At a panel in West Hollywood last night to promote the new documentary series Punk, John Lydon gave a wonderful performance as Johnny Rotten in which he talked trash to both Henry Rollins and Marky Ramone. Highlights above and below. Please forgive the annoying auto-play. Also on the panel were Duff McKagan (Guns 'n' Roses), Donita Sparks (L7), and Punk producer/fashion designer John Varvatos. From Rolling Stone:
“...You called Black Flag a bunch of suburban rich kids and we wanted to tear your ears off,” Rollins said (to Lydon.
“Yes, I did, but I didn’t like the fucking music,” Lydon said. “It was boring.”
After (Marky Ramone) spoke to how the Ramones blazed a trail for punk in New York and took that to London, Lydon said that he was “not even an original Ramone.” “But I did the Blank Generation album with Richard Hell, and you took his image,” Ramone replied. “All you guys took Richard Hell’s image. That’s all you did.”
“And you’re still covering your fucking ears,” Lydon said, grimacing that he’d gotten a rise out of the drummer.
"And Sid Vicious was the star,” Ramone said, prompting Lydon to smile and stick his tongue out. “That’s right, he was,” Lydon replied. “He was the star for asshole fake idiots like you. Enjoy your drugs and fuckin’ have a happy death.”
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The Sex Pistols' seminal punk masterpiece "Never Mind the Bollocks" was unleashed forty years ago tomorrow. Over at Rolling Stone, Johnny "Rotten" Lydon and original bassist Glen Matlock break down the album track-by-track:
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Matlock: Around the summertime, we were rehearsing and once again I said, "Does anybody got any ideas?" And I had a go at Steve, 'cause I felt I was pushing the band along a bit, but that time he had something, which wasn't much. And he said, "Why don't you come up with something?" And I had half an idea for a big overture, and I just started playing that descending chord progression and everybody picked up on it and said, "Where's it go next?" And I sort of geared it as we went along. John, it happened, had a bag of lyrics – just sheets of paper in a plastic bag – and he pulled something out and he said, "I've been waiting for you to come up with something because I've got this idea." Everybody had been talking about this guy, Jamie Reid, who did our artwork, and he was a bit of an agitprop kind of guy about anarchy. And John had written these lyrics.
Rotten: I have always thought that anarchy is mind games for the middle class. It's a luxury. It can only be afforded in a democratic society, therefore kind of slightly fucking redundant. It also offers no answers and I hope in my songwriting I'm offering some kind of answer to a thing, rather than spitefully wanting to wreck everything for no reason at all, other than it doesn't suit you.