When did Sid join The Sex Pistols?

Sex Pistols: Autobiography of John Lydon : Sorry, I'm a rampage pig!

Punk was first a fashion and then became music. The birthplace of one of the most important cultural revolutions of the 20th century was a boutique on King’s Road in the fine London district of Chelsea. It was called "SEX" and was founded by Malcolm McLaren and Vivianne Westwood. On offer were traditional teddy boy outfits, bizarre patterned crepe sole shoes, fetish rubber clothes and masks like the ones worn by the "Cambridge Raptus", a serial rapist who was hunted by the police at the time. Anyone who wore something like this wanted one thing above all: to demonstrate to the world that they were different.

John Lydon discovered the store in the summer of 1975 and was enthusiastic: "The place was so brazen and anti-establishment, a reservoir for all sorts of unorthodox and fascinating characters." For a while, Lydon, who was 19 years old and had just dropped out of school had worked there as a salesman. Then one day he was approached by McLaren, who as manager of the American proto-punk band New York Dolls had already collected his first merits in the music business. He's looking for a singer for a somewhat unconventional group. Lydon was impressed by the band's “deafening racket” right from the first visit to rehearsal and pleaded for “offensive being an asshole”. The fact that he couldn't sing was the best prerequisite for starting his pop career.

John Lydon gave the yapping street dog

Because in punk it doesn't depend on skill. But on attitude. A point of view that is perhaps just an attitude and which Lydon describes with an invitation: “Create something new by destroying it.” The band that McLaren wanted to make it big was called, after lead guitarist and first front man Steve Jones, QT Jones and the Sex pistols. With their new front man John Lydon, who called himself Johnny Rotten from then on, the Sex Pistols became world famous and world notorious. Rotten, who grew up as a child of Irish immigrants in the London working-class district of Holloway, stylized himself with his torn clothes, the hostile facial expressions and the spat out anger of his songs as the counter-figure of the rock ’n’ roll glamor that was common up to now. He was scum. For three years, as long as the Sex Pistols existed, Rotten played the yapping street dog of British pop. His pseudonym stands for "rotten" and "rotten". But also for “banding together”.

John Lydon is now 59 years old, but the unholy anger of that time has not left him. He is the fuel of his life. Much of the anger is still directed against the former companion Malcolm McLaren, with whom he has also dealt with in court several times. McLaren died in 2010, but Lydon made no peace with him. “He presumed he knew everything better, and I shouldn't come like that,” Lydon complains in his autobiography, which he wrote together with pop journalist Andrew Perry. On the more than 600 pages of the book, aptly titled "Anger Is An Energy", McLaren is repeatedly the addressee of curses and curses.

Who Invented the Sex Pistols?

Lydon chalked him up "lukewarm posture, eternal pinching", makes fun of "his intellectual blah", doubts that he "was ever interested in music", describes him as ignorant and greedy. Ultimately, the question is who invented the Sex Pistols: the busy manager or the always conflict-ready singer. But the fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, meanwhile ennobled to a lady and part of the establishment still despised by Lydon, gets her fat off. She is an "old school clerk like Margaret Thatcher, absolutely dictatorial". There is no worse swear word than “Thatcher” for the eternal left-wing radical.

"Enough has been said on the subject of the Sex Pistols, even if mostly half-truths," says Lydon. You can feel a certain irritation because he is asked again and again about these three years of his life and hardly once about the other 56. Nevertheless, he then tells all the anecdotes again. How the Sex Pistols once gave a benefit concert in the maximum security prison in Chelmsford, and afterwards some of the inmates assured him that he would come back soon, as a prisoner: “If you go on like this, it can't go well!” As she said about the release of the scandal single “God Save The Queen "bobbed across the Thames on a party steamer to disrupt the Queen's silver jubilee, and were attacked by a police ship:" No more. That is unbritish! "

A hostel experience in Berlin

Or how they dismounted during a tour in the Berlin Hotel Kempinski and ended up in rooms that were “mercilessly German”. “You had to lie straight to sleep, all the wood was dark and gloomy, and everything was arranged at right angles.” The hostel experience and a visit to the wall inspired Lydon to write the anti-holiday anthem “Holidays In The Sun” the lines "I don't want a holiday in the sun / I want to go to the new Belsen." "New Belsen" means Berlin and the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page