Research by Karsten Roekens and Scott M, plus contributors…
Rumours continue to circulate that John Lydon has been lined up for the new series of 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here'. A UK reality show filmed in the Australian jungle which is due to begin at the end of January.
Fodderstompf.com - John Lydon interview. The Pubic Image…
At long last – and despite the best efforts of Mojo to steal our thunder – part 2 of the John Lydon interview (split between F&F & Fodderstompf) is finally published. The original interview was completed in summer 2003, but was updated to include the latest developments with John's new record, as well as a lengthy look at PiL (and that's from start to finish, not just the first three albums).
John confirms that producer Nick Launay will be helping him mix the new material, and states that eight tracks are "clearly done" with "maybe four to seriously work on".
A press release from London based DJ / Rapper Carpetface states he has been working with Keith Levene on the track 'Realeyesation' which will be released on his forthcoming debut album. The press release also states Carpetface will be collaborating on "Levene's long-awaited 'Titanium Box' album scheduled for release later this year." This is most likely a typo as the Levene / MurderGlobal album is set to be called 'The Perfect Crime'. "Titanium Box" is working title of the proposed Keith Levene / Martin Atkins collaboration first mentioned in 2003.
2 remixes of 'Realeyesation' – featuring Levene on bass – turn up on a limited edition CD single 'Revolutionation' sold at Carpetface DJ sets at the Glastonbury Festival in June. A version of the track is also later featured on his debut album 'Have Mic Will Travel' released in 2005 (see Levene discography for full info).
'Mojo' magazine - John Lydon interview. Regarding his new solo material he states: "I don't want to use the name PiL because it's totally me. PiL is a collective thing and always will be. No, this is just solo... It is so solid in my head that I can't see a way of fitting someone else in musically. I want that to go out as it is. But fuck off cruel world if you are expecting me to give you a new 'Metal Box' in a plastic tin. It is what it is and I genuinely couldn't care less about the commerce side."
The magazine also features an article about Primal Scream including quotes from Jah Wobble.
Fodderstompf.com - John Lydon interview. "I'm a Sex Pistols Let - Me In There!"
John exclusively confirms his involvement in the 'I'm a Celebrity Get - Me Out Of Here' show: "I might get a nature programme out of it!" he joked at the time! As John's popularity grows during the show the interview is ripped off in various tabloids and magazines.
John Lydon arrives in Australia to take part in ITV's 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here'. The high profile reality TV show which see's 10 "celebrities" having to survive in a camp in the Australian Jungle while they are filmed 24/7. They also have to earn their food by doing tasks, known as "The Bushtucker Trial". The show is an established success in the UK and watched by millions, upon millions of viewers.
As well as John, this series features: glamour model Jordan; fraudster Lord Brocket; ex-footballer Neil Ruddock; athlete Diana Modahl; pop singer Peter Andre; former BBC Royal Correspondent Jennie Bond; Mrs George Best Alex Best; pop-tastic DJ Mike Read; and ex-Atomic Kitten singer Kerry McFadden. Bookmakers place John joint favourite along with Neil Ruddock.
'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here' begins on ITV1. John is nominated for the first Bushtucker Trial, "Beat the Bird!" John v's an Ostrich!
'Sueddeutsche Zeitung', Germany. Jah Wobble writes an essay on the music business: 'Money or Label ?' for the Munich newspaper: "To tell you the truth… I really don't care about the decline of the music industry. It was always a stupid and not very professionally run enterprise..."
'FACT Magazine' - Full Metal Jacket. 'Metal Box' retrospective by Kris Needs. As well as information from his 1979 ZigZag interview the article also includes some quotes from Bobby Gillespie: "You could only take the punk thing so far. You had to try to listen to new things. I'm talking about the influence of PiL. 'Death Disco' had a reggae bassline, disco drumming, 'Swan Lake' on the guitar and then Lydon singing lyrics about his mother dying. It's the most bizarre mix up. It's inspirational really."
'Mix Magazine' - Nick Launay interview. The interview touches briefly on his work with PiL, but makes no mention of the new John Lydon record.
'Rolling Stone' votes 'Metal Box' #469 in its "Greatest 500 Albums of All Time". 469 out of 500? I don't think so…
Bravo, USA 'The History of Jamaican Music' part 2 - John Lydon interview (originally shown on BBC2 in July 2002). John discusses his 1978 trip to Jamaica to help sign reggae artists to Virgin Records. The show includes rare Lydon footage filmed by Don Letts in Jamaica.
Despite being favourite with the bookmakers to win John Lydon decides to walk out of 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here'. At this point the programme is being watched by over 13 million viewers. He will later donate the majority of his fee (reportedly over £100,000) to the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone, Africa.
John appears on 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here' to explain why he quit the show. He tells hosts Ant & Dec how he had no wish to win, and had became frustrated by the shows format. He went on to explain of his anger that the producers would not tell him if Nora had arrived safely from LA.
Speaking in the 'Sunday Mirror' John later revealed the reason he was so desperate to find out if Nora had arrived safely… It transpires that John and Nora were actually booked onto the doomed PanAM 103 flight from Heathrow to New York that exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988, killing nearly 300 people. John and Nora only missed the flight as they were running late. Ever since, they have always let each other know they were safe…
In later comes to light the 1989 PiL track 'USLS1' was written about the flight.
XFM Radio, UK - John Lydon interview.
VH1, UK, 'Rotten TV' - episodes 1 &2. On the back of Lydon's success in 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here' VH1 repeat the first two episodes of John's 2000 TV series.
Jah Wobble and Don Letts are guest DJs at 'The Trojan Sound Systems presents Trojan Explosion', in Market Place, London. Wobble almost blows the speakers!
'Zoo' magazine - John Lydon interview. This is actually a collection of other recent interview quotes rather than a new interview.
Jaki Liebezeit and Philip Jeck - Kulturama Muziekfestival, Leuven, Belgium.
The gig takes place at STUK Kunstencentrum and is professionally recorded for a live album to be released later in the year on 30 Hertz ('Live at Leuven'). (See Wobble Discography for full info).
Keith Levene plays his final show with Plakka at The Eye, Stoke-Newington, London. Again, helping out on bass guitar.
'Sunday Mirror' - John Lydon interview. His first exclusive press interview on leaving 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here'. John debunks the many myths surrounding himself, Rambo and Razor Ruddock fighting at an aftershow party.
BBC 6 Music, Tom Robinson's 'Evening Sequence' - Keith Levene interview. As well as talking about PiL, the interview comes right up to date with Keith's MurderGlobal project, and even plays new mixes of 'Aztek DUBD' and 'Killer in the Crowd'; along with the original version of the Pigface collaboration 'The Love We NEW'.
Keith reveals that he now considers 'The Perfect Crime' album almost complete, and hopes for a summer release. He also talks about the forthcoming Martin Atkins collaboration.
The release of 'Death Disco: Songs From Under The Dance Floor 1978 - 1984' a post-punk compilation CD including PiL's 'Death Disco' (7" Mix) along with 'Haile Unlikely by the Electric Dread' from the 1979 Steel Leg EP; featuring Keith and Wobble, plus with Don Letts (see Discography for full info). This is the first time anything from Steel Leg has ever received a CD release. Read the Fodderstompf review here.
'The Daily Telegraph' - Jah Wobble interview.
John McGeoch RIP (1955-2004). PiL guitarist John McGeoch, 48 years old, sadly passes away in his sleep in Cornwall, England. He is survived by his partner Sophie and daughter Emily.
News of his death comes as a huge shock to his former band members, fans and friends alike. With PiL unofficially disbanding in 1992 McGeoch had returned to England from LA and continued to make music, albeit somewhat low key... 1995 saw him become a qualified Nurse. However, he chose not to pursue the career, and returned to making music. He signed to Rykomusic Publishing in 2002 and had recently been writing music for TV, including theme tunes for Channel 5. RIP John, you'll be sadly missed.
Keith Levene makes a guest appearance at a soundclash between Adrian Sherwood, Asian Dub Foundation and The Bug at the 'Ether 2004' festival at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. Levene plays guitar during the set of The Bug. Keith, of course, had worked with Adrian Sherwood and ON-U in the past; and was also asked to produce The Bug (aka Techno Animal) by Alan McGee a few years back; an offer which he decided to turn down...
Speaking about the event, Levene was later quoted in 'Guitar' magazine as saying: "The guy that organizes Meltdown [Festival] said 'What would you do if I got John Lydon and asked you to reform PiL?' And I said 'I wouldn't consider it for less than a million quid. Why don't we reform the band and not call it PiL?' It was weird talking about John and the feasibility of working with him, and it really got me thinking about it, but then I saw him on TV and I'm not saying he was terrible, but I realized he was so far away from my planet..."
'The Independent' - John McGeoch obituary by Pierre Perrone.
'The Guardian' - John McGeoch obituary by Dave Simpson.
BBC1, 'Friday Night With Jonathan Ross' - John Lydon interview.
Radio Scorpio, Belgium, 'Fully Completely' Show - Jah Wobble interview.
BBC3, 'Live At Johnny's' - John Lydon interview.
'The Times: Higher Educational Supplement' - Jah Wobble contributes an article regarding his return to education in 1996 to study for a degree in Humanities at Birkbeck College, University of London.
Jah Wobble releases 'Elevator Music 1A' on 30 Hertz. 'Elevator Music' was originally released for download-only via eMusic in November 2003. This CD edition adds three new tracks (see Wobble Discography for full info).
'Guitar Player' magazine, USA - Keith Levene interview as part of a feature on punk guitarists.
Fodderstompf.com - David Humphrey interview. PiL drummer; circa early 1979.
David appears on 'Death Disco' and 'Albatross' from 'Metal Box'. This was the first time he had ever spoken about his time in the band.
'The Sunday Times Magazine' - John Lydon interview. In a very frank and open interview John talks about his personal life and family, and also reveals some of his future plans, including swimming with Sharks! The interview also states that John Rambo Stevens has been promoted to "super manager", as well as security and hairdresser!
'Cultural Foundation' website - Jah Wobble interview.
It is announced that the Keith Levene MurderGlobal 'Killer In The Crowd' EP will finally be (re)released in June, via Underground Inc / Invisible. The CD will be limited edition of 1500, and feature new mixes not available on the original 2002 version.
Dave Brock, singer and guitarist of Hawkwind, interviewed in 'Belfast Telegraph': "Talking about strange collaborations, we actually may even be recording with John Lydon soon as well." This appears to be nothing more than wishful thinking.
'Mojo' magazine - John McGeoch obituary by Siouxsie and the Banshees biographer Mark Paytress. The last person to interview McGeoch.
Fodderstompf.com - Richard Dudanski interview. PiL drummer; circa mid 1979.
Our second 'Metal Box' drummer interview in under a month!
Jah Wobble's Invaders Of The Heart begin a short UK tour at Bradford, The Love Apple. Wobble will continue to sporadically tour the UK and Ireland throughout the year (see Wobble Gig List for full info).
Fodderstompf.com - Allan Dias interview. PiL bassist; circa 1986-92
Allan was one of PiL's longest serving members, playing bass on three studio albums.
Martin Atkins releases 'Dubhead'. The first of a series of Pigface remix CD's taken from last year's 'Easy Listening…' album.
'3am Magazine' website - Keith Levene interview. Compiled in March from conversations between Levene and Greg Whitfield 2002-2004. Keith talks extensively about his life, growing up, his influences, his interests, and most importantly, music, music and MUSIC!
Speaking of his current plans he states: "I'm also in the process of working on some tunes with some dub artists here in London and USA. The results we have are good, so we are working on securing the right deal."
'Guitar' magazine, UK - Keith Levene interview. Levene states the proposed Atkins "Titanium Box" collaboration still hasn't came off, and reveals some tension between the two; with Atkins demanding Levene play guitar on the record rather than bass: "I fucking hate being told what to do. It's not a childish thing; it's just that if I want to make a record a certain way I've got a reason for doing it… I just find it patronising for a guy that I consider to be my peer telling me 'well I think for the American market you should play guitar' when I'm going to anyway…"
He sheds a bit more light on his 'Camera Dodgers' project. Apparently Levene and his associates having been "filming secret footage of illegal arrests and exploring the secret lives of CCTV cameras…" The short film will be scored by MurderGlobal.
Levene also explains his studio set up, and his guitar sound: "It's just straightforward Keith guitar… I get my sound through me, through the guitar, and I can do it with any guitar. People don't exploit their guitar enough, they're too busy piling pods and effects on it…" Referring to his new found love of playing bass Keith describes himself as playing "like a schoolgirl slut!"
'Guitar' magazine, UK - John McGeoch obituary.
Jah Wobble releases the album 'Bilmadim' by Yulduz Usmanova on 30 Hertz. Wobble produced and completed the album in just one week back in August 2002, but Sony Music refused to release it at the time. The album includes mixes by Bill Laswell and Philippe Verga, and also features legendary Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin.
This is the first release by another artist on 30 Hertz Records. (See Wobble Discography for full info).
Keith Levene MurderGlobal 'Killer in the Crowd' EP is released via Martin Atkins' Underground Inc label. The EP was previously given a very limited private release via the MurderGlobal website in 2002 (see Levene discography for full info). This limited edition digi-pack release features slightly revamped mixes of all tracks, along with the new promo video for 'Killer in the Crowd'. Read the Fodderstompf review here.
It's reported that Levene has almost completed work on a full-length Murder Global album entitled 'The Perfect Crime', which is also planned for release via Invisible Records / Underground Inc.
Manual - Chicago, USA
A scheduled 18 date North American tour was cancelled and this show in Atkins native Chicago is the only one played.
This new Damage Manual does NOT feature Geordie Walker, Jah Wobble (or Keith Levene) in any shape or form. Only Atkins and Chris Connelly survive from the original line-up.
'Observer Music Monthly' votes 'Metal Box' the 10th "Greatest British album". The magazine also features an article on 'Metal Box' by Garry Mulholland, including quotes from Wobble.
'Sky News' report John Lydon has signed a deal with Channel 5 in the UK to present two nature specials. The first show will be about his love of sharks ('John Lydon's Shark Attack'); while the second will cover monkeys ('John Lydon Goes Ape'). Sky state filming in Africa has already begun and the shows will air on Five in November.
The relaunch of JohnLydon.Com. Now under new direction.
Martin Atkins releases 'Clubhead'. The second of a series of Pigface remix CD's taken from last year's 'Easy Listening…' album. A remixed version of the Atkins / Levene collaboration 'Closer to Heaven' is included as 'Extended to Heaven Edit'.
Other commitments from both John Lydon and Nick Launay force work on Lydon's solo record to be shelved. Nick Launay returns to Australia from LA. It later came to light that Launay considered Lydon's 'Rotten Studios' unsuitable and wanted him to upgrade. Lydon stated in 2005: "I make my music the way I make it, and if my studio at the moment isn't good enough for him well, tough. I'm not prepared to go into the larger studios because I just don't see the point, they offer me nothing but expense…"
In between his forthcoming TV commitments Lydon will slowly continue work on the material, however, it is largely put on the back burner for the foreseeable future. During 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!' Lydon had mentioned being inspired to write a new track which he called 'Garden of Eden'.
It is reported that Keith Levene has been jamming with drummer Ted Parsons of Teledubnosis, along with a variety of unnamed "dub, hip-hop and rock" musicians.
Martin Atkins sells himself on Ebay! Well, sort of, he puts his drumming skills up for auction on a one-off track.
Keith Levene makes a rare live appearance with Carpetface at London, The Factory.
LATE JULY / EARLY AUGUST
John Lydon begins filming for a new series on Discovery Channel. 'John Lydon's Megabugs' will focus on insects. Filming takes place in Louisiana, Arizona and Florida; with follow up work in New Orleans in October.
Martin Atkins releases two more remix projects. 'Damaged' by The Damage Manual: a 2 CD remix of tracks from the 2000 album and EP (see Damage Manual discography for full info).
Another remix of last year's Pigface 'Easy Listening…' album is also released. This time mixed by DJ? Acucrack entitled 'Pigface presents Crackhead: The DJ? Acucrack Remix Album'. A remixed version of the Atkins / Levene collaboration 'Closer to Heaven' is included as 'Closer to Heaven (Acumen Sets the Controls for the Heart of the Sun)'.
WCJB-TV 20 News, Florida. John Lydon interview. Lydon is interviewed as part of a report on nuisance wasps in Citra. He is currently filming in the area for his forthcoming 'Megabugs' series for Discovery Channel.
'Birmingham Post' - Jah Wobble interview.
'The Independent' - Jah Wobble picks his "Top Ten Dub tracks".
Isn't nature such a wonderful thing, spreading all over the world…" JohnLydon.Com confirms that John Lydon has been circling the globe filming various nature specials for UK TV. Full info will be announced soon.
'The Independent' - Jah Wobble interview. Wobble is interviewed as part of a feature on the closure of Wessex Studio's; where PiL mixed their debut single 'Public Image' in July 1978. A un-nostagalic Wobble states: "We got barred after about five days because there was a punch-up in the pub with people from the studio. It's just another studio as far as I'm concerned, and it was a rip-off…"
Radio 2, 'Jonathan Ross Radio Show' (hosted by Mark Lamar) - Jah Wobble interview. Wobble gives the mighty Fodderstompf.com a mention.
Jah Wobble releases the career spanning anthology 'I Could Have Been a Contender' on Trojan Records (see Wobble Discography for full info). The extensive 3CD set also includes 'Public Image', 'Poptones' & 'Death Disco'. Read the Fodderstompf review here.
'The Times Online' website - Jah Wobble interview.
Jah Wobble's English Roots Band
- London, Cargo.
Special album launch show. The band are joined by Molam Lao along with other special guests including BJ Cole, Harry Beckett, Clive Bell and Spikey T.
'Metro' newspaper - Jah Wobble interview.
BBC 3, 'Blood On The Turntable' - John Lydon interview. The show centres on the Sex Pistols and their break up; and includes a specially recorded extensive interview with John Lydon.
Jah Wobble releases 'Live at Leuven' another download-only album for eMusic.com. The album was recorded live at Kulturama Muziekfestival, Leuven, Belgium on February 14th; and also features Jaki Liebezeit and Philip Jeck. It is set to be given a full CD release via 30 Hertz sometime later in the year (see Wobble Discography for full info).
Former PiL "video guy" Ed Caraballo is sentenced to eight years in Afghanistan for his part in running a private prison with US mercenary Jonathan "Jack" Idema. Caraballo was seemingly working on a documentary on Idema, and was caught up in the madness. He was later released in April 2006 after having his sentence reduced.
BBC, Radio Lancashire, 'On The Wire' - Jah Wobble interview.
Jah Wobble releases 'Car Ad Music' another special download-only album for eMusic.com. The album was originally set to be given a full CD release via 30 Hertz sometime in 2005, but has fallen into limbo (see Wobble Discography for full info).
'3 Voor 12', Holland - Jah Wobble interview.
The UK media report that John Lydon is preparing a TV series for Discovery Channel entitled 'John Lydon's Megabugs'. The series is set to air in November; and is a completely separate project from the ape and shark specials also set to air later in the year on Channel 5.
'John Lydon: Sex Pistols, PiL & Anti-Celebrity' an unauthorised biography of John Lydon by Ben Myers is published in the UK. The book borrows from Fodderstompf.com without permission. Read the Fodderstompf review here.
BBC 6 Music, 'The Music Week' - Keith Levene interview.
Jah Wobble's English Roots Band play five gigs in Ireland and Amsterdam (see Wobble Gig List for full info)..
'Toazted.com' website, Holland - Jah Wobble interview.
'The Nerve' magazine, Vancouver - Keith Levene interview. Keith states his forthcoming album is now under the working title of 'Titanium Dream'. He also reveals he has turned down Don Letts to appear in his update of 'The Punk Rock Movie' which is set to cover punk from the seventies right through to its influence today. Levene is quoted as saying: "I was going to be interviewed by him, but I don't think I'm going to do it now…"
BBC London, 'Robert Elms Show' - Jah Wobble interview.
Martin Atkins releases (yet) another Pigface remix album 'Defrag vs. Pigface: 8bithead'. The CD includes three mixes of the Atkins / Levene collaboration 'Closer to Heaven'.
BBC 6 Music, 'Tom Robinson: Evening Sequence' - Jah Wobble interview. "Goulash, soft porn masquerading as art, plus Trojan horse band members" are amongst the many subjects covered. Poor old Tom Robinson didn't know where he was!
JohnLydon.Com publish full preview information on John Lydons' forthcoming nature programme's for Channel 5. 'John Lydon's Shark Attack' will air November 3rd, with 'John Lydon Goes Ape' being shown a week later on November 10th. "Stay tuned Channel 5 can lead to a big Discovery…"
Siouxsie Sioux presents her 'Dreamshow' live in London. She is later quoted as saying: "When I was in the planning stages for the Festival Hall I thought of inviting John [McGeoch] to play. The news of his death was very upsetting…"
OCTOBER 22 - NOVEMBER 9
Jah Wobble's English Roots Band begin a 12 date UK tour at Burnley, Burnley Mechanics (see Wobble Gig List for full info).
'The Guardian' - Jah Wobble interview.
JohnLydon.Com publish full preview information on 'John Lydons Megabugs' series for Discovery Channel. The 10 part series is due to start November 7th. "John's on a mission to get the most misunderstood and feared insects some respect…"
BBC Radio Leeds, 'Martin Kelner's Late Thing' - Jah Wobble interview.
Daily Mirror, 'We Love Telly' magazine - John Lydon interview. Not strictly an "interview" the quotes are actually taken directly from his forthcoming Five nature shows.
Channel 5, UK, 'John Lydon's Shark Attack'. The first of Lydon's two unique nature TV specials for Five. He got his wish, he went splish, he went splosh. John goes diving in the blue water with the sharkies… 'Open Up' and 'Rise' are featured in the show, but no 'Blue Water'! See JohnLydon.Com for full info.
'N24' Channel, Germany - Jah Wobble interview. Speaking of the current music scene Wobble rants: "Where are the visions? Where's the Bob Marley of the 21st century? Where's the new Miles Davis? I can't see it!" The presenter comments: "perhaps he should have a look into the mirror."
'The Sunday Express' magazine - John Lydon interview.
Discovery Channel, UK, 'John Lydon's Megabugs' - Spiders. The first of Lydon's 10 part insect series for Discovery. See JohnLydon.Com for full info.
Jah Wobble releases 'Live at Leuven' on 30 Hertz (see Wobble Discography for full info). The album features Wobble together with Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit and turntabalist Philip Jeck recorded live at the Kulturama Muziekfestival, Leuven, Belgium, February 14th. The album was originally released for download-only via eMusic in September.
'Radio Times' - John Lydon interview.
Channel 5, UK, 'John Lydon Goes Ape'. The second of Lydon's two unique nature TV specials for Five. Save the Go-ril-az…! See JohnLydon.Com for full info.
Discovery Channel, UK, 'John Lydon's Megabugs' - Mosquitoes. See JohnLydon.Com for full info.
'Playlouder' website - Jah Wobble interview. When asked about the hypothetical possibility of PiL reforming he admits: "I'd have problems working with Keith. It would have to be viable - more than just going on stage doing the old songs. I could imagine working with John, just about..."
Discovery Channel, UK, 'John Lydon's Megabugs' - Scorpions. See JohnLydon.Com for full info.
Discovery Channel, UK, 'John Lydon's Megabugs' - Bees. See JohnLydon.Com for full info.
Discovery Channel, UK, 'John Lydon's Megabugs' - Leeches. See JohnLydon.Com for full info.
Jah Wobble's English Roots Band play the legendary London, 100 Club.
Discovery Channel, UK, 'John Lydon's Megabugs' - Termites. See JohnLydon.Com for full info.
Discovery Channel, UK, 'John Lydon's Megabugs' - Cockroaches. See JohnLydon.Com for full info.
Discovery Channel, UK, 'John Lydon's Megabugs' - Flies. See JohnLydon.Com for full info.