Research by Karsten Roekens and Scott M, plus contributors…
'The Filth and The Fury!' - Sex Pistols & PiL fanzine (F&F #8). Not many PiL articles in this issue: they're being held back until the next issue which will be a something of a PiL special…
Sky One, 'South Park: Behind the Menu'. Spoof 'Making of Chef Aid' documentary narrated by John Lydon. The show originally aired in the USA, October 18th 1998. Read F&F review here.
JANUARY / FEBRUARY
The release of the PiL box set 'Plastic Box' is put back until March due to slight changes with the artwork. The tracklisting is now confirmed, and will feature a selection of album tracks, singles, B-sides, 12" mixes, plus the commercially unreleased BBC, Radio 1 sessions from 1979 & 1992.
The 4 disc set will be housed in a pewter coloured plastic muti-pack, held together by a transparent plastic slipcase. And the accompanying 36 page booklet will feature a new interview with John Lydon; where he gives a brief history of each track. The booklet will also feature some PiL memorabilia, along with photos of all the sleeves.
JANUARY / FEBRUARY
Martin Atkins and Jah Wobble enter Berwick Street Studios in London to work on a new, as yet untitled, musical project. They are also joined by Killing Joke guitarist, Geordie Walker.
Atkins and Wobble had recently gotten back in touch with each other, and suggested working together again. With Wobble later suggesting they also bring in Geordie Walker. Jah Wobble: "I hadn't seen Martin since the early eighties, we were talking about PiL, we had a lot of catching up to do!, and Martin had said, send me a couple of bass lines, and I said fuck it, if you're living back in Britain lets get together and do a bit, and I thought Geordie was always one of the better guitar players from that era... "
The result of this first session brings 22 embryonic backing tracks which Martin Atkins takes away to sieve through… The results are later released in 2000 as The Damage Manual.
The original version of Fodderstompf.Com is launched! Read the site history here.
VH1 announce that John Lydon will be doing some "guest hosting" for the upcoming Grammy Awards on February 24th. John will feature in their "Live Red-Carpet Pre-show" & "Post-Show" coverage.
VH1 (US), 'Live at the Grammy's' - John Lydon guest host! As a taster for his forthcoming 'Rotten TV' show John Lydon is a roving reporter on VH1's outdoor coverage of The Grammies at LA, The Shrine. John terrorises various celeb's arriving and leaving the awards (with a smile of course!) . Pick of the bunch, giving Brian Seltzer a calendar to remind him what year it is! Apparently VH1 weren't brave enough to show some of the juicier material, and John hoped to possibly include it in 'Rotten TV' at a later stage. Read the F&F review here.
John later stated this was a sink or swim live screen-test by VH1; after executives were beginning to have doubts over him for 'Rotten TV'. He passes with flying colours!
'Bill Board' magazine - Jah Wobble interview.
'Record Mart & Buyer' magazine - Lydon / PiL article & discography.
'The Independent' review 'Plastic Box'.
Release of 'Plastic Box' (PILBOX1). 64 track, 4 CD compilation of PiL's entire career. In the liner notes Lydon states: "This collection represents a comma not a full stop, I fully intend to carry on with PiL,and there will be more in the future…" Read the extensive F&F review here.
'The Times' (UK) - John Lydon interview. This is one of the few interviews John did to publicise 'Plastic Box', which he viewed as a low key release; due to Virgin Records. The interview was actually conducted back in October 1998 while John was in London to talk to discuss the project.
John confirms he'd like to see PiL back in action at some point, and reveals he's actually been putting out covert solo records: "I occasionally put out techno singles under different names… I have always been into disco - PiL was basically a dance band - but people don't want to hear me make that type of music. If I put my own name to a track, it guarantees disapproval."
'The Observer' newspaper - John Lydon interview.
'Q Magazine' review 'Plastic Box'.
MOJO' magazine - Jah Wobble interview. "Hello & Goodbye" interview recalling his arrival and departure from PiL.
Martin Atkins begins to mix and edit the Berwick Street tapes at the Mattress Factory. Although originally the plan was to have no vocalist, Wobble and Geordie suggest that it is only right that John Lydon should be invited to sing. Martin Atkins: "It felt wrong not to call John because some of the music sounded so PiL like. So I called him, sent him a tape and never heard from him. I feel much better knowing he decided..."
Atkins later enlists Chris Connelly for vocal and lyrical duties. Connelly had already fronted Murder Inc, which also featured Geordie & Atkins. Connelly suggests the name: The Damage Manual.
MARCH / APRIL
'Boston Globe' - John Lydon interview. Speaking of 'Plastic Box' John comments: "If somebody likes it, then I'm pleased, if not, well so what?" He goes on to say: "I think PiL played some of the smartest hard rock possible… You can not judge PiL as retiring from experimentation because that is not the way we think and never have…"
MARCH / APRIL
Filming starts for the first episode of 'Rotten TV'.
Jah Wobble releases the album 'Deep Space' on 30 Hertz (see wobble discography for full info).
Jah Wobble plays his first live gig of the year with Jah Wobble's Deep Space at Cambridge, The Junction. They will continue to sporadically tour the UK & Europe throughout the year; including some dates in France supporting Red Hot Chili Peppers (see Wobble Gig List for full Info).
'The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper' box set, featuring liner notes from John Lydon is released by Rhino Records.
'Independent on Sunday' - Jah Wobble reviews the book 'Vacant: A Diary of the Punk Years 1976-79' by Nils Stevenson.
Channel 4, 'D Program' - Jah Wobble interview on the works of William Blake.
'The Filth and The Fury!' - Sex Pistols & PiL fanzine (F&F #9). PiL Special! Articles include: extensive 'Plastic Box' review, Jah Wobble interview, Deep Space & LoveSong 1988 reviews, 'Order of Death' film review & memorabilia, PiL at The Rainbow Xmas 1978, and a look at PiL Japanese vinyl releases. Plus more…
The fanzine also reveals the name of the upcoming Sex Pistols documentary film: 'The Filth and The Fury!'
Jah Wobble & The Invaders of the Heart release the album 'Full Moon Over The Shopping Mall' (see wobble discography for full info). The album is initially released mail-order only via 30 Hertz; with a full release coming in October. This is the first album credited to The Invaders of the Heart since 'The Celtic Poets' in 1997.
Release of 'Josh's Blair Witch Mix: The Blair Witch Project' soundtrack CD which contains 'Order of Death', despite actually being featured in the film!
A 'new' version of 'Order of Death' also appears on a promo CD single; featuring dialogue from the film mixed into the original track Read F&F review here. A promo video made from various other PiL videos such as 'Warrior' & 'Bad Life' is also compiled.
VH1 state that 'Rotten TV' should premier later this year.
Channel 4, 'Music for the Millennium'. 3D from Massive Attack picks 'Death Disco' as his choice of "Music for the Millennium". Channel 4 (UK) are conducting a poll of the greatest records of the century, and each night a different artist is picking their top tune.
In the 5 minute show 3D reveals he often uses 'Death Disco' at soundsystems, and has thought of covering it with Massive. However, he fears they could "never come close to it".
'Cleveland Plain Dealer' - John Lydon interview. When asked about working within PiL again John says, yes, it is in his mind, but adds: "It's very difficult to raise the money to finance it now. There is a lot of animosity toward a group that won't play by the norms. We have always been viewed spitefully and it's always presumed we're doing [our music] to spite people. When we're in fact not. Everything is begrudged to PiL."
Talking of the forthcoming 'Rotten TV' John comments: "It's not a set show. Not weepy guest celebrity nonsense. It does not have a format, which is murderous on any sort of writing. There might be music, there might not be. Everything will be on a tightrope. I don't want the world to expect any great, suave, well-produced thing at all. This will raise more questions than answers."
Jah Wobble's Deep Space play 2 gigs in France supporting the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Nimes, Les Arenes & Paris, Le Zenith.
Carlton TV, 'Routes of Rock' - Jah Wobble interview. Wobble is interviewed on his thoughts on punk, and his time in PiL.
The Damage Manual – Chris Connelly vocals, Geordie Walker guitar, Martin Atkins drums & Jah Wobble bass – enter the studio to continue work on the backing tracks recorded earlier in the year.
Jah Wobble & The Invaders of the Heart 'Full Moon Over The Shopping Mall' CD receives a full release; after initially only being released mail-order only via 30 Hertz back in June (see wobble discography for full info). This is the first album credited to The Invaders of the Heart since 'The Celtic Poets' in 1997.
John Lydon is supposed to be a guest on Roseanne Barr's chat show in the USA. However, the show's producers cancel his appearance at the last minute, citing they fear he may be rude to Roseanne! John and Rotten TV camera crew document the proceedings. Clips later turn up in the first episode of 'Rotten TV'.
eYada.com announce that John Lydon is to host a live internet radio show every Saturday 4-8pm. The show will broadcast from John's living room in his Los Angeles home! eYada state that 'Rotten Radio' promises to carry Lydon's uncensored thoughts on life, pop culture, politics, and 'whatever else haunts his gloriously contentious mind'.
The show is originally set to debut October 30th, however, it is postponed until December while John continues to work on other projects.
'The Filth and The Fury!' - Sex Pistols & PiL fanzine (F&F #11). PiL related articles include New York Riot Show '81, Leftfield on Lydon, Jah Wobble - 'Full Moon Over The Shopping Mall', The Steel Leg EP & 'Rotten Radio' preview.
'Rotten Radio' premieres on eYada.com. The live 4 hour internet radio show show is broadcast from John's LA home, via eYada's New York studios. The show has no strict format and John encourages listeners to phone and talk about anything they want. Uncensored. Read the F&F review here.
During the upcoming shows John states that he has no current plans to put PiL back together, but would like to work with Lu Edmonds again. He also reveals he has started working on new solo material; but it is still in the "very, very early stages" and is in no hurry to complete an album's worth. He has only been writing for fun, but does say it is possible that any future release could be released by himself; via the internet.
eYada.com - 'Rotten Radio'.
'Rotten Radio' continues on eYada.com. During this show John states that 'Rotten TV' will finally air in January 2000.
VH1 announce that episode 1 of 7 of 'Rotten TV' will premier on January 23rd 2000.