Johnny Rotten, is an English singer, songwriter and musician. He is best known as the lead singer of the late-1970s British punk band the Sex Pistols, which lasted from 1975 until 1978, and again for various revivals during the 1990s and 2000s. With the Sex Pistols, he penned singles including “Anarchy in the U. After the Sex Pistols disbanded in 1978, Lydon went on to found his own band, Public Image Ltd, which was far more experimental in nature and described in a 2005 NME review as “arguably the first post-rock group.
There has been a recent revival of a 1980s movement to have Lydon knighted for his achievements with the Sex Pistols, even though he has declined efforts to award him an MBE for his services to music. I view myself as British first and foremost. When my parents came over from Ireland they became intrinsically working-class English. John Joseph Lydon was born in London on 31 January 1956.
John, the eldest of four brothers, had to look after his siblings due to his mother’s regular illnesses. As a child, he lived on the edge of an industrial estate and would often play with friends in the factories when they were closed. At the age of seven, he contracted spinal meningitis and spent a year in St Ann’s Hospital in Haringey, London. That’s when Sid started to come around to my way of fashion. I gave him his first decent haircut, which was the punk style as it soon became. With his father often away, employed variously on building sites or oil rigs, Lydon got his first job aged ten as a minicab dispatcher, something he kept up for a year while the family was in financial difficulty.
He was kicked out of school at fifteen years old after a run-in with a teacher, and went on to attend Hackney College, where he befriended John Simon Ritchie, and Kingsway Princeton College. Lydon gave Ritchie the nickname “Sid Vicious,” after his parents’ pet hamster. Lydon was also interested in dub music. Vicious’ chaotic relationship with girlfriend Nancy Spungen, and his worsening heroin addiction, caused a great deal of friction among the band members, particularly with Lydon, whose sarcastic remarks often exacerbated the situation. The Sex Pistols’ disintegration was documented in Julian Temple’s satirical pseudo-biographical film, The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, in which Jones, Cook and Vicious each played a character. Matlock only appeared in previously recorded live footage and as an animation and did not participate personally.
The first lineup of the band included bassist Jah Wobble and former Clash guitarist Keith Levene. In 1983, Lydon co-starred with Harvey Keitel in the movie thriller Corrupt, a. Copkiller and The Order of Death. He had a small role in the 2000 film The Independent. In 1984, Lydon worked with Time Zone on their single “World Destruction”.
Bill Laswell, the single was an early example of “rap rock”, along with Run-DMC. Afrika Bambaataa: I was talking to Bill Laswell saying I need somebody who’s really crazy, man, and he thought of John Lydon. I knew he was perfect because I’d seen this movie that he’d made , I knew about all the Sex Pistols and Public Image stuff, so we got together and we did a smashing crazy version, and a version where he cussed the Queen something terrible, which was never released. John Lydon: We went in, put a drum beat down on the machine and did the whole thing in about four-and-a-half hours. Laswell also played bass and produced.
In 1993, Lydon’s first autobiography, Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs, was published. In the mid-1990s, Lydon hosted Rotten Day, a daily syndicated US radio feature written by George Gimarc. The format of the show was a look back at events in popular music and culture occurring on the particular broadcast calendar date about which Lydon would offer cynical commentary. In 1997 Lydon released a solo album on Virgin Records called Psycho’s Path. He wrote all the songs and played all the instruments. In one song, “Sun”, he sang the vocals through a toilet roll.
In January 2004, Lydon appeared on the British reality television programme I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! He proved he still had the capability to shock by calling the show’s viewers “fucking cunts” during a live broadcast. In a February 2004 interview with the Scottish Sunday Mirror, Lydon said that he and his wife “should be dead”, since on 21 December 1988, thanks to delays caused by his wife’s packing, they missed the Pan Am Flight 103 that crashed in Lockerbie, Scotland. After I’m a Celebrity, he presented a documentary about insects and spiders called John Lydon’s Megabugs that was shown on the Discovery Channel. Radio Times described him as “more an enthusiast than an expert”. In late 2008 Lydon appeared in an advertising campaign for “Country Life”, a popular brand of butter, on British television. Lydon defended the move by stating that the main reason he accepted the offer was to raise money to reform Public Image Ltd without a record deal.