Johnny's Still Rotten

Aug. 8, 1996 -- The Sex Pistols made one all-time-classic album and then broke up in the midst of an abortive US tour, thus fulfilling their manager's conceptual vision, but leaving an army of fans starved for in-the-flesh fulfillment.

Two decades later, the Pistols have mounted a reunion tour -- and the legend definitely lives -- great rhythm section, great guitarist, and a frontman unlike any other. In fact, John Lydon supplied the perfect 1977 touch by walking out of a little interview we did with the band after we raised the subject of his reportedly whacking a security guard with a mike stand at a concert in Belgium last month -- who could ask for anything more? And at New York's Roseland on Thursday night, the Sex Pistols were once again one of the most stirring bands in rock history.

KURT: Have you guys patched it up? John, have you and...

JOHN LYDON, Sex Pistols: Well, I think so, don't you? We wouldn't be standing here otherwise.

KURT: Well, you

aren't standing next to each other.

LYDON: Oh for fu**'s sake. (He stomps over and stands next to his bandmates.)

KURT: Oh, OK. That's good. Could you hug? Just a hug. (The band members get carried away with a group hug. Lydon stands immobile.)

PAUL COOK, Sex Pistols: They love each other.

KURT: OK. How's the response been on the road? I heard you had to hit somebody... Didn't you hit somebody on the head with a mike stand recently?

LYDON: End of interview. (Turns and stalks off.)

KURT: What's wrong with THAT? It's...

LYDON: Because you'll be the next.

KURT: Hmphhhh!