Steve Jones Didn’t Know What the Word ‘Anarchy’ Meant
Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones admitted he didn’t know what the word "anarchy" meant, even when his band recorded their classic 1976 single “Anarchy in the U.K.”
“I was pretty illiterate back then. I’m not proud of it, but that’s just the way it was,” Jones recently confessed while appearing on the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast. “And I never listened to lyrics.”
Though Jones didn’t comprehend the words delivered by Sex Pistols singer John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten), he knew the general message he was trying to convey in “Anarchy in the U.K.”.
“I mean, I knew he’s on about something,” Jones noted. “But to me, it was all just great. Whatever it is. The music was what I used to get drawn to. With any bands. Even if it was pop songs. It was the catchiness that drew me in or the chorus. I really didn’t listen to, like, if I were to listen to Bob Dylan songs, I wouldn’t have a clue what he was singing about. It was too intelligent for me.”
Lydon - long regarded as a major figure in punk rock’s antiestablishment history - turned heads recently when he said, “Anarchy is a terrible idea. Let’s get that clear. I’m not an anarchist.”
The singer also expressed support for Queen Elizabeth, even though another Sex Pistols classic, “God Save the Queen,” was famously anti-royal.
When informed of Lydon’s recent comments, Jones said he wasn’t surprised. “We get older, you change. I think it’s all part of life," the guitarist explained. "I mean, I think it’d be silly if you had the same thinking that you did when you was 19, when you’re a kid and you don’t know shit, to when you’re older. Everyone changes. Even if some people find it hard to change.”