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The Sex Pistols Talked About Writing New Music in 1996

Rosie Greenway, Getty Images
Rosie Greenway, Getty Images

After 18 years apart the Sex Pistols reunited in 1996 for the Filthy Lucre tour, but it could have been a lot more. Bassist Glen Matlock said that three members of the group were in favor of them writing new music at the time, with the lone veto coming from the person who would have to sing the songs, John Lydon, better known as Johnny Rotten.

“Back in 1996, there was a bit of talk about it,” he told NME. “Me, Steve [Jones] and Paul [Cook] [wanted to] but John thought shy of it. I don’t know why, maybe he thought stuff that he’d written didn’t match up to [the past] and that [the band’s legacy] might be diminished by it somehow.”

Matlock was the original bass player for the Sex Pistols and played on their debut single, “Anarchy in the U.K.” But he was fired in February 1977, reportedly because he liked the Beatles, before the recording of their lone LP, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, even though he co-wrote many of the songs. He was replaced by Sid Vicious — who died in 1979, a year after the band broke up — but Matlock returned for the reunion.

The group got back together for more touring in 2002-3 and 2007-8, but Matlock hasn’t spoken to Lydon since that final show in Spain in 2008. “He’s doing something, and I’ve been doing a bit of playing with Paul Cook with a project we kick-started for Teenage Cancer Trust,” he said, adding, “In all bands there’s all different, kind of, little mini soap operas” and that he doesn’t “get up in the morning thinking about” when or if they will get back together again.

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