John Lydon:
eYada, Rotten Radio

review by Scott M, March 2000 (First published F&F 12)
© 2000 / F&F Publishing

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Please note: Since this article was originally published eYada has unfortunately stopped broadcasting...

People seem confused you can get 'radio' through your computer, but trust me you can! Who cares how it works. It does, and JL's got his own weekly show... The four hour 'show' is basically a forum where people can phone or e-mail John to talk about whatever they want. It's doesn't have to be Sex Pistols or PIL, it can be anything at all. Because the show is broadcast over the internet there is no censorship, or radio regulations, so you can talk about anything; politics, social issues, funny anecdotes, football, the music scene - anything! John also encourages people to send him demo tapes, CD's, books, zines etc. He wants the show to be a platform for people who can't get access to the mainstream media or music press. He occasionally plays some music (including some of his own), but out of a four hour show you're lucky to get two or three songs. It's very much discussion based.

Anyone with internet access can listen to the show. To do so, go to then the 'Rotten Radio' page and download a link to the show. Or if you're listening to the show live, just click on the 'Broadcasting Live' link. To actually listen to the show you will need 'Realplayer' or 'Windows Player', both of which can be downloaded FREE via the eyada site. After you've been connected you'll be able to hear an audio track of the show, and depending on what player you have, also a selection of images. John eventually hopes to have a web camera set up, and he also wants to be able to show various archive TV and video clips via the show... Depending on how much RAM (memory) your computer has you will be able to surf the internet while the show is playing, which means you can check out some of the links to other sites that John has recommended.

You can listen to the show live 9pm-1am Saturdays (UK), or you can connect anytime and listen to an archive of the shows, usually spanning back three weeks. You can e-mail the show anytime of the week and John will receive the message. But the great thing is, if you send it while the show is broadcasting live, he can answer your questions straight away. Or you can even phone in FREE and talk to him in person. Even people without internet access can phone in. All you need to do is call the International Operator (155) and then tell them you want to make a 'collect call' to in the States (see below for numbers). eYada will then put you on hold, it wont cost you a penny no matter how long you are on for, or wherever you call from. You can also send in your questions (etc) by post.

The show is broadcast from John's own front room in LA, with all the technology coming via the eyada studios in New York. Apparently he's on a one year contract with eyada so the show will run indefinitely for at least this year. He even hopes to take it on tour with him, if and when, he ever gets round to doing it again!

When I mentioned the show to some people they can't believe John is actually doing it, or they expect him just to be rude to people and put the phone down on them. I can assure you that's not the case. No matter how much of a wanker you are John will give you the chance to speak. Though don't expect to get away with it if you do act like a wanker. I've actually been surprised how nice John has been to people, I wouldn't give half the people he talked to the chance that he gives them. The only criticism I'd have is that sometimes he lets the calls go on too long, he does like a good chin wag! The producer must be pulling her hair out! A few F&F regulars have already phoned up, myself included, but as John pointed out himself, all these 'pop stars' who keep saying how involved they are with the internet are all 'Missing in Action'. Though he did get an e-mail message from Boner of U2 who asked his permission to use the Spanish cover of 'Anarchy'... Wayne Kramer, George Gimarc and even Helen Wellington-Lloyd have also called in to say "hello". He also occasionally has some interesting guests on too, such as 'subversive' authors, magazine editors and political activists. All of whom normally don't get a voice in the mainstream media. Fight The Power John!

When it comes down to it, the show will only be as good as the contributors, so for fucks sake don't ask wanky questions! As well as giving his opinion on various topical matters John has revealed lots of things about the Pistols and PIL I never knew, he even (quite unexpectedly) had a few nice things to say about the fanzine. The majority of calls are very good, as we all know John is very well informed and has views on virtually every subject. Where he doesn't, he gets people to call in and inform him. It's great to hear John getting a chance to voice his opinions to a largely new audience, it's already turned a few people's heads, and is always interesting and entertaining. You'd think four hours would get boring, but it doesn't, in fact, it's probably not long enough! Though given UK internet costs, maybe it is! Despite the hassle, the show is definitely worth the effort of hearing. Don't be shy...

The show broadcasts Saturdays 9pm-1am (UK), so get involved!


Additional Info…

Here's some little bits and bobs I didn't know, that John has mentioned on the show. This is the stuff I had the sense to write down, there was loads more...

He has released white label dance 12" singles under a different name. He released them in the early nineties while he was still signed to East West. He refused to say which name he released them under, but a couple of weeks later he played a great 'untitled' techno style instrumental, which he said he had done about eight years ago, and was presumably one of the tracks he was talking about... It turns out he didn't do the 'LoveSong 98' dance remix (see F&F9), but is a big fan of it. He also said that he heard a dance mix of '4 Enclosed Walls' while he was at the 1998 VH-1 Fashion Awards, but doesn't know who done it. He says he's not interested in suing anyone. In fact, he takes it as compliment, he just wants a copy of the record!

He'd eventually like to get PIL back together, but has no current plans to do so. He says the only PIL member he'd like to work with again would be Lu Edmonds... For the time being he will be working on a new solo album, which he hopes to release himself via the internet.

John settled out of court with ex Pistols lawyer Stephen Fisher, and had a line about him removed from the re-prints of 'Rotten, No Irish...'

He says the original idea for the PiL logo was loosely based on the old ICI logo.

In the early eighties Les out of the Bay City Rollers wanted to work with John! It even got as far as Les visiting John at his house to discuss it! Of course this could be one of John's infamous little wind ups, but he sounded serious enough!

He says he's not on the Doc Thari album (see F&F10). He also stated he never did anything with the 4" Be 2".

He can't bare to watch 'Order of Death', he says the only scene he likes is the oven scene, and that was down to method acting!


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