1998 Chronology

Research by Karsten Roekens and Scott M, plus contributors…



Channel 4, 'Music for the Millennium' - John Lydon interview. Poll on the 100 greatest albums of all time by HMV & Channel 4. 'Never Mind The Bollocks' is voted number 24, but PiL are nowhere to be seen…


'Willamette Week' - Martin Atkins interview.


'The Filth and The Fury!' - Sex Pistols & PiL fanzine (F&F #5). PiL related articles include 'Rotten Day' radio show quotes, plus reviews of various PiL / Lydon promo CD's.


Martin Atkins' Pigface 'Lowest of the Low' tour of North America. 33 dates beginning at Tulsa, Cain's Ballroom, USA. One of the venues the Sex Pistols played on their 1978 US tour.


'The Onion' website - Martin Atkins interview.


Talk Radio, Nicky Horne, 'Access All Areas' - John Lydon interview and phone in.


'Loaded' magazine - John Lydon interview.


'Addicted to Noise' website. Article about John Lydon's future plans with quotes from his then manager Eric Gardner. Gardner announces they have signed a deal with Rhino Films to develop a film version of John's autobiography. He states that John will have very "pro-active" creative control, including a say in selecting a scriptwriter and director and in casting decisions. However, the film will "absolutely not" feature Lydon himself.

Gardner also announces that the long awaited Sex Pistols documentary film is still in the works, and is being "seriously considered" by an unnamed British film company; and that Julien Temple is likely to edit the footage.

He also states that John has decided not to re-release 'Psycho's Path' on another label as previously considered; and "has decided to take a break from the music industry…"

Lastly, Gardner hints that Lydon is about to launch his own TV series in America…

MAY 14

John Lydon films a cameo role in Los Angeles for 'The Independent', a film loosely based on the life of independent/B-Movie producer Morty Fineman; also starring Janeane Garofalo.


Press reports state that John Lydon has been given the go ahead for his own show on VH1 (USA); tentatively titled "Rotten Television".


Jah Wobble releases the album 'Umbra Sumus' on 30 Hertz. He also releases the single 'I Offer You Everything' (see wobble discography for full info).


Further press reports, now including quotes from John Lydon & Eric Gardner confirm 'Rotten TV'. The reports state that the show will feature a cross-section of cultural topics, including music, fashion, sports, movies, television, and computer software.

John states that the half-hour show will have "no strict format", and adds that if it takes off the way he'd like it, each episode will be completely different. "Everything is possible except mediocrity."


The Guardian, 'Space' magazine - Jah Wobble interview.


'Fantasy World Cup Live' - John Lydon interview. A (very) drunk John Lydon is a special guest on the comedy and football talk show, along with Sylvia Kristel (Emmanuel). When asked of his views on the France 98 World Cup: "I don't give a damn about international football. The England team has always been right poxy…!" John takes a serious dislike to the presenters and causes absolute chaos, then disappears during the break. As the second part re-starts the audience are heard chanting: “He's going home, he's going home, Johnny's going home!"

The following day 'The Sun' newspaper alleges that Lydon was asked to leave during the break, after he tried to assault a producer who asked him to put out a cigarette. Lydon threatens legal action and the claims are completely dropped.


Jah Wobble begins a five part radio series for GLR (Greater London Radio). Jah Wobble's 'Five Musical Virtues' sees him looking at different musical genres, and talking to people he has worked with, and that have inspired him.


Jah Wobble releases his second single this month 'Mount Zion' (see wobble discography for full info).


GLR Radio, Jah Wobble's 'Five Musical Virtues' Part 4. This week's topic is "Justice".


GLR Radio, Jah Wobble's 'Five Musical Virtues' Part 5. This week's topic is "Wisdom".


'The Filth and The Fury!' - Sex Pistols & PiL fanzine (F&F #6). PiL related articles include Jah Wobble live in Glasgow, PiL at Reading 92, Jah Wobble 'Umbra Sumus' review, and a look at some PiL memorabilia.


VH1 (UK), 'Talk Music' - Jah Wobble interview, plus two live tracks.


Shooting of the pilot for 'Rotten TV' begins in Venice Beach, Los Angeles.


'Record Collector' magazine - Jah Wobble interview & discography.


Information on the pilot show for 'Rotten TV' begins to surface. The show was directed by Kevin Kerslake; whose credits include videos for Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins & Bush. With the script written together with John, George Gimarc (who had worked with him previously on the 'Rotten Day' radio series), and Rob Barnett of VH1.

Locations are filmed at the Venice Beach boardwalk; a sushi restaurant in Santa Monica; Dockweiler Beach; and a soundstage in Hollywood. One of the segments in the show 'Cleansing the Century' will see John "deposing" of various items of modern iconism. In the pilot he burns a selection of Sex Pistols memorabilia in a huge bonfire. Including copies of the unreleased A&M 'GSTQ' single, a signed 'NMTB' LP, and an original 'Anarchy Tour' poster.

The show also features the segments 'Rotten Tales', 'Rotten Video' and the 'Dreaded Celebrity Interview!' Two PiL songs are used 'Rise' & 'Rules and Regulations'. The pilot is not planned to air, due to legal clearances with film clips and music, however, reports state that it's possible certain parts may be re-used during the series. Test screenings have went well, with a transmission date of before the end of the year being set for the series to begin.


BBC 2, 'Rock Family Trees' - John Lydon & John McGeoch interviews.
The show features interviews with John Lydon & John McGeoch on the history of PiL and the Banshees. This is the first TV interview with John McGeoch in years. The end caption confirms he is working with a band called Pacific. However, no material ever surfaces...


BBC 2, 'Never Mind the Buzzcocks' - Jah Wobble is guest on the music quiz show. Wobble refuses to stick to the script and acts up perfectly. The star of the show!

Speaking later on Patrick MacArdle's Jah Wobble e-mail discussion list Wobble had this to say about his appearance on the show: "There is a long funny story concerning my appearance, it ended with me being banned from appearing on the show, because amongst other things I went 'off script'. It became painful for them (in every sense of the word) to edit the anarchy out. I just thought we were all having a laugh!! Mani from The Primals was on there and he did appreciate the humour. Tell 'The List' to keep their heads up, in football terms it was a 5-1 victory, which I dedicate to all anarchists everywhere. I don't normally do TV shows but this particular show likes to act the bully, whilst pretending to be spontaneous and anarchistic when it is actually like so much TV. Fake and very very safe. Mission was accomplished…"


Comedy Central (US), 'South Park: Behind the Menu'. Spoof 'Making of Chef Aid' documentary narrated by John Lydon. Read F&F review here.


An unofficial white label 12" single titled 'Love Song 1998 Remix' appears in dance specialist shops, credited to John Lydon/PiL (see bootleg discography for full info).

John Lydon has nothing to do with its release, but later says he does like it.


Virgin Records announce plans to release a PiL box set in 1999, entitled 'Plastic Box'. Tracklisting's are still being confirmed but the 4 CD compilation should include some rare or possibly unreleased material. The booklet will feature a new interview with John Lydon.


'The Filth and The Fury!' - Sex Pistols & PiL fanzine (F&F #7). PiL related articles include Dennis Morris interview & PiL 'Anarchy Movie 85' video review.

The fanzine also features exclusive information on the long awaited, and still untitled, Sex Pistols documentary from director Julien Temple. The film will be a mixture of Pistols footage circa 1976-78 (including much unseen material) interspersed with miscellaneous archive TV footage from the seventies. Much in the style of the 'Sex Pistols Number 1' film. New audio-only interviews with the Pistols are also to be recorded. The running time should be between 75-90 minutes.

The film is backed by FilmFour and will be getting a limited cinema release; with the the plan to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in February 2000. It will be co-produced by all four Sex Pistols, along with Temple himself, and will be edited by Niven Howie (Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barerels). After the cinema run it will be released on video, then eventually screened on Channel 4 in the UK.


'New York Post' report on the pilot for 'Rotten TV'. The article states that in the show Lydon interviewed Talk Radio star Jon Lovitz at a sushi restaurant, and then stuck Lovitz with the $325 bill!


Jah Wobble releases the album 'The Five Tone Dragon' on 30 Hertz . The album was commissioned by the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and features Chinese harpist Zi Lan Liao, Wobble's wife (see wobble discography for full info).


John and Nora attend the VH1 Fashion Awards in New York. The pair are featured briefly sitting in the crowd during the televised highlights.


VH1 report that 'Rotten TV' should premiere in early 1999.

DECEMBER 16 - 23

Martin Atkins' Pigface 'Red Neck White Trash Blue Movie' tour of North America. 10 dates beginning at Eugene, Woodmen Of The World Hall.

After the tour Atkins relocates back to England with his wife and family.


'Top Of The Pops.com' - Jah Wobble live web chat.


Channel 4, 'Rock Babylon'. The show includes a very brief, but previously unseen, clip of John Lydon in Jamaica 1978; recorded by Don Letts.



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