Week 42: Hero – John Lydon

by Jackie_South on October 19, 2014

Lydon_heroSinger John Lydon wins our ‘Hero’ award this week

The recent publication of Lydon‘s autobiography, Anger is an Energy, have spurred a series of interviews by TV and the press. And what a delight they have been.

First, last week there was the polite and pleasantly chatty interview on BBC Breakfast that took a sudden turn when he was asked about Vivienne Westwood:

“That rancid old bag! … Go back and sell some frocks at Ascot.”

I don’t think I’ll see Westwood on the TV again without the words “rancid old bag” springing immediately to mind.

This week, he followed this up with an appearance at the Cheltenham Literature Festival covered in the Radio Times and his webchat for The Guardian. Here’s a few excerpts:


“A black hole for the ignorant to fall into. That’s it. Farage? I wonder what the roots of that name are. I think he’s faragical.”

“What is this UK thingy about? I’ve been away a bit and suddenly there’s this preposterous bunch of… they look like this really dodgy collection of the rejects from the other terribly party?”

On political involvement (and Russell Brand):

“I’ll tell you what rubbishes politics for me – when celebrities get involved. I’m very, very wary of tagging my name into support any of these f**king phoney bastards. But don’t be like Russell Brand and bum holes like that. If you don’t vote, you don’t count.”

“The youth of today have every possibility as being as smart or a stupid as the youth of past. So long as you remove Russell Brand from the agenda. I think he’s absolutely clarified himself as arsehole number one. It’s not funny to talk nonsense.”

On politics more broadly:

Nobody sensible voted for Thatcher. And for me, in political terns, the most admirable person and most influential, would have been the philosophy of Ghandi. The ideology of passive resistance worked and can work again and again and again. It is the exact opposite of violence. A glorious conception.”

“I fully support (the NHS). I want national health and education to always be of the highest agenda and I do not mind paying tax for that.”

On U2:

“U2 – that’s a band that never should have existed. There’s no life experience in any of their songs.”

“Every time I see Bono in those big fly glasses and tight leather pants I just can’t hack it. I can’t see that as solving the world’s problems. He’s crushing his testicles in tight trousers for world peace.”

On X-Factor:

“Many people don’t understand about music which is why things like The X Factor exist… ah, that’s just f**king karaoke….”

On who should play him in a movie:

“I wanted(Justin Timberlake) to play me in the film of my first autobiography… I reckon he could have done it. He makes really bad movies, it’s like mediocre acting innit.”

On religion:

“I like lime-flavoured yoghurt. The end. There is no religion. It’s a man-made fabrication. Once you understand that, you’ll be a happier individual. Atheism is as pointless as satanism.”

Marvellous stuff. The most entertaining interviews I’ve seen or read for ages. Mr Lydon, we salute you.

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