Johnny Rotten has cheated on me.Not literally.
OK, I don't expect that statement to elicit much sympathy.Aaaaand…you’d be right!
But I can't have been the only one to feel queasy reading the interviews John Lydon gave ahead of this week's British tour by his band, Public Image Ltd (PiL). The erstwhile Rotten believes that now his ads have boosted sales of Country Life butter, he should be courted incessantly by marketing executives. "It amazes me that people don't get the opportunity of me," he told the Guardian. "I sell."‘Former punk grows up to be quite canny with money’
Hold the front page! News at 10:00!
As I was only five at the time Anarchy in the UK was released in 1976, I wasn't conscious of hearing it until nine or 10 years later. Fashion might have moved on in that time – not that I had any knowledge of fashion – yet it is no exaggeration to say that the Sex Pistols' debut single was liberating and educational, not least because it prompted me to look up "anarchy" in the dictionary. Here was an exotic creature from London telling a young Irish boy that it was cool to defy authority.Well, yes. When you are young and foolish, you advocate and follow many strange concepts.
But when you grow up, you realise that you need to earn a living, squatting in abandoned buildings plays havoc with your piles, and Abercrombie & Fitch suits you better than a ripped t-shirt covered in beer and puke.
This is hardly news.
So, what is it about Lydon that has really got Davey’s y-fronts in a bunch?
A few months ago Lydon claimed he's "well-known for being a pacifist" and named Mahatma Gandhi as his all-time hero. Surely, then, he would be open to supporting one of the most impressive examples of Gandhi's principles being put into action in today's world: the weekly demonstrations in the West Bank village of Bi'lin, where unarmed activists are regularly fired at by Israeli forces. Surely, too, he would be sympathetic to the call made by numerous Palestinian trade unions and other campaign groups for a cultural and economic boycott of Israel.Aha! Now, the penny drops…
Not a chance, I'm afraid. Lydon has vowed to go ahead with a PiL concert in Tel Aviv, scheduled for late August. "If Elvis-fucking-Costello wants to pull out of a gig in Israel because he's suddenly got this compassion for Palestinians, then good on him," Lydon told the Independent. "But I have absolutely one rule, right? Until I see an Arab country, a Muslim country, with a democracy, I won't understand how anyone can have a problem with how they're treated."/cheer
Naturally, little Davey is shocked, shocked, to hear that his idol may not share the same political views. Clearly, this can’t be explained by anything other than the corrupting influence of capitalism.
How can Lydon so callously disregard the suffering of a people under colonial occupation? The answer is easy. PiL will be performing in Tel Aviv as headliners at a festival sponsored by Heineken. Along with giving him all the free beer he can swallow, Lydon can be sure the brewers will help to swell his bank account.Yes, it’s clearly all about money, Davey.