Sex Pistols' Steve Jones Has One 'Bugbear' With Biopic That He Let Slide

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

May 26, 2022

Photo: Getty Images Europe

The highly-anticipated Sex Pistols miniseries, Pistol, arriving next week was based on guitarist Steve Jones' memoir, but that doesn't mean he is fully happy with the way the band's tumultuous story plays out on screen.

Jones tells NME that a longstanding misconception about Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren is reinforced in the biopic series. But he reasoned that sometimes you have to pick your battles for the sake of making a good TV show.

"One of my bugbears with the Pistols [is] the way that everyone thinks Malcolm 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 the truth."

He later complimented the show's "brilliant" cast and the overall execution of the whole production.

"You've got to make it entertaining," Jones added. "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 Paul Cook added that one of the reasons he's been so supportive of the show is that it depicts the Sex Pistols story from a new perspective: Jones'.

"Everyone knows the Sid [Vicious] and John [Lydon] 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."

Jones says that one of the reasons he wrote his book was to offer insight of the struggle at the core of the band. For all the legend around the band and its immense cultural and musical impact, he looks band and recalls being a "f---ing confused young man."

"I can't speak for everyone else, but I had no idea how to conduct myself, how to live," he added. "19, 20, 21 years old, you don't know s--t, and I think that comes across pretty accurate, as far as me."

FX's Pistol arrives May 31 via Hulu.

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