As the United Kingdom prepares for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of Queen Elizabeth, who is 70 years on the throne, the Sex Pistols have turned their way into the conversation.
The band’s official YouTube channel has released a new video for their one-time banned anti-anthem, “God Save the Queen”.
The video combines footage of Julian Temple performing at the Marquee in May 1977, along with clips of the band’s infamous cruise up the Thames during that year’s Emperor’s Silver Jubilee celebrations:
The re-release comes ahead of filmmaker Danny Boyle’s series about the band,
“Pistols,” which hits Hulu on Tuesday.
In true Pistols fashion, the series has split the surviving members of the band. Frontman John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten dismissed it as “outrageous” and was involved in a legal battle with his former bandmates as he attempted to block the use of Sex Pistols music in the series.
“God Save the Queen” was immediately banned by the BBC and commercial radio during its initial release in 1977, and many stores refused to keep records. It still managed to reach number two on the singles chart and number one on NME’s chart.
Despite the song’s lyrics refraining “God save the Queen / She’s no human” and “No future”, Lydon has since insisted that the song is not against the Queen as a person, only as an institution. As is monarchy.
“It’s anti-royal, but it’s not anti-human,” he told Piers Morgan earlier this month. “I have to tell the world this: Everyone believes I’m the human against the royal family, I’m not.”
He also gave some congratulations to the queen.
“I am really, really proud of the Queen for being alive and doing so well,” he said. “I applaud him for that and it’s a great achievement. I’m not adamant about it.”
But he also predicted there would be no future for the royal family after the death of the 96-year-old queen.
“I think this is probably the end of the monarchy because Prince Charles is not going to be able to handle it,” he said. “This is the man who plays Pink Floyd in his cauldron.”
Lydon, for the record, doesn’t even hate Pink Floyd