For those wondering, Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten has issued a public comment on the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and it’s actually quite respectful. Rotten, of course, will always be linked to the Queen thanks to the band’s ’70s classic “God Save the Queen.”
The track became popular during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebration, viewed by many as a protest against the monarchy’s treatment of the working class. The band performed the track on a boat trip that coincided with the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebration. Hopping aboard a boat named the Queen Elizabeth, they traveled down the River Thames and several members of their party and entourage were arrested after they docked.
Rotten, who these days goes by his given name of John Lydon, kept his comments succinct, offering, “Rest in Peace Queen Elizabeth II. Send her victorious.”
Rest in Peace Queen Elizabeth II.
Send her victorious.
— John Lydon Official (@lydonofficial) September 9, 2022
Two of his Sex Pistols bandmates weren’t quite as diplomatic after learning of the Queen’s death, with bassist Glen Matlock commenting, “God save the king – hope he’s not a silly old thing…” Meanwhile, guitarist Steve Jones posted some Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen” artwork featuring an image of the queen with a safety pin through her lip and the wording, “God Save the Queen / She Ain’t No Human Being” on the image. Jones simply commented, “How do you feel?” along with the image.
God save the king – hope he’s not a silly old thing…
— Glen Matlock (@GlenMatlock) September 8, 2022
How do you feel? pic.twitter.com/fDGnLHv3Sc
— JONE$Y$ JUKEBOX (@JonesysJukebox) September 8, 2022
Earlier this year, as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration was about to begin, John Lydon offered further insight on his views toward Queen Elizabeth II during a chat on U.K.’s Talk TV program Piers Morgan Uncensored.
When Morgan started up a discussion on Lydon’s views of the Royal Family, bringing up the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen,” the singer stated, “It’s anti-royalist, but it’s not anti-human.”
“I’ve got to tell the world this. Everyone presumes that I’m against the royal family as human beings, I’m not. I’m actually really, really proud of the queen for surviving and doing so well,” said Lydon, while also raising his hand to his brow with a salute. “I applaud her for that and that’s a fantastic achievement. I’m not a curmudgeon about that.”
That said, he defended his stance within the song, stating, “I just think that if I’m paying my tax money to support this system I should have a say so in how it’s spent.”
Discussing the Royal Family’s future amidst the Queen’s health issues earlier this year, Lydon also added, “I think it’s possibly the end of the monarchy because Prince Charles is not going to be able to handle it. This is the man who plays Pink Floyd to his cabbages.”
Lydon was far from the only musician to share their thoughts in mourning the Queen’s death. See some of other commentary on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II here.