olympic Games opening ceremony because Danny Boyle chose to represent the NHS in it.
The punk band had a hit with ‘God Save The Queen’ – which was hugely controversial due to its anti-establishment lyrics that were seen as an assault on the royal family – and the singer admitted it took a while to convince him to use the record at the event attended by Queen Elizabeth.
He said: “I need a lot of convincing to do anything. But the man [Danny] Boyle only had to say, ‘NHS’ and I said, ‘Yes sir, at your service.’ I am wary of people using the Pistols and the battles we fought for their own ends but Boyle had it right about the history of this country.
“For the opening scenes with the camera going along the Thames they wanted only the guitar refrain from ‘God Save The Queen’. We said, ‘Fuck. Off.’ You hear the words or it doesn’t happen.”
The outspoken star ruled out making any more songs with his former band as he admits he hates his old management because they are only interested in making money from T-shirts and other gimmicks.
He told Q magazine: “Here’s why I can’t work with the Sex Pistols. They are represented by management which I consider to be aiming to cash in on Kiss-style key rings and crap T-shirts. That is not appropriate.
“When we were negotiating the Olympic shindig the manager wanted the band pushed aside and replaced by an image of Sid [Vicious] so they could sell T-shirts. I pushed for Paul Cook to be up there and I did it! I got Paul Cook into the Olympics.”