Research by Karsten Roekens and Scott M, plus contributors…
Discovery Channel, UK, 'John Lydon's Megabugs' - Ants. See JohnLydon.Com for full info. During the show John sports a 1984 PiL 'This is What You Want…' tour T-shirt.
Discovery Channel, UK, 'John Lydon's Megabugs' - Wasps. See JohnLydon.Com for full info. The final episode of the series is broadcast as part of a special 'Megabugs' day on Discovery. All ten episodes are shown back to back.
Jah Wobble guest at the 'Love From Manchester' Tsunami charity concert at Manchester, Carling Apollo.
BBC 2, 'Blood On The Turntable' - John Lydon interview. Originally shown on BBC3, September 13th 2004 (digital/cable). The show centres on the Sex Pistols and their break up; and includes a specially recorded extensive interview with John Lydon.
Jah Wobble's English Roots Band begin a short UK tour at Swindon, Arts Centre, UK. Wobble will continue to sporadically tour the UK and Ireland throughout the year (see Wobble Gig List for full info).
Radio 1, 'British Label Special' - Jeanette Lee interview. Jeanette speaks about her work with Rough Trade.
Ken Lockie plays a one-off gig under the name Cowboys International at Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery, Atlanta, USA.
Martin Atkins releases a new Damage Manual album 'Limited Edition' via Underground Inc. Recorded last year, and completed in early January, this new Damage Manual does NOT feature Geordie Walker, Jah Wobble (or Keith Levene for that matter) in any shape or form. Only Atkins and Chris Connelly survive from the original line-up.
The ten track CD also includes a new remix of 'Expand' from Irmin Schmidt of CAN. The album is a special "limited edition" of 4000 copies.
Martin Atkins gives a Damage Manual release party at Chicago, Double Door.
Martin Atkins releases 'Pigface vs The World' via Eastworld. A UK-only 4 CD retrospective box set also featuring rare and unreleased tracks.
'Ectomag' website - Martin Atkins interview.
'Intellectos' website - Martin Atkins interview. Martin talks about PiL, his forthcoming book, and reveals he hopes to include Keith Levene in the new Pigface tour…
BBC website, 'Return to Learning' - Jah Wobble interview. Wobble discusses his return to education in 1996 to study for a degree in Humanities at Birkbeck College, University of London.
Release of 'The Punk Collection' by The Straps. Original PiL (and later Straps) drummer Jim Walker contributes to the liner notes.
Discovery Channel, UK, 'John Lydon's Megabugs'. Another 'Megabugs' day on Discovery. All ten episodes shown back to back.
'The Independent On Sunday' - Jah Wobble reviews Jonathan Schneer's book 'The Thames: England's River'.
Lu Edmonds takes part in the music industry conference 'Music and Cultural Rights: Trends and Prospects' at University of Pittsburgh, USA.
Jah Wobble gives a talk about "The spiritual and material qualities of London via the River Thames" at the Lecture Theatre, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London.
'Rock Star Journalism' website - Martin Atkins interview.
'Metro Times', Detroit - Martin Atkins interview.
'Richmond Times Dispatch' - Martin Atkins interview.
Keith Levene contacts Fodderstompf to quash rumours that he will be appearing on the forthcoming Pigface tour. Levene states there is "NO WAY" he is touring with Martin Atkins, or will be involved with the Pigface tour in any shape…
Around this time he decides to completely abandon the proposed Atkins / Levene "Titanium Box" collaboration. Tensions had been growing since before the release of the MurderGlobal EP the previous year. The decision leaves the virtually complete MurderGlobal album in limbo; since it was also due to be released via Underground Inc.
APRIL 14 - MAY 21
Martin Atkins' Pigface begin their 39 date 'Free For All' North American tour at Palatine, Durty Nellies; along with Sheep on Drugs, Nocturne and VooDou.
Simon Reynolds publishes his extensive book 'Rip It Up And Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984', containing two whole chapters on PiL. Work on the book developed from an article on post-punk written for 'Uncut' magazine in December 2001.
Reynolds traces the origin of post-punk back to John Lydon's legendary Capital Radio interview in 1977. Keith Levene, Jah Wobble and Martin Atkins are interviewed for the PiL chapters. Read the Fodderstompf review here.
Lu Edmonds plays The Forum in London with Billy Bragg and The Acoustic Blokes.
At 'Rotten Studios' in his LA home John Lydon completes a new track 'The Rabbit Song' which will appear on a career-spanning compilation set to be released later in the year. The track is mixed and produced by John and his brother Martin.
John Lydon attends a preview screening of Don Letts' new film 'Punk:Attitude' at ArcLight Cinema, Hollywood. Lydon was not interviewed for the film (neither was Keith Levene who was approached) and apart from a very brief live snippet PiL are virtually ignored.
However… the film, and later DVD release, does feature various PiL music – most notably 'Annalisa' which is used on the DVD menu titles. PiL and Sex Pistols music was used without publishing permission, and understandably John Lydon is not amused:"To me that stinks of thievery, and if that's Punk and Attitude", that's not my punk and not my attitude".
'The Independent on Sunday' - Jah Wobble reviews the book 'The Magic Spring' by Richard Lewis.
The official Tackhead website announces that Keith Levene will accompany Mark Stewart & The Maffia for a European tour "probably August/September". However, this message is soon erased and Mark Stewart (without Keith) plays only a handful of gigs in Europe around October/ November.
Jah Wobble guest at a special Harold Budd farewell gig at the Brighton, Concert Hall; as part of the Brighton Festival.
Martin Atkins Underground Inc release a PiL tribute album 'Tribute: A Tribute to Public Image Limited' (see Cover Version discography for full info). The 15 track CD is packaged in generic 'Album' style artwork; and features contributions from a whole host of Invisible / Underground related artists, plus the likes of Pete Jones and Can's Irmin Schmidt. Read the Fodderstompf review here.
Atkins did NOT contact John Lydon about the album's release…
Former PiL drummer Richard Dudanski releases 'Love and Hateship' the debut single from his new band El Doghouse, via the band's website.
Pete Jones releases a 4 track EP 'Neurotechnic' via his website. His first release in five years. Read the Fodderstompf review here.
Lu Edmonds plays London, Queen Elizabeth Hall with Billy Bragg and The Acoustic Blokes; as part of the 'Meltdown Festival'.
"Lie8!" John Lydon is forced to deny any possibility that the Sex Pistols will play Bob Geldof's Live8 Festival in July. Suspiciously, this completely unfounded "News" has been all over the media for two days. John's statement warns: "If they're gonna lie about the bands that are playing, how do we know the money is going where they say it is…"
Lu Edmonds takes part in the 'World Music Festival' in Shushenskoe, Siberia. He sits as a jury member during some of the events.
Martin Atkins' Underground Inc release a PiL DVD box set. The completely unlicensed and completely illegal 3 x DVD set features pirated and bootlegged material of highly dubious quality. The material – taken from PiL's whole career; plus the likes of John Lydon's appearance on 'Judge Judy' – had been available on home-made "Collectors" bootleg's, but now Martin Atkins' company has decided to package them together and sell them…
Atkins did not contact John Lydon – or any other former PiL member – about the DVD and the release angers everyone involved. The situation is only corrected over six months later when Jah Wobble confronts Atkins at an English Roots Band gig in Chicago, January 2005, and 'has it out with him'. Atkins then removes the DVD from his website and issues an apology calling it "lapse of judgment".
The full Atkins statement reads:
"I met Jah Wobble last night at his show here in Chicago. Things didn't end very well between him and I with The Damage Manual, so I wanted to show my face and say hello to the guy I was in PiL with 27 years ago! It was good to see him, but he was upset about the PiL DVD bootleg that I put up on the site - I explained why I had done it - that someone was making money on it - why not me too? But, standing in front of him, I realized several things: that, basically, two wrongs don't make a right, that it makes me look like I am manufacturing the thing (I bought some from a distributor) and, worst of all, it takes the piss out of my ex-bandmates whose performances are also on the DVD.
I apologized and told him I would remove it from the site today. I think that this episode defines the phrase 'lapse of judgment' perfectly and I humbly apologize to all concerned."
'Billboard' website - Jah Wobble interview. When asked about PiL he comments: "I've heard a lot of rumours - a few people have phoned up about this the last few weeks. People are actually making kind of concrete offers in regards of record deals. It's quite amazing really. The only way that would happen is, for pride's sake, we would have to do something new…"
'John Lydon's Shark Attack' is shortlisted for the prestigious Grierson 2005 British Documentary Awards. The show is nominated in the "Best Documentary on Science or the Natural World" category.
John Lydon and Flemish historian Marc Reynebeau begin filming a new series for Belgian TV, with the working title "What Makes Britain Great". Lydon and Reynebeau will be traveling round the UK taking a unique look at British history and culture; and speaking to a variety of people along the way. The series is set to air on the Belgian 'Canvas' Channel in Autumn. Marc Reynebeau later commented: "The shootings for the five episodes had to be done in fourteen days. We had to work from wake till dawn!"
JohnLydon.Com publish full preview information on John Lydon's career spanning compilation. 'The Best of British £1 Notes' will be released as a standard single CD, and a limited edition 2 CD 'special edition'; featuring bonus 12" mixes and album tracks. The artwork for all editions was created by Lydon especially for the compilation. The CD, and additional DVD, will be released October 3rd.
Martin Atkins makes DJ and spoken word appearances at the 'Psytopia Festival' at a luxury resort near Runaway Bay, Jamaica.
While queuing for a visa at the US embassy, in London's Grosvenor Square, John Lydon has the misfortune to bump into Jimmy Pursey of Sham 69. Pursey immediately begins to make a scene, and tries to get over-familiar and over-physical with Lydon; who promptly deals with Pursey by throwing a cup of coffee at him! Desperate for any sort of publicity Pursey goes running to 'The Sun' newspaper, claiming there was a "big fight". Lydon simply dismisses the whole thing and comments: "He's not fit to be in the same sentence as me…"
In an interview in 'Straight' magazine Mark Stewart (ex-Pop Group) reveals that sessions for the new Mark Stewart & The Maffia album include contributions from Keith Levene; and are "already in the can". Keith and Mark previously collaborated back in 1981 with the New Age Steppers.
Radio 2, 'Johnnie Walker Show' - John Lydon interview. The show was recorded the previous day but (stand in) host John Inverdale pretends the show is actually live. The show plays a brief medley from the forthcoming 'Best of British £1 Notes' including a sneak preview of 'The Rabbit Song'.
'The Sun' - John Lydon interview.
'The Independent' - Jah Wobble interview. Wobble denies the possibility of a PiL reunion: "I'd like to get hold of the money, but not have to deal with Keith!"
Martin Atkins and Curse Mackey hold a two-day 'Underground Music Seminar' at Underground Inc offices in Chicago, under the banner "Welcome to the Music Business: You're Fucked!"
'The Sunday Times' - Jah Wobble interview. Wobble talks about his 'dark years' in the 80s: "My sobriety day was October 23, 1986".
BBC 3, 'Forty Years Of Fuck' - John Lydon interview. 2 part documentary covering swearing on TV. Part 1 features a segment on the Bill Grundy 'Today Show' from 1976.
John Lydon was keen to discuss censorship – a subject very close to his heart – and talked at length for the show, but only agreed to take part on the condition that the producers would not use the Grundy footage, as he wanted to make sure the show didn't turn into yet another cheap Bill Grundy TV retrospective. The producers chose to ignore their promise and then edited Lydon's interview down to nothing more than a few quick soundbites…
Jah Wobble releases 'Mu' on Trojan Records. His first non 30 Hertz release in almost eight years (see Wobble Discography for full info). The album is a collaboration with engineer Mark Lausardi – who he has worked with on and off since 1978 – and was originally to be recorded in 5.1 Stereo. However, technical limitations for most listeners would have made making an audio-only 5.1 recording almost pointless, so the pair reverted back to stereo but tried to keep a "5.1 sensibility'".
The album is well received by both fans and music critics. Unusually, for the prolific Mr Wobble, this is his only album of the year! Read the Fodderstompf review here.
'Metro' newspaper - Jah Wobble interview.
Channel 4, 'Popworld' - John Lydon reviews some of this weeks single releases. Safe to say he isn't impressed.
BBC 3, 'Forty Years Of Fuck' - John Lydon interview. Part 2 of the documentary features a segment on John's "Fucking Cunts!" comment from 'I'm a Celebrity…' 2004.
ITV 1, 'Avenue Of The Stars: 50 Years of ITV'. John Lydon accepts a 'Star' on behalf of the Sex Pistols for the new UK "Walk of Fame" on London's South Bank.
BBC 6 Music, 'Tom Robinson's Evening Sequence' - Jah Wobble interview.
'The Sun' review 'Best of British £1 Notes'.
BBC Radio London, 'Gary Crowley' - John Lydon interview.
'The Times' review 'Best of British £1 Notes'.
'The Telegraph' review 'Best of British £1 Notes' (or at least pretend to).
BBC1, 'Heaven and Earth' - John Lydon interview. This is religion! Only John Lydon could call a Priest "a man in a dress in a little box" on Sunday morning religious TV and get away with it!
'Sunday Times Culture' magazine - John Lydon interview. Speaking of the idea behind the career encompassing compilation Lydon states: "I wanted the bigger picture… There really isn't that much difference between PiL and Pistols in terms of the way I write. Over the years, the two have been seen as entirely separate. I've found that very difficult. In America, PiL is the band: 'Oh, you were in the Sex Pistols too?"
'The Irish Times' - John Lydon interview. On the subject of PiL Lydon comments he would work with Jah Wobble or Lu Edmonds "in a heartbeat". And goes on to say: "I have total respect for them and I think they feel the same way."
'Independent on Sunday' review 'Best of British £1 Notes'.
John Lydon releases 'The Best of British £1 Notes' a singles compilation covering his whole career from the Sex Pistols, through PiL, to his solo records and collaborations; and ending with a brand new track: 'The Rabbit Song.' Read the Fodderstompf review here.
A 'Best of British £1 Notes' DVD is also released including all the PiL promotional videos (along with Time Zone and Leftfield Lydon), plus some Sex Pistols clips. It also adds three previously unreleased unedited 'Metal Box' "Monitor Mixes" as bonus audio tracks. Read the Fodderstompf review here.
Also see the JL.Com 'Best of British £1 Notes' mini-site for additional info.
OCTOBER 3 & 4
MTV2, 'Gonzo with Zane' - John Lydon interview (split over two days).
The DVD release of Don Letts' new film 'Punk:Attitude'. The film includes a previously unseen clip of PiL recorded at the London, Rainbow Theatre Xmas 1978. The DVD menu titles also feature 'Annalisa'.
John Lydon was not interviewed for the film (neither was Keith Levene who was approached) and apart from the very brief live snippet from Xmas 1978 PiL are virtually ignored. PiL and Sex Pistols music was used without publishing permission, and understandably John Lydon was not amused:"To me that stinks of thievery, and if that's Punk and Attitude", that's not my punk and not my attitude…"
In an interview at 'Flex.at' website Mark Stewart (ex-Pop Group) again states he has been working with Keith Levene: "Right now I'm working with Keith Levene of PiL [...]The new record will be full of those kind of people, a music journalist's wet dream."
Virgin Radio, 'Razor Cuts' - John Lydon interview.
'JohnLydon.Com' - John Lydon interview. In a special 'Best of British £1 Notes' interview John explains 'The Rabbit Song' is only part of an ongoing project for his second solo album: "The part that has been released is actually part of a much bigger thing. Part of a whole bunch of stuff, and they all intertwine with each other. I want them to play one into the other, so it's just like one big bloody dance night!"
He also reveals that his collaboration with producer Nick Launay has been abandoned after Launay wanted to change most of Lydon's studio equipment: "I make my music the way I make it, and if my studio at the moment isn't good enough for him well, tough…" Speaking of his on-going solo album he states he has 10 songs, five of which are "pretty much done", and his hopeful of a release the following year, baring other commitments, he also reveals he'd love to tour the 'Best of British £1 Notes' "in a PiL way".
'The Metro' review 'Best of British £1 Notes' DVD.
Richard Dudanski's El Doghouse release their debut album 'In Heat', via their website. The band features Richard on drums and Tom Lardner on lead vocals and rhythm guitar. They are also joined for live dates by Richard's 15 year old son Maki on bass.
VH1 Classic, UK, 'Sex Pistols Special Presentation' - John Lydon interview. Feature length interview with promo clips, plus comments about Lydon's musical output from the likes of Oasis, The Prodigy, Leftfield, Franz Ferdinand and Depeche Mode. The exactly same show is also screened by VH2, but re-titled as 'John Lydon's Greatest Hits'.
'Record Collector' magazine - John Lydon interview & front cover.
The journalist, Joel McIver, later uses part of the interview – along with material thieved from F&F and Fodderstompf – as part of his book on 'The Making of the Great Rock and Roll Swindle' book. Yes, it is a cliche, but it is a swindle…
'Q' magazine review 'Best of British £1 Notes' CD & DVD.
'Mojo' magazine review 'Best of British £1 Notes' CD & DVD. One for, one against.
'Uncut' magazine review 'Best of British £1 Notes'.
'The Word' magazine review 'Best of British £1 Notes'.
The US release of Jah Wobble's latest studio album 'Mu' is postponed until January 2006.
Lu Edmonds takes part as a speaker at the WOMEX conference in Gateshead, Newcastle, and also plays a gig with Babar Luck (ex-King Prawn).
'JohnLydon.Com' - John Lydon interview. "What Makes Britain Great?" Special interview about the 'Rotten & Reynebeau' TV series (etc), which is due to start the following evening in Belgium. And what makes Britain great? "The people. The people…"
Part one of 'Rotten & Reynebeau' is broadcast on Canvas in Belgium (VRT network). The five part TV series – co-hosted by John Lydon and historian Marc Reynebeau – was filmed throughout Britain in August and takes a unique look at British History and Culture. Canvas advertise the show as "a unique road movie". The first episode looks at British History.
John Lydon had described filming the series as one of the "most enjoyable things" he had ever done, however, there were to be problems ahead… (see November 22nd). Full info on the series can be found at JohnLydon.Com.
BBC Radio 3, 'Andy Kershaw' - Jah Wobble session. The English Roots Band perform live in the studio playing the tracks: 'Clea's Song', 'Troubadour', 'Blacksmith' and 'Ploughman's Song'. Wobble is also interviewed.
'Classic Rock' magazine review 'Best of British £1 Notes'.
'Q' magazine - John Lydon interview. Regarding the previous plans for the Sex Pistols to play Baghdad, Lydon reveals that the Pistols would have been allowed to play for the occupation troops, but not for the Iraqi people. Lydon abhors this as an "ugly scenario" and one he has absolutely no interest in: "I know they [Iraqi people] might hate me and stone me to death but... let them have the choice!"
Canvas, Belgium, 'Rotten & Reynebeau' - Episode 2: British Science. See JohnLydon.Com for full info.
Canvas, Belgium, 'Rotten & Reynebeau' - Episode 3: British Culture. See JohnLydon.Com for full info.
'OOR' magazine, Netherlands - John Lydon interview.
Canvas, Belgium, 'Rotten & Reynebeau' - Episode 4: The British Empire. See JohnLydon.Com for full info.
'HUMO' magazine, Belgium - John Lydon interview. John states that he has only been sent two of the five episodes of 'Rotten & Reynebeau', and is unhappy with the way the show has been edited; where he feels he's been relegated to nothing more than a "cheap comedy sidekick". He is also furious about the use of Sex Pistols music in the shows; which was prohibited under the agreed contract.
Three days later the VRT News website states that Leo De Bock – the general director of the production company Kanakna – has resigned over the errors.
Carpetface releases his debut album 'Have Mic, Will Travel'. Keith Levene plays bass on the track 'Realeyesation', recorded back in 2003 (see Levene discography for full info).
Canvas, Belgium, 'Rotten & Reynebeau' - Episode 5: Post-Modern Great Britain. The fifth and final part of the series. See JohnLydon.Com for full info.
Release of 'John Lydon's Megabugs' on DVD. The 2 disc set features all 10 episodes of the 2003 Discovery Channel series; and is housed in special 'transforming' slipcase (see JohnLydon.Com for full info).
In an interview for 'Suicide Girls' website film director Penelope Spheeris states: "Me and Johnny Rotten have been talking about doing a movie of his book 'No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs'. We actually have a script done, so hopefully that's going to happen at some point in our careers."
ITV 1, 'The 2005 British Comedy Awards'. John Lydon presents an award to chat-show host Paul O'Grady. Lydon takes the stage to the sound of 'Public Image'. He also gives O'Grady one of his rotten teeth; which he produces from a jewellery box wrapped in a Union Jack sock!"Comedy is Anarchy!"
Martin Atkins announces that after 17 years of running Invisible Records he has finally handed over day to day running of the business to a general manager; due to time restrictions. Atkins also announces a new Pigface album is nearing completion.
Channel 4, 'Richard and Judy' show - John Lydon interview.
Sky Sports, 'Soccer AM' - John Lydon makes a very brief appearance.
TalkSport & Sky Radio - John Lydon interview and soundbites.
Channel 4, Teletext, 'Ace' - John Lydon interview.
ITV, Teletext, 'TV Plus' - John Lydon interview.
ITV, 'Orange Playlist'. John picks The Pogues: 'Fairytale of New York' as his favourite Christmas track for a special festive edition of the show. A full show dedicated solely to John will follow on January 18th 2006.
'The Sun Online' - John Lydon webchat. When asked about his forthcoming solo album he comments: "The Rabbit Song is part of a new solo album I am working on at the moment. We just haven't found a record label for it yet. I offered it to Virgin, but they showed no interest. They showed about as much interest in my new album as they did in putting out this current one [Best of British…]. You can hardly call it over-promoted!"
Lydon also quashes speculation that has been growing throughout the year about a possible PiL reunion: "Me and Jah Wobble went for a great curry recently. He's a good mate and will be for life. But we're not getting back together…"
BBC 6 Music, 'Evening Sequence' - Jeannette Lee interview. Jeanette is interviewed about Rough Trade Records by Don Letts (who is standing in for Tom Robinson on the show).
Jah Wobble plays a one-off gig at the legendary London, 100 Club.
'The Independent' review Wobble's 100 Club gig.
'The Star' - John Lydon interview.