You probably didn't think it was possible given his reputation. But it actually was civil. Founding member of the legendary Sex Pistols, Royal agitator, founder of PiL, and lover of British Butter, Johnny "Rotten" Lydon has broken the chains of litigation that kept him from recording and releasing music for two decades. He has a reputation for being...ahem..difficult during interviews. Sometimes walking out or hanging up in the first 30 seconds or torturing the interviewer to the point of tears. Always the provocateur. I had 10 minutes with him on the phone. But I just kept thinking, "He was in the f***ing Sex Pistols!
I was expecting to get the treatment but instead got a much more, dare I say, mature Johnny. He is definitely "Older and Wiser" as the saying goes and was quite the gentlemen. He still had that British Punk sneer in his voice but took on the few questions I had in the little time I had with him. We talked about the return of his experimental band PiL(Public Image Limited), his turn as a spokesperson for a popular butter, the concept of "selling out" and The American Civil War(he apparently is quite the history buff and has plans to make a documentary about the subject). Of course I was in awe. Even if it was just on the phone. I had been listening to his music since I was 13 so I tried not to be too much of a fanboy. Thankfully he was gentle.
Listen to the interview here:
Johnny with the Pistols in the late 70's:
Johnny on Judge Judy. Yes..this did happen.
Johnny selling butter:
John will be with his band PiL(Public Image Ltd.) at Royale, Boston on October 15. The new PiL album is called This Is... and you can get it here.