A quarter-century after they shot to infamy with the scathing anti-royal song “God Save the Queen,” the Sex Pistols are reuniting in the summer of Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. The legendary punk band will perform July 27 at London’s Crystal Palace sports center, singer John Lydon said today (May 16).
The 76-year-old monarch is marking 50 years on the throne with a series of public events around the country, including a pop concert in the grounds of Buckingham Palace on June 4. The Sex Pistols have not been invited.
Lydon – formerly known as Johnny Rotten – gave details of the band’s concert and offered his take on the role of the monarchy during an expletive-filled press conference in London. “This is our jubilee, this is our Britain and you have kind of lost that idea,” said Lydon.
“Let me remind you what being British is all about,” he said. “This is our country, this is our flag, they’re our monarchy, they don’t work too well at the moment but let’s make the [expletive] do a good job. Let’s get rid of the useless ones and keep a few of the goodies.”
After a tumultuous two-year career, the Sex Pistols split up in 1978; bassist Sid Vicious died of a drug overdose in 1979. The surviving members, plus original bass player Glen Matlock, reunited in 1996 for the Filthy Lucre Tour.
“God Save the Queen” will be rereleased May 27 in the hope it will top the charts when Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 50 years on the throne during the first weekend in June. The song – on which Lydon snarls, “God save the queen, she ain’t no human being” – shot up British charts on its release in 1977, despite receiving little radio or television airplay. It peaked at No. 2, below Rod Stewart’s “I Don’t Want To Talk About It,” but rumors persist that the Sex Pistols’ song actually sold more copies.
A single disc compilation dubbed “Jubilee” and three-disc box set are also due May 27.