Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 31

Okay, how can I explain how important John Lydon is? He didn't invent punk music; you have to look at New York, and bands like the Ramones, the New York Dolls, Television... You can't say that he started the Sex Pistols; that was Malcolm McLaren, an aspiring Don Kirschner trying to round up his own Monkees.
No, what Johnny Rotten did was give punk its heart, its conscience. And I'm not talking about the political protesting that draws a straight line from the Clash to Live Aid to U2. Their voices owe a debt to Johnny Rotten. When punk was about to become another pose, he showed everyone what a man with a microphone can do to the world. The empowerment that his tenure in the Sex Pistols inspired reached beyond musical trends, inspiring the art and politics of an entire generation, and beyond.

He remained true to his philosophy, even as he traipsed and trampled through pop culture. Here's a track from his follow-up band, Public Image Limited:

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