The cast of up-and-coming young actors who play the band in the ‘Pistol’ mini-series also posed for pictures at the classy event in the capital’s Leicester Square on Monday.
But, in keeping with the band’s trademark controversy, frontman John Lydon – known as Johnny Rotten at the time – was absent, having scathingly criticized the project in interviews and even sued. in a failed attempt to block the band’s music from being used in the six-part series.
Based on Jones’ memoir “Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol,” the drama tells the guitarist’s story of how a group of working-class teenagers formed the band in 1975, and became both reviled by the British establishment and adored by the young rebels before they were separated during a chaotic American tour in 1978.
With hits like ‘Anarchy in the UK’ and ‘God Save the Queen’ – an irreverent attack on the British monarchy launched in 1977 on the occasion of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee – the Sex Pistols became the focal point of a punk revolution that inspired a generation of young Britons growing up in the 1970s at a time of economic hardship.
“I love the lack of deference, the country was riddled with deference to these stupid people…and they blew it all up, and by blowing it up they made it a whole lot better,” said Boyle, who won an Oscar for directing “Slumdog Millionaire” and first rose to fame with the cult hit “Trainspotting.”
The Sex Pistols’ popularity was boosted by their anarchic attitudes and sworn performances live on TV, with “God Save the Queen” nearly reaching No. 1 on the official UK charts amid the Silver Jubilee festivities. of the Queen.
Echoing the events of 1977, “Pistol” will be released days before a weekend celebrating the Queen’s platinum jubilee – just as the cost of living crisis takes hold and tough economic times loom over Great Britain. -Britain and the rest of the world.
“You hope a story is swimming in the news at the time you’re doing it, but you have no idea. You do it because you feel a sudden connection to it,” Boyle said.
The series stars Toby Wallace as Jones, Jacob Slater as drummer Cook, Anson Boon as frontman Rotten and Louis Partridge as bassist Sid Vicious, who died of a drug overdose shortly after the breakup of the band. The troupe of young actors prepared by immersing themselves in music recorded long before they were born.
“I had never sung before. That’s the most special part of this show for me is that every concert you see, we did it live… We spent three months in a music camp to learn to play,” Boon said.
Slater said it was “incredible” that Paul Cook was there to help.
“He showed me parts of the drums and stuff, which was very surreal,” Slater added.
The series also depicts life around the Kings Road SEX shop run by Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster, and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, played by Talulah Riley, who defined the look of the band and the London punk movement.
McLaren, who died in 2010, is featured as a major character in the series, the group’s fanatical backstage conductor.
“I think he was someone who had this vision of a boring, dull England and wanted to kick it in the ass and wake it up. And he used this forgotten younger generation of boys to be his tools. to do it,” Brodie-Sangster said.
“Pistol” will be streamed on Disney+ in Britain and Hulu in the US from May 31.