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John Lydon Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (12) | Personal Quotes (62)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 31 January 1956London, England, UK
Birth NameJohn Joseph Lydon
Nickname Johnny Rotten
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Johnny Rotten was the lead singer for the legendary punk band, the Sex Pistols. He is also the lead singer for his band, PiL (Public Im age Limited). He authored the book, No Irish, no Blacks, no Dogs (an autobiography).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Mike Comish <ultisoft@micron.net>

Spouse (1)

Nora Forster (? - present)

Trade Mark (2)

Raw vocals
Spiked hair and sneer

Trivia (12)

Three younger brothers, Jimmy, Bobby and Martin Lydon
Sufferred Spinal Meningitis as a child.
Son of John Christopher and Eileen Lydon.
Lydon was knifed by offended Royalists after the Sex Pistols' classic anti-monarchy song "God Save The Queen" was released, resulting in the permanent loss of feeling in the middle two fingers of his left hand. He has played the guitar right-handed ever since.
The whole "Johnny Rotten" persona was indicated as a stage act in "The Filth & the Fury," the considerably more flattering of two documentaries on the Sex Pistols. Johnny Lydon was said to be a sickly, quiet, bookish type before he joined the group and the documentary showed that many aspects of his stage persona were inspired directly by Laurence Olivier's performance in the film "Richard III": the hunched back, the half-sneer/half-grin, the loud clothes, the tendency to shout insults at any "passersby."
The Sex Pistols were voted the 58th Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Artists of all time by Rolling Stone.
Is portrayed by Andrew Schofield in Sid and Nancy (1986)
Stepfather of Ari Up (née Ariana Forster) of the punk band The Slits.
Is portrayed by Mark Windows in 24 Hour Party People (2002).
Lives in Los Angeles with his wife and Step-children.
He was supposed to be on Pan American World Airways Flight 103 from London's Heathrow International Airport to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport on December 21, 1988, but missed the flight because his wife Nora, hadn't packed in time. The plane crashed over the town of Lockerbie, Scotland when a terrorist bomb exploded in the forward cargo hold, killing all 259 passengers and crew.
DJ for BBC Radio Two [October 2002]

Personal Quotes (62)

On acting: "I hated it. It was too long, too stressful; two minutes' working day and 12 hours' fear and nausea. And no improvising; you're just a hired robot. That might be all right for people that don't have any kind of personality, but if you have anything going for your own self, it's very, very frustrating that way."
On being on tour with the other Sex Pistols again: "They don't seem to relate to the world around them. They're stuck in this 1976 vibe. It's very peculiar. It was a bit like walking around with a museum attached to you. But then, I'm perverse enough to enjoy that."
On Malcolm Mclaren: "I'm not aware of him anymore. I haven't been for quite a long time."
On his relationship with his father: "We never ever spoke, really, seriously at all until the day I left home. And from then on in, it's been friendship total."
On body piercing: "It's just a fad now. About as much content in it as Prodigy."
On punk in the nineties: "There isn't no such thing anymore. That's something that happened way back in the late 70s. Historically, that's where it belongs. You gotta move on. Anyone imitating that now in the 90's is a bit of a fool. You should have your own thing and stop looking up to Granddad."
On hosting his own show: "If the Osmonds have got the opportunity, then why the hell shouldn't I?"
On Keith from Prodigy: "He's got my hair, he's got my accent!"
On Madonna: "I think she's an opportunist more than a talent. But, you know, she's a very good opportunist."
On Elvis Presley: "Dreadful old windbag! And I think somebody should point out that his so-called "illustrious career" - he never, not once, wrote a single song."
On rap: "Well it started out bloody well and fine, didn't it? It was very varied, it was very multicultural and had no limitations. And it soon narrowed itself into a very ridiculous, black-only attitude. And even as an all-black music formula, they still disrespect each other, in the most appalling ways."
On Prodigy: "I should put a lawsuit out on that lot! Talk about ripping my ****ing stuff off. What a fraud."
On music: "If you want to call it art, then do, but I'd put an 'f' in front of that."
On Kurt Cobain: Don't tell me he was a sensitive soul. If he was sensitive, he would have been aware that he has responsibilities to other human beings. Really, what he did was he took the easy way out, and became, to my mind, a very selfish person. Very self-centered, to do that. He could have received a lot more help from those around him. I feel sorry for him in that respect. But, you know, I actually wanted to work with him. And it pisses me off."
On Howard Stern: "He's one joke that's already tired."
On live music: "It's uncomfortable...It's badly done and it all relates to a PA system and a bad engineer. How to get sweaty with people you don't know, bad toilets and a long line at the bar. I can tell you, it ain't good for the band or you the audience."
On Sid Vicious: "I could take on England, but I couldn't take on one heroin user."
On the Filthy Lucre reunion tour: "I wanted to just finally and forever put an end to the myth that's grown up around the Sex Pistols. To just call it 'full stop', the end, finish. Then nobody can blabber on 'ad infinitum' and exaggerate and mythologize about a band that wasn't too brilliant in the first place. I mean, I know where all the talent lay... me! So I thought it would be fun to bring the other three out and show them up for the fools they are."
The day I run out of ideas is the day I stop making records.
On the Spice Girls: "They're vacuous, talentless, and what on earth does girl power mean?"
On Nelson Mandela: "I think he's a complete fake. Anyone that condoned killing and slaughter and all those things that he went to jail for originally. How can he now be a man of peace and wisdom and wonder?"
On Liam Gallagher of Oasis: "Whether Liam knows it or not he's become bourgeois, though he pretends not to be"
On Princess Diana: "She was a thoroughly useless spare tit."
On Princess Diana's funeral: "Watching that ridiculous funeral, and particularly here in LA watching people crying over their TV sets over someone they didn't understand at all... they just didn't get it. And who paid for the funeral?"
On disco: "I see no problem admiring the Bee Gees and being in The Sex Pistols."
On rock: "It needs a new generation to come out and kick everybody. I'm not going to do it myself. I've done my bit for society."
On The Cure: "They're a band I have no time for whatsoever. I think they're a farce."
On the Rolling Stones: "Good luck to them. You know, if they enjoy doing what they're doing, I'd say well and fine. But, I'm not sure that's the reason they exist. I think it's much more to do with making money."
On anarchism: "anarchy, frankly -- if you take it quite literally -- is mind games for the middle class. When you come from desperate poverty, and that's exactly what I come from, you know that nonsenses are not to be tolerated. I'm not sure who gains from chaos, but I know it's not the poor folks in the council flats. The politics of vindictiveness is never, ever anything like a solution."
On using drugs: "I used to. And found that I wasn't getting too much done."
I don't think there's any such thing as rock 'n' roll anymore -- it's an amalgamation of business interests
On Michael Jackson: "I get censored on TV, but you have that thing parading around, waving its crotch at little children. Tell me that's not seriously corrupt."
The sheep who buy Korn and Limp Bizkit . . . they're completely, utterly foolish.
On marriage: "I'm well known for being completely loyal; once I make a commitment, it's forever."
It was brought up in Parliament that I should be tied to "Traitor's Gate" and drowned. That's one of the comments from some MP. Wouldn't have been such a bad idea, really. It'd sell records.
Well, with the Pistols, there was a lot of books that came out by people who weren't there, didn't know us and exaggerated the whole thing into being some political movement. Which it wasn't. This was a bunch of people who had opinions on things. Very important opinions, it turns out. But nothing more than that. And all covered up in pop music.
I think national pride leads to nothing but wars and hates.
On the royal family: "my father worked very hard and had a lot of tax taken off to support what I'd seen as a bunch of lazy good-for-nothing inbreds. And I think time has proved me right. The British now completely agree with me on that. So, my attitude would be, about them now, to sell them off to Disneyland. I think that they would be wonderful next to the Epcot Center! And that would solve a lot of Britain's economic problems."
On Blair's Third Way: "Margaret Thatcher politics under a Labour Party guise."
(At the grand opening of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas): "I love it! It's so quintessentially American! It's a cross between a mausoleum of pop music and a temple of greed!"
On life in England before the Pistols: "You learn to expect nothing. You get nothing. You start off in school and they take your soul away. They take your brains away. You're not allowed to have an opinion that differs from theirs. So when you leave school, your only future is getting married... and by that time you've got two kids and you just want to commit suicide."
The whole Bill Grundy incident was lovely. It was heaven. He ruined his own career. It wasn't me.
Yes, with a vengeance, but we share a common cause, and that's your money. (Asked whether The Sex Pistols, about to commence their "Filthy Lucre" reunion tour, still hated each other )
Asked if he considered himself to be in the punk movement of the 70's: I would say that would be a hindsight statement. No, at the time it wasn't big at all, it was very small. The day the Sex Pistols ceased to exist was the day they became important and relevant. It wasn't working. They wanted to turn us into the Rolling Stones and I didn't want that.
I'm surprised we aren't in jail for treason.
We never bought into that Pete Townsend 'Hope I die before I get old' crap. We love our beer bellies, and you're gonna, too.
It costs a lot to go out on tour, there are a lot of wages to pay, so if Country Life want to pay me to be in their adverts I will be there. I don't know what people find so wrong about me selling British products, to me it would seem to be a good thing. The one thing I have never done and never will do is sell out.
I have no idea why, but the music industry seems intent in keeping me poor. They seem to enjoy investing in mediocrity and getting fat on profits from bands who are disposable. I can't allow it to stifle me. I know there are still people out there who want to hear the music I make. What I do is poetry in motion and it's completely original, which is a very rare thing these days. Everyone has had a piece of us from Radiohead to Massive Attack, but in the music business it seems to be a case of first come, least served.
The only place I have ever felt truly comfortable is on stage. I still get the nerves and the doubts beforehand, but on stage I feel that's my home.
Music can describe emotions far more accurately than words ever can. As soon as I realised that, I knew music was where I wanted to be.
I remember Pete Townshend once saying, "I hope I die before I get old". I thought then, well, I hope it works out for you, but me, I'm more than happy to get old.
She's a wonderful, wonderful woman, stunningly innovative and creative. One of our finest. (On Kate Bush)
I lost Sid, my best and dearest friend, to heroin, and it's not nice. You've got to get away from drugs as escapism. There's nothing you need to run away from yourself as a human being. Quite the opposite. Learn to love thyself and all will be fine.
I've got no idea what happened to dear old Keith (Keith Levene). What a waste of talent. He used to be a great guitarist. But he made the mistake of over-grandiosing his own position in PiL, and then he complicated his life with various substances. And he ended up doing fuck all. Which is a shame, because there'd be no U2 without Keith's guitar style.
The whole "I Hate Pink Floyd Thing" was hilarious. Anyone who took that seriously needs a new head. As it happens, I love early Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett - the original Sid Vicious, by the way - and even some of the '70s stuff. I just hated the assumption that they were holier than God and you couldn't give them a knock.
I'm getting a bit short-sighted now, so I just file everything according to colour, and pick up random CDs. You'll find everything there - jungle, Chris Isaak, Abba, Miles Davis, Sun Ra, the lot. Oh, and Mozart. Always Mozart. That crept into me from the soundtrack to that wonderful film, Barry Lyndon (1975). Some elements of country music annoy me, so you won't find much of that. Same with New Orleans trad jazz, those silly banjos and soprano saxes really bug me. It sounds like a French traffic jam. Otherwise, anything goes.
I'd give it all up in a flying fart second if I wanted to. But I'm only doing this because I love it. I'm now 51, and I feel quite happy about that. And if you don't, then fuck off, 'cos this is my life, mate, not yours. As for the old Pete Townshend lyric, "I hope I die before I get old" - well, no! Every time I meet Pete I tell him the same thing: "Aren't you sorry you said that?"
There was no vicious undertone in us, no nasty edge. And certainly none of the deadpan, dreary political opinions like The Clash wallowed in. We lived in the real world. We actually did come from council flats. We knew the consequences of socialism.
You can't all be fabulously out-there experimenters - you need someone who is a good structuralist to build these ideas into a solid foundation. You need a rock to build your church on.
When I first started, we assumed you couldn't go anywhere unless you had a label. But now, if you're successful at live gigs, you can make things yourselves, and present them uncontaminated.
[on the 1986 biopic Sid and Nancy] I cannot understand why anyone would want to put out a movie like Sid and Nancy and not bother to speak to me; Alex Cox, the director, didn't. He used as his point of reference - of all the people on this earth - Joe Strummer! That guttural singer from The Clash? What the fuck did he know about Sid and Nancy? That's probably all he could find, which was really scraping the bottom of the barrel. The only time Alex Cox made any approach toward me was when he sent the chap who was playing me over to New York where I was. This actor told me he wanted to talk about the script. During the two days he was there, he told me that the film had already been completed. The whole thing was a sham. It was a ploy to get my name used in connection with the film, in order to support it. To me this movie is the lowest form of life. I honestly believe that it celebrates heroin addiction. It definitely glorifies it at the end when that stupid taxi drives off into the sky. That's such nonsense. The squalid New York hotel scenes were fine, except they needed to be even more squalid. All of the scenes in London with the Pistols were nonsense. None bore any sense of reality. The chap who played Sid, Gary Oldman, I thought was quite good. But even he only played the stage persona as opposed to the real person. I don't consider that Gary Oldman's fault because he's a bloody good actor. If only he had the opportunity to speak to someone who knew the man. I don't think they ever had the intent to research properly in order to make a seriously accurate movie. It was all just for money, wasn't it? To humiliate somebody's life like that - and very successfully - was very annoying to me. The final irony is that I still get asked questions about it. I have to explain that it's all wrong. It was all someone else's fucking fantasy, some Oxford graduate who missed the punk rock era. The bastard. When I got back to London, they invited me to a screening. So I went to see it and was utterly appalled. I told Alex Cox, which was the first time I met him, that he should be shot, and he was quite lucky I didn't shoot him. I still hold him in the lowest light. Will the real Sid please stand up? As for how I was portrayed, well, there's no offense in that. It was so off and ridiculous. It was absurd. Champagne and baked beans for breakfast? Sorry. I don't drink champagne. He didn't even speak like me. He had a Scouse accent. Worse, there's a slur implied in the movie that I was jealous of Nancy, which I find particularly loathsome. There is that implication that I feel was definitely put there. I guess that's Alex Cox showing his middle class twittery. It's all too glib, it's all too easy.
[on Public Image Ltd.] Public Image is closer to jazz than anything else. Which is odd, because I hate jazz. I can't bear all those saxophone and trumpet-blowers, they drive me insane.

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