Pistol premiered on Hulu and Disney+ on May 31 last year. It starred Anson Boon as Johnny Rotten, Louis Partridge as Sid Vicious, Jacob Slater as Paul Cook and Christian Lees as Glen Matlock among a cast line-up that also includes Maisie Williams. It was based on guitarist Steve Jones’ memoir Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol and was directed Danny Boyle.
In a new interview with The Metal Voice, which you can watch below, Matlock said he was “very disappointed in it, actually, considering I had meetings with Danny Boyle about it.”
He continued: “I’m not disappointed that it came out, and I thought it was important that it went ahead because it was based on Steve’s story and take on things. And he was the guy that formed the band — not John [Lydon], Steve. John was the last one in the band… But my portrayal, and particularly my leaving the band — I left the band; I was not sacked. That whole episode where Steve sacked [me] is just bollocks.”
“…I just think it should have been more truthful,” Matlock added. “And I think the real story is more gritty… And I met Danny Boyle again in Los Angeles after it had come out and I had [attended] a private screening. [He said to me], ‘Hey, Glen, how are you doing?’ [And I said], ‘Danny, you’re a cunt.’ So he knows where I’m coming from on it.”
Asked if he had any involvement or input in the show, Matlock said he had meetings with Boyle but then claims he was then “ignored”.
He explained: “At the beginning, I had some meetings with Danny in particular and the production team. And I thought it had all been ironed out. But then I was ignored. So, I’m not happy. I feel shafted.”
“I went to see it with my son Louis, and I was a bit embarrassed, really. Louis sort of quite astutely said, ‘The thing is I know you did this, that and the other, and I also know this about Steve,’ he said, ‘but you and Paul just come across like two-dimensional characters; there’s no background [or information about] your family and all that.’
“A bit of that could have been in there and [they could] have fleshed things out a little bit more. And [Danny] can say, ‘Well, there’s no time for all that in there.’ Well, there was a whole episode on Chrissie Hynde not getting married to Steve, which took up an hour of everybody’s lives, which never happened.”
Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon was also critical of the series.
Lydon branded the show a “middle class fantasy” that “bears little resemblance to the truth” after claiming in 2021 that it was green-lit without his consent.
Lydon also lost a legal battle against his Sex Pistols bandmates over the series in 2021 after he refused to license the band’s music for inclusion in it. Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook legally challenged Lydon’s veto, with their lawyer appearing in the High Court.
Their lawyer Edmund Cullen said that a band agreement made in 1998 stated that decisions about licensing requests could be determined on a “majority rules basis”. Sir Anthony Mann later found that Cook and Jones were entitled to involve “majority voting rules” against their bandmate.
Lydon later doubled down on his claims, saying that he was particularly upset with the band abandoning their anti-establishment mindset to partner with Disney.
He told The Guardian.“It’s dead against everything we once stood for. The only thing you’ve got of value in your life, and you’re going to cheapen that because you want an extra fiver? Not much of a human being there.”
Danny Boyle later said that he wanted Lydon to “attack” Pistol, saying that he wouldn’t expect the singer to “change the habit of a lifetime”.