Today is John Lydon’s 64th birthday so today’s music video of the day features him at his best.
For the record, John Lydon (or Johnny Rotten, as he was known when he was the Sex Pistols’s lead singer) is not an anarchist. The famous lyrics that start off Anarchy in the U.K, came about because “I am an anarchiste” was the best rhyme that Lydon could come up with for “I am an Antichrist.” Lydon has described anarchism as being “mind games for the middle class.” Lydon’s right, of course.
Remarkable, John Lydon has gone from being regarded as a symbol of everything that was wrong with British youth (a representation of what the Daily Mail famously called “The Filth and the Fury” after drummer Paul Cook called Simon Grundy a “fucking rotter” on national television) to being a national treasure. Songs that once scandalized Britain are now unofficial anthems and, remarkably, Lydon’s gone from hated to beloved without changing a thing about his outlook or even his attitude. Listening to an interview with Lydon from the Sex Pistols-era is not that much different from listening to an interview that Lydon may have given last month. He may now be doing butter commercials and appearing on I’m A Celebrity! Get Me Out Of Here! but he remains that same Johnny Rotten who once scared the Hell out of anyone with a pension.