Simon Vozick-Levinson
September 19, 2007 AT 12:00 PM EDT

My first reaction when I read that the Sex Pistols are reuniting this fall (sans Sid Vicious, R.I.P.) for a gig celebrating their debut’s 30th anniversary was unadulterated dismay. After telling the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame to piss off just last year, were the Pistols really going to give themselves a big ol’ complacent pat on the back in exchange for a paycheck? Could anything be more antithetical to the nasty, nihilistic attitude that made them great in the first place?

Of course, as PopWatch’s Gary Susman quickly reminded me, the Pistols haven’t exactly been averse to this kind of brazen crassness before. The first time they reunited, in 1996, they called it the “Filthy Lucre Tour,” and before that they participated in the 1980 film The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, which portrayed their entire career as a hollow mercenary scam on the part of manager Malcolm McLaren. (Whether that crassness was itself a put-on is another question.) Still, something seems a little off this time around. I can only hope that John Lydon (pictured) was being sarcastic when he told the U.K.’s NME that the Pistols are reuniting because “We’re all Londoners… there would be no Sex Pistols without dear old London town” and invited “all of Britain” to “come on down” to the show. With sentiments that treacly, the erstwhile Johnny Rotten might as well be Paul McCartney! (No offense, Sir Paul, I love you too.)

That said, if I come across a spare ticket to London by November, I am so jumping on the next plane to Heathrow to catch this show. Have any of you been able to figure out whether the Pistols are joking, or what?

addCredit(“John Lydon: Jeffrey Mayer/”)

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