The Sex Pistols have turned down a request by the organizers to perform at the closing ceremony of the upcoming London Olympics.
Pistols frontman John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) tells Billboard the reason they passed was due to 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."
These days, Lydon continues his work with Public Image Limited.
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