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Sex Pistols Original Members: Where Are They Now?


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Image Credit: Andre Csillag/Shutterstock

The Sex Pistols will always be remembered for their influence on punk rock music. The British rock band formed in London in 1975 and initiated the punk movement in the U.K. Their initial career only lasted two and a half years, but they still were widely successful and influential. The band’s only studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, reached number one in the U.K. They disbanded in 1978 but reunited on-and-off over the years until 2008, which marked the group’s final music release together.

Vocalist John Lydon (known as “Johnny Rotten”), guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook, and bassist Glen Matlock were the original members of the Sex Pistols. Sid Vicious replaced Glen before the band disbanded. The Sex Pistols’ rise to fame will be explored in the TV miniseries Pistol, premiering May 31 on FX on Hulu. Here’s where Johnny Rotten and the rest of the Sex Pistols are today.

Johnny Rotten

Johnny Rotten
THEN: Johnny Rotten in the Sex Pistols; NOW: Johnny Rotten on ‘Good Morning Britain’ in September 2021 (Ian Dickson/Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

Johnny Rotten, 66, was the lead singer of the Sex Pistols. After the group disbanded, he formed his own successful punk band, Public Image Ltd., which is still active today. His bandmates include Bruce SmithLu Edmonds, and Scott Firth. Johnny put out one solo studio album in 1997 called Psycho’s Path. He also released a compilation album, The Best of British £1 Notes, in 2005. Johnny recently appeared as a contestant on season 6 of The Masked Singer. He was the Jester and was eliminated in the eighth episode. Johnny is currently married to German publishing heiress Nora Forster and they are the guardians of her late daughter Ari Up‘s three children. Johnny is being played by Anson Boon in Pistol.

Steve Jones

Steve Jones
THEN: Steve Jones in the Sex Pistols; NOW: Steve Jones at the ‘Pistol’ red carpet event in May 2022 ( Ian Dickson/Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup for FX/Shutterstock)

Steve Jones, 66, was the lead guitarist of the Sex Pistols. He went on to form the pink rock band The Professionals with his bandmate Paul Cook. Steve also formed the rock supergroup Neurotic Outsiders with members of Guns N’ Roses and Duran Duran, but the band only lasted for three years. Steve has put out two solo albums, 1987’s Mercy and 1989’s Fire and Gasoline. He also had his own radio show, Jonesy’s Jukebox, and he continues to work as a disc jockey on local radio stations in Southern California. In 2019, Steve suffered a heart attack but he recovered. Steve is being played by Toby Wallace in Pistol.

Glen Matlock

Glen Matlock
THEN: Glen Matlock in the Sex Pistols; NOW: Glen Matlock in May 2018 (Andre Csillag/Wiktor Szymanowicz/Shutterstock)

Glen Matlock, 65, was the lead bass guitarist in the Sex Pistols. He left the band before it officially disbanded to perform with numerous other groups. He’s played for Rich Kids, Vicious White KidsIggy Pop, The Damned, and The International Swingers. He also formed the band Glen Matlock & The Philistines that released music from 1996 to 2018. Since his Sex Pistols replacement Sid Vicious died, Glen has stepped in as bass guitarist for any reunion shows with the group. It’s unclear if Glen has ever been married. He’s being played by Christian Lees in Pistol.

Paul Cook

Paul Cook
THEN: Paul Cook in the Sex Pistols; NOW: Paul Cook at the ‘Pistol’ red carpet event in May 2022 (Paul Fievez/ANL/Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup for FX/Shutterstock)

Paul Cook, 65, was the lead drummer of the Sex Pistols. Once they disbanded, Paul started the band The Professionals with Steve and Andy Allan. As of 2021, the group has released four studio albums and various singles, EPs, and compilations. Paul has also worked with the bands Bananarama and Chiefs of Relief over the years, plus his occasional reunions with the Sex Pistols. Paul is currently married to Jeni Cook, a former member of the British new wave band Culture Club. They live in West London with their daughter Hollie Cook, a solo musician. Paul is being played by Jacob Slater in Pistol.

Sid Vicious

Sid Vicious
Sid Vicious in London in 1977 (Photo: Elisa Leonelli/Shutterstock)

Sid Vicious, whose real name was John Simon Ritchie, but also went by John Beverly, joined the Sex Pistols in 1977, replacing bass guitarist Glen Matlock. He was previously the co-founder and vocalist of the band Flowers of Romance. Sid Vicious played with the Sex Pistols until the group dissolved in 1978. Afterwards, he struggled with drug and alcohol abuse, slipping into a brief coma in January 1978. Later that year, Sid was accused of murdering his girlfriend Nancy Spungen, who was found dead in their hotel room. He was charged with second-degree murder, but was released on bail. He ended up assaulting someone at a New York City club and got locked up in Riker’s Island for seven weeks. After Sid was released in Feb. 1979, he resumed partying and died of a heroin overdose at the age of 21. Sid is being played by Louis Partridge in Pistol.


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