John Lydon:
Creem Magazine, March, 1992

Transcribed (and additional info) by Karsten Roekens

© 1992 Creem / Robert Seidenberg


Creem Magazine, March, 1992By Robert Seidenberg. Photography by Russell Young (models: Pamela Anderson and Sam Phillips)

Father Time's a real mother. A hoot and a holler capable of some pretty mean tricks.

London, 1976: Inside the 100 Club, at the eastern end of Oxford Street, the Sex Pistols launch their attack on the music establishment, slashing through explosive numbers like 'Pretty Vacant', 'No Feelings' and 'Anarchy In The U.K.' Their lead singer Johnny Rotten, contorted like a demented hunchback of Notre Dame, snarls and spits out lyrics like pure vitriol.

London, 1991: Down in the same dank basement bar fifteen years later, a handful of ageing hippies two-step to The Bonediggers, a lame Stray Cats knock-off led by The Specials' former guitarist.

USA, 1991: Mötley Crüe, a corporate band if there ever was one, climb the American charts with a remake of the Pistols' 'Anarchy', strutting theit tattoos on MTV every hour on the hour. [1]

And, though he's back in London for a couple of months, Johnny Rotten a.k.a. John Lydon, formerly the most visible symbol of the British punk rebellion, now leader of the band Public Image Ltd., supervises construction at his new home in Malibu, America's most famous star community. Who'da ever thunk it?

"You never listen to a word that I said, you only seen me for the clothes that I wear, or did the interest go so much deeper? It must have been the colour of my hair – public image" ('Public Image', 1978)

This is the real story of Johnny Rotten. While he lived, he raged. as the Sex Pistols' frontman he was British punk's leading shoutsman. On 'God Save The Queen', released just in time for Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee in 1977, he hissed "the fascist regime made you a moron", and the establishment trembled. The BBC banned the tune, it promptly topped the charts. Less than a year later, the Pistols were out of ammo.

But rock 'n' roll would never be the same. Open any copy of 'NME' or 'Melody Maker' and you'll find dozens of allusions to the Pistols. At Madame Tussaud's flagship museum in central London, Johnny Rotten has been immortalised forever, like most of his wax neighbours he's long since departed.

But John Lydon lives on. His Rotten persona was simply his first public image, and unfortunately he'll be saddled with it for the rest of his life. Pistols fans will never forgive him for turning into a different John. As a rule, we don't want our pop heroes to change or grow up, hell, we don't even like 'em to appear human.

So nobody wants to know that Lydon is suffering from a cold and violent allergic reaction to dust. Or that he shows up for an interview fifteen minutes early and his demeanour is both professional and serious.

Since the Pistols' demolition, Lydon has continued to wage a musical war: a brash sonic assault on lying, hypocritical individuals and corrupt institutions (e.g. the music business, organised religion. political parties). His weapon, Public Image Ltd., spews forth a brand of organised noise as powerful and kinetic as punk – as demanding as it is generous, as caustic as it is hip-shaking.

On 'That What Is Not', PIL's new album, Brooklyn-born bassist Allan Dias (ex-Shriekback) [2] and guitarist John McGeoch (ex-Siouxsie and the Banshees, Magazine) weld together a sledgehammer of hard pop music, into which Lydon injects his inimitable snarling, screeching, howling vocals. As always, Lydon doles out equal doses of anger and humour – his targets ranging from religious zealots and the moral majority ('Acid Drops') to willpowerless junkies ('Luck's Up') to romance ('Love Hope') to corrupt politicians ('Good Things') – while the music pounds with relentless fury.

If it's not clear from the sounds or words, just take a look at the photos in this article: John Lydon means to provoke. Decadence was our idea, the set-up was his.

Although today's John Lydon is far from the bratty 20-year-old that fronted the Pistols, his modus operandi has changed little. He still intimidates and threatens, and he freely offers his opinion – whether or not it's solicited. Among the many victims of his savage criticism are Guns 'N Roses, U2, Sting, Don Henley, New Order and the entire Manchester scene.

When he looks back on his early days, he seems amused, but detached. His sadness is genuine, however, whenever he mentions his friend Sid Vicious, the Pistols' bassist and punk rock's most infamous 'live fast, die young' casualty. And he bristles at any mention of his nemesis, Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, against whom Lydon fought a ten-year court case for Pistols royalties (for years Lydon got no money at all, finally he is receiving his due).

We spoke at length in London, where Lydon is spending the next few months (a bust for sulphate possession in 1977 means he'll never get a green card). While in England, he's helping put together some special repackagings of Sex Pistols music. He's not really interested in reliving history, he just figures if he leaves it to the record company, they'll make a mess of it.

In the basement bar of the Halcyon Hotel, Lydon nurses his cold with hot toddies and pineapple juice, his signature standing-on-end hair back to its natural reddish-blond colour, cropped short on the sides, spiky on top. As he winds up on his long harangues, he scrunches forward in his seat. Often he'll squint, with one or both eyes, in a menacing glare, usually accompanied by some sort of irony or a bemused 'say-what?' expression. He underscores his sarcasm with uproarious laughter and is rarely at a loss for words. In the same way he offers such definite opinions about everything, John – Lydon or Rotten – will thankfully always be a punk.

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "In 'Think Tank' on the new PIL album, you admonish those who tamper with your history. Is that why you're helping prepare all this Sex Pistols material for re-release?" [3]

JOHN LYDON: "Yeah, because if I don't, if I leave it in the hands of the record company, they'll come up with a real carbuncle, ruin it, package it in such a sleazy way. You could imagine, there'd probably be a nude picture of Steve Jones on the cover – then and now. I want to keep it as close to the real thing as possible, and I cannot trust these people."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Is Jamie Reid still around?"

JOHN LYDON: "He better not, for his sake. He's another one of those phonies, all of those people who worked with Malcolm are. Spoilt students I call them. They always struck me that way and they haven't changed. They don't really care about people, they care about their decisions, their ideologies. See, they're all from that middle-class English way, and when they meet real working class people they cannot tolerate us. We're not allowed to be intelligent. We're meant to be stupid and easily manipulated, and if we're not then we have to be dispensed with quickly."

Creem Magazine, March, 1992ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Is that why you and Malcolm clashed immediately?"

JOHN LYDON: "Ab-so-lute-ly!"

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Cos he wanted to manipulate you?"

JOHN LYDON: "He wanted a thicko, he wanted an absolute moron. I wouldn't do it."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Then what was Sid's relationship with him?"

JOHN LYDON: (laughs) "Perfect! But even Sid caught on. Sid's hatred for Malcolm was phenomenal. Wonderful, me, Paul and Steve would just sit back and enjoy it. We'd let Sid loose, wind him up – 'Want to hear what Malcolm's saying about you, Sidney? Go for it!' Then we'd let the wild dog off the leash and sit back in glee."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Nobody really liked Malcolm?"

JOHN LYDON: "You couldn't, he's such a liar! I've never seen that man spend a penny, not even to go to the toilet. He's too mean."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Glen Matlock liked him, though, didn't he?"

JOHN LYDON: "Probably."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Glen's book, 'I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol', is good fun."

JOHN LYDON: "It's hilarious, isn't it? That I read, cos I knew what that would be like. It was even better than I imagined."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "But he wasn't in the group for most of its life. He missed out on everything, practically, all the good stuff."

JOHN LYDON: "He could miss his own face in the mirror, he's that moronic."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "The only thing going for him was that he could play?"

JOHN LYDON: "Yeah, so what? It was utterly irrelevant to us, me in particular. At least Paul and Steve made an effort."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Are you going to remix the Pistols tunes, or leave them as is?"

JOHN LYDON: "As is. Except that Virgin somehow managed to screw around with the masters, or so I've been told. But I won't know until I actually sit down and go through it properly. While I'm here I'm doing all that stuff. It's about time I did something in England, apart from ignore it and laugh at it. I don't blame the English for despising me, it must be terrible to see my grinning face sneering at them – 'Damn him!'" (hunching his back, squinting dementedly)

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Is it funny to you that the Sex Pistols have just recently become accepted, with, say, a cover version of your song high in the American charts?"

JOHN LYDON: "It's hysterical! But it's not really accepted, it's people who are trying to warp it down or twist it somewhat. But they fail dismally. You just can't touch that initial savagery, it cannot be surpassed, which, me being what I am, it's hard to be humble, because I know I don't mean it. I think that's true about everything I've done, it has that Woomph that cannot be imitated. And it doesn't work if you dilute it either."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "What did you think when you heard the Mötley Crüe version of 'Anarchy'?"

JOHN LYDON: "I rang up Vince Neil and said 'Thanks, you're making me loads of money in the easiest possible way!'"

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Did you know him before?"

JOHN LYDON: "No. Well, vaguely, because of his hatred for Axl Rose. They're out for each other."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Do you like the Mötley Crüe version?"

JOHN LYDON: "No! It's really funny, it's rinky-dink – not on purpose either. It's not as volatile as it could be, which is kind of curious seeing as they're one of the most volatile heavy metal acts. Weak hearts compared to the" (in a John Wayne-ish drawl) "Real McCoy."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "What d'you think of Megadeth's version of 'Anarchy'?" [4]

JOHN LYDON: "That was really bad. That was really, really bad. It was so bad that I sent a copy to Paul Cook just for the fun of it. He was furious, he was so angry because he thought I was being cynical. But the joke about that was it was Steve Jones that played guitar on that. How nauseous of him!"

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "At least Guns 'N Roses haven't covered one of your songs yet."

JOHN LYDON: "No, but they've done several close approximations to us, that's for sure. They did one that's almost identical to our version of 'Stepping Stone', the 'e-i-e-i-ei' part and all that. Get your own technique, you thief! Leave mine alone!"

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Have you ever see them perform?"

JOHN LYDON: "A long time ago when they were smaller, before they exploded. I don't understand how they became so popular. I don't understand U2 either, I mean, that's absolutely preposterous. Particularly songs like 'Bullet The Blue Sky', which is almost a complete rip-off of a PIL song!" (belch) "Very annoying. In fact they use several Public Image ideas in the rhythm guitars. The thievery is amazing, because they don't even give a nod or wink to their sources. They're too self-righteous for that. These God worshippers stealing off the devil's incarnate – that's decadence! And there's no real guts to them. That's the tragedy, they're all such milksops."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Most of the people who claim to love the Pistols now probably didn't back then, right?"

JOHN LYDON: "Absolutely, you know it. Now the Pistols are safe, right? There's no threat."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Was it decadent back then with the Sex Pistols, the life that you guys led?"

JOHN LYDON: "Probably ... but not on purpose. Decadence really does imply a kind of childish 'I'll show them by getting fucked up' attitude. To my mind that's just too twee. I just get on and do what I want to do, and then judge it if you may."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "But somebody like Sid certainly bought into the decadent lifestyle?"

JOHN LYDON: "Oh yeah, certainly. He loved the drama of it all. It's a bit like bad theatre really, to my mind."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "But he got a lot of attention for it, which probably goaded him on ..."

JOHN LYDON: "Great, most of it was after he died, so fat lot of good."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "On the new record you don't have much patience for that either, on the song 'Luck's Up', for example."

JOHN LYDON: "That's right."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Why did you not get sucked up into that self-destructive, drugged-out lifestyle – you're too smart?"

JOHN LYDON: "Well, I had a good education in watching others before the Pistols began, the Eric Claptons of this world. I thought no, that's not for me – dismal, sorry, sad-sack people, not enjoying their life."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "It was never a temptation for you?"

JOHN LYDON: "Uh-uh. Hard-lee. Se, when I drink I drink to have fun, not to hide or run from something, or to get violent and self-pitying. Big difference! Maybe it's the Irish in me, we're born with a full load."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Self-destructiveness was pretty popular back then."

JOHN LYDON: "Yeah. And even worse than self-pity is when you want others to pity you and feel sorry for you. I've never played the wounded puppy and I never will. I'll always be upfront and tough in my attitudes."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Who did play the wounded puppy?"

JOHN LYDON: "Oh my God, the list is endless, there's so many, sad and lonely. Michael Jackson plays the wounded puppy very well – 'I must be the loneliest man in the world!' Well, you're not a man. And the loneliness is self-inflicted, so sod off, you pathetic puerile pimp! I wonder what colour his willy is."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "These days it's a lot harder to be decadent."

JOHN LYDON: "Define decadence! Anything that threatens the bourgeoisie?"

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Though there's another kind of decadence, like Elizabeth Taylor."

JOHN LYDON: "Well, Hollywood, yes. Which is far worse than the heavy metal bands' wearing-lipstick-and-platform-boots type of decadence, which doesn't mean anything. They're such stereotypes, those chaps. I feel sorry for them."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Like Guns 'N Roses?"

JOHN LYDON: "Able to proudly say 'Hello, I'm a cliché!' It's a terrible, terrible thing." (cackles)

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "You're a very critical and sarcastic person. Yet in the new song 'Love Hope' you come across as quite a romantic. Are you?"

JOHN LYDON: "Well, even lovers need lessons, to quote one of the lines."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "You do have hope for certain things?"

JOHN LYDON: "Yeah, why not, of course! I'm not doom-laden, I've never been into goth rock, I always found that to be childish. 'Oh, we're all going to die' – well, of course, but enjoy what you've got in between."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Any try to have a sense of humour about it."

JOHN LYDON: "Why not? Humour's a brilliant thing, I think you can solve more problems through humour than any other way. Deadpan seriousness doesn't really work. Like Stink! Sting amuses me, because here's a man who's joined now so many causes and so many charities that he's dissipated the energy behind them and you can't really take anything he now contributes to too seriously anymore. I mean, after I've seen those TV adverts saving some old bit of pathway behind some pond ..."


JOHN LYDON: "Yeah, it's hysterical! I'm not gonna save a bloody duck pond, there's far more serious things to do. Apparently some famous poet, dead poet, used to walk around it. God, in an age of starving people and unemployment it's really not top of anyone's list!"

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Except for Don Henley's."

JOHN LYDON: "Don Henley, that's the man. That's the man responsible. There's a man with no humour. Same with Sting, he's gone and taken himself far too seriously, hasn't he? 'I am an intellectual, honest, please believe me. Look how unshaved I can be.'"

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "I hate to see that, like, for instance, Lou Reed, whose work I really respect but who chooses to take himself too seriously."

JOHN LYDON: "How grim."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Cos he had, or still has, a great sense of humour."

JOHN LYDON: "Absolutely. That's the tragedy about Sid, he never understood it was all tongue in cheek. Or maybe he did, he just didn't realise that it wasn't your tongue in someone else's cheek."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "I know you're back in London now so you can fulfill your citizenship requirement. But do you like it here?"

JOHN LYDON: "I couldn't give a damn if this town fell into the sea in the morning. It's of no interest. I couldn't even find Piccadilly Circus the other day."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "So you'd stay in Los Angeles full-time if you could?"

JOHN LYDON: "No. I'm the same there, I've no idea what goes on in that town. It's utterly irrelevant to me."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Why do you like it then?"

JOHN LYDON: "Because it's so unlike the rest of the world. It's unreal, isn't it? You're drifting through endless supermarkets or airports. That's the feeling you get, you're waiting for a plane to take you somewhere else. That's Los Angeles – no roots."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Do you prefer other cities?"

JOHN LYDON: "I don't like anything, really, to be absolutely honest. I like people, I don't like the surroundings that people put themselves in, because that's when people get false."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Not even older European cities?"

JOHN LYDON: "No. I like the Andalusia part of Spain, but that's about it. That's because the country's so wild. The place for every cowboy movie, I think, and I like bits of nature. But cities are just clumps of stone put together by humans in uninspired ways. Architecturally you could say London is quite stunning, but impossible to live in the houses therein. They may be pretty from the outside, but they're shoe boxes inside. Tiny, nothing works. Hovels. Fashionably designed hovels."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "The same with L.A., structurally."

JOHN LYDON: "Worse, eww! I really, really enjoy seeing these people spend ten million on a monstrosity, it thrills me no end. And then they have to live in it and they can't wait to sell it. It's awful, eww! That glass block everywhere."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "The only advantage is that there is ocean there, and the desert."

JOHN LYDON: "Well, they're fast killing off both, aren't they? The desert is merely land for sale. Apparently all the cacti out there are being stolen for all these designer houses. There's an endangered plant species right there – it's cheaper, isn't it? Let's just drive out into the desert at midnight in a truck, rip it up for that natural environment look, put it in a house that looks like a hospital waiting room and call it style!"

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "How about a place like Manchester? You must think it's a laugh when people compare the Manchester scene with the early days of punk."

JOHN LYDON: "It's not a scene, it's an ob-scene! It's very incestuous and too smug by half for my tastes. They don't think universally, they just think for themselves. They've formed a nice little clique and it's too smug by half. It's snobby."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "It doesn't seem to look at bigger issues at all."

JOHN LYDON: "It hasn't got a clue about that."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "In that way it seems very different from punk, which was a direct response to social issues."

JOHN LYDON: "It's village mentality really – oh, you don't want to talk to them ..." (he mimics a hick drawl) "... they're from the next village!"

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Did you ever go to any of those raves?"

JOHN LYDON: "I find them intensely boring. That's the kind of thing for fashion victims."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "A lot of Americans certainly bought into it."

JOHN LYDON: "Yeah. It's a bit of a shame, America at the moment. It really will jump on anything they think or they're being told is happening here. For instance, I never ever thought firstly The Smiths and now Morrissey could ever be popular in America. I thought you would have seen how ridiculous the whole thing was right from the start. That's cos it's obvious to me – it's a farce!"

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Were you still in L.A. when they had that mini-riot at a Morrissey concert, where a few folks got broken arms?"

JOHN LYDON: "Some riot – a bunch of sissies wanting to touch their hero with flowers." (cackles) "He might get a black mark on his visa for that. America is getting so strict about that, if you get a black mark they might not let you back in."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "You don't have to get back in like that?"

JOHN LYDON: "I think I'm beyond that. They know me so well there now, I'm part of the furniture. Yes, I'm a termite." (laughs)

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Could you ever do what someone like Morrissey has done, go out as a solo act?"

JOHN LYDON: "I wouldn't want to, I like collaborations. I always thought that working with people is much, much better. You achieve better results. There's much less bullshit that way, cos egos got curtailed."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "John and Allan have been on three records with you, it must help give it some consistency."

JOHN LYDON: "We understand each other. We write for each other actually. That's the thing – we know each other's likes and dislikes. Useful."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "It was not like that with the Pistols?"

Creem Magazine, March, 1992JOHN LYDON: "No, not at all. In fear and loathing of each other more than anything, which was important. Nobody ever said you had to like the people you work with! It helps if you don't sometimes. It stops the bullshit. Always have people around you who will argue with you! The worst thing in the world is a band of sycophants scared to offend each other. Then you end up with a dodgy product. It might be popular, but it's dodgy nonetheless. I hardly think in ten years time, for instance, anything Guns 'N Roses have done will be memorable at all. Let alone next week."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "What will happen when the enterprise of music ceases to be vital to you? Will you just stop making records?"

JOHN LYDON: "Yeah. As soon as I get bored I'll stop. It's as simple as that. It's not necessarily about music at all for me, it's about something far different – attitudes, thought processes."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "But that all has to be dramatised in some way."

JOHN LYDON: "It can be done in many ways. But I've found music to be the most accessible." (a quivering admission, dripping with sarcasm) "I'm a failed painter, I've never forgiven the system for turning me away!"

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Was it by chance that you chose music as your medium? Was it fate that you became a Sex Pistol?"

JOHN LYDON: "Fate!?"


JOHN LYDON: "No. It was Bernie Rhodes that spotted me and thought 'Oh, he's deeply strange, must be into something wild and wonderful!' and got me to go and meet Malcolm, Steve and Paul, and got me to mime to couple of Alice Cooper songs. And they hated me on the spot. But for all of Malcolm's contempt of me, he still thought I had something worthwhile."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Had you ever thought about being in a band before that?"

JOHN LYDON: "No. Because there was nothing out there that I liked. It was such a dismal time, just as dismal as it is now actually. It's ripe for someone new to come and kick it all in the teeth."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Do you think it will cycle around?"

JOHN LYDON: "No, I don't think so. No, because the record companies have tightened their doors. And all the companies being sucked into conglomerates, they're now related to each other. And there's all this disco stuff too, that's been the death of it all. Those silly fools don't even realise they're cutting their own throats."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "By disco I assume you mean bands like EMF?"

JOHN LYDON: "It's just regurgitation, we've heard all that stuff before. It is just '70s disco recycled – records are released and they're just titles, it's not people behind them at all, it's just machines. And mindless fools of course absorb it like sponges." (belch) "To be fed nothing – musical McDonald's."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Don't you think independent labels can build up again in the wake of these conglomerates?"

JOHN LYDON: "How? How? How? There's no space! Who's gonna press your records? How're you gonna get distribution? There's no room for small corner shops anymore. It's all conglomerations, big stores – Wherehouse, Tower. And those are the people that are censoring everything as well, so if it isn't homogenised it's ignored."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "Have you been satisfied with what has happened with the previous Public Image records, specifically the last two?"

JOHN LYDON: "No, I haven't. We've had no distribution from Virgin. they've certainly not been behind us. I've been extremely furious with them. I've gone into stores and not found it in the racks, for instance. When we released 'The Greatest Hits, So Far', they only pressed 35,000, that was it. So it went straight in to, I think it was number 12 [5] on the charts, and then straight out because there was no more. And it will never be pressed again. That's an appalling attitude, and it could have earned them a lot of money. So I don't get it, I don't understand it. They said they had to concentrate on other things. Yeah, like spending $15 million getting Janet Jackson. That's what they now concentrate their efforts on, trying to sign up the Stones. And that's how they're gonna sell the label, they've got Janet Jackson, the Stones and Paula Abdul. And fuck all the little shits like me!"

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "And you're bigger than a lot of the other little shits."

JOHN LYDON: "In name. For what it's worth. You know, how do you get on the radio if you don't have a record company pushing it? You can't. then people don't hear you, and you're doomed. So your only real outlet, if you want people to hear you, is to go on tours with the likes of New Order [6] or INXS, [7] which is an appalling thing. But you have to do it, you have to do it, otherwise you're just preaching to the converted and that really isn't good enough."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "So that's why you did tour with New Order last time around – it was necessary?"

JOHN LYDON: "Necessary to survive financially. Even if they gave us sod-all. They do love their money. They've got this mystique image which is totally false. They're just very greedy businessmen."

ROBERT SEIDENBERG: "So how can Public Image continue in such an atmosphere?"

JOHN LYDON: "With great difficulty! This year really will be kind of a test of that – distribution shit, getting the public to listen to something that isn't factory-made and that actually says something. Because people have become too lazy, they've become brainwashed." (in the moaning voice of a burnout) "Oh, I can't deal with it, it makes me think! I think I twinged too many nerves and still do, so it's hard for people like me to be around because it makes everything else look so vacuous. I know it sounds kind of pompous, but that's how I really feel. Everybody's having this happy time at their disco and I have to go to spoil it by telling the truth. That's what I am – a spoiler!"


[1] 'Anarchy In The U.K.' featured on Mötley Crüe's 'Decade Of Decadence' album (released 19 October 1991), which went to no.2 in the US Billboard album charts. A live video of the song was on rotation on MTV.
[2] Lu Edmonds was in Shriekback, not Allan Dias.
[3] 'Kiss This', released 5 October 1992. The new owners of Virgin Records had dropped PIL by the time.
[4] 'Anarchy In The U.K.' featured on Megadeth's 'So Far, So Good ... So What?' album (released on 19 January 1988), which went to no. 28 in the US Billboard album charts. It was also released as a single with a video by Penelope Spheeris (who had worked with Keith Levene in 1985).
[5] 'The Greatest Hits, So Far' went to no.20 in the UK album charts.
[6] PIL toured with New Order in June/July 1989.
[7] PIL toured with INXS in March 1988.


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