Punk rock icon John Lydon made his final public appearance in support of the release of his recent autobiography at Oxford University on Monday, and the 300 people who were in attendance got what they expected. The man known as Johnny Rotten talked about everything from his incredible distaste for organized religion to the current status of his old band, the Sex Pistols, and he was as colorful, honest and, well, rotten as ever. He referred to “all religion” as “vile and poisonous and idiotic,” but it was Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger who really felt the most of Lydon’s venom.
When asked if Sex Pistols fans could get their hopes up for a reunion of the band’s living members, Lydon said of the idea, according to NME, “That’s finished. I mean have you seen us? We’ve all put on weight, but Mr. [Steve] Jones is coming in at 500 pounds! And I did the butter advert!” So is it an age thing? Does Lydon believe there’s an expiration date for aging rockers hitting the road? Not exactly.
“No, only if you’re Mick Jagger. Did anybody see last year’s Glastonbury? I mean come on Mick… it’s not about age here, it’s about the show off bullshit… I wanted the Stones to give us the juice, the stuff that really put them there in the first place.”
He added: “But no, it’s Mick in ladies’ tights and his testicles are frocked and he’s running around like a speed freak and then there’s the band looking incredibly embarrassed and wearing the awful, I call them Tommy Hilfiger kind of colours, like Cliff Richard-on-holiday wear. And if I turn into that… then you’re all welcome.” (Via NME)
The imagery of Jagger’s balls crammed into ladies’ tights is already too much for my fragile brain, so if Lydon’s willing to spare us the same show a second time, more power to him. But that doesn’t mean he’s done with music, as he’s still playing with PiL. He’d just prefer not to look like a musical episode of The Walking Dead.