Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten ‘crawled to Freddie Mercury on his hands and knees’

Harry and Meghan are 'parasites' says Sex Pistols' John Lydon

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The new band biopic launched on Disney Plus today, and Lydon has been in constant conflict with his two other bandmates, Paul Cook and Steve Jones, after apparently trying to block use of Sex Pistols music on the show. It went to court last year and Lydon lost but he has been back on GMTV this week claiming that hadn’t been his intention and blaming it on the record company – but still blasting his bandmates and calling the director an “a***hole.” He added: “Danny Boyle… never made any effort to speak to me at all, so his behaviour in this really is quite appalling. It seems like a gargantuan effort to deny that I really do exist.”

Live on the show, Alison Hammond read him a statement from Boyle: “I love Lydon for what he does and I don’t want him to like it. I think that he’s he has an absolute right. Why would you change the habit of a lifetime?”

Ever since the Sex Pistols started making waves in 1976, they were notorious for clashing with the establishment (and each other). Perhaps the most famous and hilarious encounter happened with Queen when both bands found themselves at the same recording studios. 

Lydon’s bandmate, Sid Vicious, thought he could take on Freddie Mercury but quickly found he had met his match in 1977  at the legendary Wessex Studios. A hilarious series of encounters would later be immortalised by Freddie in interviews.

At the time, the punk band had only released one single, 1976’s Anarchy in the UK, but the buzz around them was huge – and they knew it.

Queen were recording their sixth studio album. It was the follow-up to the game-changing A Night At The Opera, which had, of course, included Bohemian Rhapsody. The new album would include the future anthems We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions.

But seismic changes were shaking the musical landscape with the meteoric rise of punk rock. Queen were commonly regarded as the antithesis to the new movement, even though the new track Sheer Heart Attack can be regarded as a form of punk rock.

The stage was set for a showdown and the newcomers were about to get schooled by a legend in ballet pumps.

Although the face-off between Freddie and Sid would go down in music history, the punk rocker’s bandmate Johnny Rotten also hilariously “crawled” into Queen’s studio to pay homage.

Queen’s roadie, Peter Hince, recalled how they had to have a word with The Sex Pistols’ sound engineer: “One of the band members just crawled on all fours across our studio up to the side of the piano, said, ‘Hello Freddie,’ and left on all fours. Could you make sure he doesn’t do it again?”

Brian May also later described having several conversations about music with Rotten when they kept bumping into each other in the corridors.

However, the real fireworks happened when Sid decided to try and take on Freddie.

Queen star Roger Taylor said: “Sid came in and Sid was a moron, you know. He was an idiot.”

Sid decided to be clever and pick on the fact the Queen frontman had famously given a recent interview in NME where he waxed on about his love for ballet.

Hince said: “Sid Vicious stumbled in, the worse for wear, and addressed Fred, ‘Have you succeeded in bringing ballet to the masses yet?’ Fred casually got up, walked over to him and quipped: ‘Aren’t you Stanley Ferocious or something?’, took him by the collar and threw him out.”

Freddie, himself, also described the moment in far greater detail (and with a slightly different nickname for Sid).

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Sfu-oko0Fl8

Talking to Australian TV host Molly Meldrum, he said: “The Sex Pistols happened to be in the next studio. Can you imagine there was just the whole thing about punk rock and anti-establishment all coming under one roof?

“And I got Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious to listen to one of our tracks and I said ‘I’ll sing on one of yours if you sing on one of mine.’ You should have seen him, ‘We can’t be seen with Freddie Mercury’ and all that. I was wearing ballet pumps at the time…

“I called Sid Vicious ‘Simon Ferocious’ or something and he didn’t like it at all, and I said, ‘What are you gonna do about it?’ And he had all these very, well, sort of…he was very well-marked and I said, ‘Did you really make sure you scratched yourself in the mirror properly today?’ And he hated the fact that I could even speak like that. So I think we survived that test.”

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