Daily Record, November 23rd, 2010
© 2010 John Dingwall / Daily Record
John Lydon on stepdaughter's death, plus Pil news
by John Dingwall
SEX PISTOLS legend John Lydon has spoken for the first time about the grief of losing his stepdaughter Ari Up, who founded punk band The Slits.
Ari - real name Arianna Forster - was 48 when she died of a mystery illness last month.
Lydon, 54, is married to Ari's mother Nora Forster, a German publishing heiress and his partner of the last 30 years.
Speaking exclusively to the Daily Record, John revealed he had cancelled plans to record and tour with his band PiL because he is too grief stricken.
Still reeling from the deaths of ex-Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren in April, and his father, John Joseph Lydon last year, Lydon said: "Ari's death set us all back really seriously.
"If anybody wants to know the details of Ari's death, we will be releasing them on JohnLydon. com as soon as the family have got over the grief of it.
"We don't really want to talk about it until everybody is settled. There are people out there who will invent stuff which is ugly and unfortunate."
Public Image Ltd, the influential band Lydon formed after the Sex Pistols split in 1978, went back on tour last December after a break of 17 years.
Lydon now says plans to record a new PiL album will resume some time in 2011.
"I've had to put the blocks on and hold back on recording with PiL," Lydon said.
"I really wanted to have a record out at the end of this year but with all these deaths and the sheer of expense of it all, it's been utterly impossible.
"It would be very hard for me to go out and enjoy a tour after Ari's just kicked the bucket.
"It would be the wrong message to send to anybody. How could you enjoy yourself when someone you know has just died and it being your stepdaughter? That's a little harsh.
"There will be another PiL album but I have had to put it back a bit. My head can't get into it.
"I can't sit down and enjoy songwriting at the moment. If I did, it would all be grief-laden and I don't want to put out a gloomy goth rock thing. That's not where my head should be. It's a long slow process with me, grief.
"Until that's gone and I'm in a healthier place I can't approach it. I hope people understand that.
"The band are raring to go but I can't shift my head into that right now. I can't give it 100 per cent because that would involve leaving Nora alone and I am just not going to do that.
"She is much more important to me right now."
Never one to mince his words, Lydon said PiL will resume live work when they play a string of festival dates next summer.
He said: "Next year's gigs are booked. I love the festivals, although the spirit of free will just isn't there which festivals used to have.
"Forty years ago, festivals were stunning and now it is just people with cash in hand, which is a little tough. It is all about headlining and half the bands are miming anyway."
The frontman, who used shock tactics to revolutionise the music scene with the Sex Pistols, still has the ability to deliver the perfect put-down.
Asked what he makes of X Factor judge Cheryl Cole's current status at the top of the charts, he said: "Who? People like that are perfect for the show, aren't they? She's a format singer - if singer is the word. A pop star who came out of a machine.
"That's what The X Factor and American Idol are propagating. They need a really serious good kick up the a***."
He also hit out at Jay Kay over his recent decision to appear on the show after having a go at the female judges.
Lydon said: "Well, if your only form of rebellion is to insult two women and then go on and do the show anyway, what does that say about you?
"I am sick of people sticking their tongue out at others. If you don't like that kind of show don't have anything to do with it - unless you are going to uproot it and change the format which is what I would do with it."
Picture Credits: (Top to Bottom)