What Steve Jones Doesn’t Like About Sex Pistols TV Series
Pistol, directed by Danny Boyle, arrives on FX on May 31. Previewing the release in a new interview with NME, Jones and bandmate Paul Cook discussed the pros and cons of the show, which was the subject of a failed lawsuit brought by singer John Lydon.
“One of my bugbears with the Pistols [is] the way that everyone thinks Malcolm [McLaren] manipulated the band and we were his puppets,” Jones said. “That’s totally not the truth. That would never have happened. It does perpetuate that a bit in the series, which is one of the points of it that I didn’t like, I must admit. But that’s the story – a lot of people believe it; a lot of people know it’s not true.”
He added that "the acting, I think, is brilliant. Obviously, not everyone looks identical to the original but it’s not a documentary, it’s a show. … You’ve got to make it entertaining. You’ve got to look at the big picture, not in this tiny little world where everything happened in real-time and identical. It’s very heartfelt, as well – it’s not just like a joke. It’s got all the elements: sad parts, humorous, different relationships. It’s great and I’m well happy. I’m sure there’s gonna be a bunch of people that are gonna tear it to pieces, but that’s OK.”
Drummer Cook said the series offered a new perspective on the Sex Pistols, who have often been presented through the viewpoints of Lydon and late bassist Sid Vicious. “Everyone knows the Sid and John story - they’re the main characters in the band, the two iconic figures,” Cook said. “I thought it was great to get Steve’s side because he was the true spirit of the Pistols, at the end of the day. Sid had the look and the attitude; John had the verbal attack. But Steve was the true spirit of the band. It kind of all started and revolved around him.”
"I think it shows that, on the outside, it all seemed like a laugh, but on the inside, there was this fucking confused young man," Jones reflected. "A lot of people forget [that] from the beginning to the end we were all young. … I can’t speak for everyone else, but I had no idea how to conduct myself, how to live. [At] 19, 20, 21 years old, you don’t know shit, and I think that comes across pretty accurate, as far as me.”