Unlike most reunited bands, the Sex Pistols never pretended they came back together for anything but the money. "I hate to burst your bubble," guitarist Steve Jones told HitFlix in 2010. "But that’s all I’m doing it for and I think we all are if we’re really honest. I think it doesn’t matter what we’re doing it for considered what we contributed to music. If we’re doing it for money, so be it."
The band also understood a reunion was always a backwards-looking endeavor. "I love singing them old songs," Johnny Rotten told Rolling Stone in 2012. "They're very poignant and a very pertinent part of history belongs to the Sex Pistols. If I write new songs, it's PiL and that's it. Occasionally, a reenactment is a fine thing. I love Civil War reenactments."
All that said, the Sex Pistols certainly didn't half-ass the concerts on their recent reunion tours. Their homecoming gig in Brixton in 2007 was absolutely amazing. Check out this wild rendition of "Bodies," featuring punks (young and old) thrashing about like it's 1977. All four originals members of the band came back for the shows, and they sounded absolutely fantastic. "I'm one lucky cunt," Rotten says after the song wraps, "because that's the best band in the world."
The group reformed in 2008 to play festivals around Europe, but it's now been six years since they've played even a single show. Johnny Rotten has devoted much of his time since to a reformed Public Image Ltd, though this June he's hitting the road with for a 50-date arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar. He's going to play King Herod. "I'm here to sing with the King of the Jews," he said in a statement. "Who could ask for anything more?"
In October of 2013, Johnny Rotten told Rolling Stone he was done with the Sex Pistols. "Finished," he said. "I had a very good conversation with Paul [Cook], and I'm in full agreement with him. What are we doing that for? It broke us up as friends...It was supposed to bring us closer again, but it didn't. Maybe it's because it went on too long, but for me – and this is not a selfish thing at all, it's an open-hearted thing – I want their friendship more than I want that band."
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