Why would John Lydon and the remaining Pistols turn down a prestigious gig like the closing of the London Summer Olympics? Let's face it Johnny has 'sold out' many times, so it wasn't really punk rock integrity- or was it?
Looks like it was pretty simple. Censorship.
"They came after us for that, but their approach was wrong," says Lydon. "Censorship mattered more than the content of the Pistols. If you're going to be celebrating what is great about Britain, the honesty of the Sex Pistols is one of those things. If you censor the words of any one song, you're killing the honesty and I couldn't tolerate that. From my point of view we said we didn't want nothing to do with them. Such is the world we live in."
Lydon wouldn't get into the details of what the Olympics crew wanted to censor; "There's no point, really, to it. There's no joy in that," he explains. But Lydon did lament that, "I think the world has become more conservative now than it was back" when the group formed during the mid-70s.
"All the things we fought so hard against are slowly creeping back in," he notes. "If you're going to put a negative on a word, then you're denying the human race the very thing we're most proud of. Our greatest sense of achievement as a species is our language. Through language we can communicate abstract thoughts. So you cannot limit anyone's vocabulary. Of course you can laugh at someone using a word incorrectly, but you can't resent them for it."
Johnny Lydon has never really left the industry, Still going on with Public Image Ltd, he maintains his gnarly sense of things. You cant help but respect him, even 40+ years later. Though his quote might be cryptic, it just makes The Sex Pistols even more cool.