The Showtime series Californication is about to get a shot of punk rock this season in the form of Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones.

Jones joins the cast as “Krull,” a road manager to a rock star played by comedian Tim Minchin and is also featured on the soundtrack via a David Bowie cover he recorded over two decades ago. 

He’s been a rock legend for years, so how did he get cast as a road manager? “I have no idea man,” he told “Tom Kapinos (Californication creator and executive producer) just tracked me down, I believe he saw me (doing a cameo) on Portlandia, and he thought I’d be perfect for this role.” Which meant that Jones had to do some catching up. 

“You know what, I hadn’t watched Californication. Don’t tell anybody! Only because I don’t watch a lot of TV. I like documentaries, I watch the Soccer Channel, I like the Military Channel.”

Being cast on Californication led to Kaprinos getting a song from Jones’ solo catalog for the series: his cover of David Bowie’s “Suffragette City,” off of his 1989 album Fire And Gasoline.  

That album came at time when Jones was in the public eye more than he had been since the 1978 demise of the Sex Pistols.  He was being introduced to a new generation via some of his heavy metal fans: Megadeth invited him to guest on their cover of the Pistols’ “Anarchy In The U.K.” and the members of Guns ‘N Roses and The Cult were often singing his praises. In fact, Fire And Gasoline was produced by Cult frontman Ian Astbury and featured guest vocals from Axl Rose. 

As Jones remembers it: “I used to get so much p***y around that time, it was brilliant! I had the long hair, I was in shape, I looked like Fabio, I was getting laid left and right.”  His long haired, muscular look (have a look here) was quite a change from his punk rock look of the ’70s. Did he take any flak from his old fans, or former bandmates? “I couldn’t care less about what people think of me! I do what I do, and I don’t care about what other people think is cool. I don’t care about image!”

Another thing he — and his fellow Sex Pistols — don’t care about: The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. They famously didn’t show up in 2006 when they were inducted.  

“It’s kind of a bulls*** thing, it’s a lot of kiss-a** slapping on the back.  It’s not what we were into, or what I’m into. They still got our statues somewhere in Cleveland, I was thinking of getting mine… and selling it on eBay.”

As for upcoming music?  “Nothing is planned, I might do a solo album, maybe do covers, or do an acoustic thing.”  Before being asked, he quickly adds, “No Sex Pistols tours, nothing!” 

Other than his role on Californication, Jones keeps busy hosting his weekly show Jonesy’s Jukebox on L.A. rock station KROQ. It airs Sunday nights from 7 – 9 pm PT. This weekend, his guest is Tom Kapinos,  making this the perfect warm up to the season premiere, which airs at 10:30 pm.  Listen to the show here.  

The show’s soundtrack, featuring Jones’ “Suffragette City,” as well as covers of songs by Metallica, Tom Petty and Iron Maiden, comes out on January 15. 

Brian Ives, 

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