The Sex Pistols are to reform - almost 20 years after they hung up their battered guitars and removed the safety pins from their noses - for a world tour led by Johnny Rotten.
The punk group, best known for "Anarchy in the UK'' in 1976, who outraged the establishment and were banned from television for their single "God Save the Queen'', will announce details of the tour and plans for a live album in the next month.
They are expected to strike a multi-million-pound deal to appear at music festivals in Europe, the US, and the Far East, although the details are surrounded by appropriate confusion. Rotten, whose real name is John Lydon, said his plans for 1996 were "disturbing, shocking and disrupting".
The group will rehearse for four weeks before the tour, amid some concern that their anarchic style will be dulled by the fact they are now all proficient musicians. Lydon, 39, will sing with the original group members, Steve Jones, 40, on guitar, Paul Cook, 39, on drums and Glen Matlock, 39, on bass.
According to a spokesman for Virgin Records, which holds the back catalogue for the Sex Pistols' work, they will play their most famous songs. "As far as we know, there are no plans to record new numbers, and there is this possibility of a live album which we are obviously interested in, with the old stuff."
However, the group is unlikely to reproduce its version of "My Way'', sung by Sid Vicious, the infamous bass guitarist who epitomised the punk movement. He died of a heroin overdose in 1979.
The Sex Pistols' former manager, Malcolm McLaren, will be another notable absentee from the reunion. The group successfully sued him for pounds 880,000 for the rights to their music.
The plans met with a mixed reception from punk followers yesterday. Julie Burchill, the journalist who knew the group in the 1970s, said she was devastated. "It's like hearing the announcement of a death. They were the first perfect pop group, they knew when they were finished, and broke up and died. This is awful."