You've got to hand it to Sex Pistols frontman/agitator John Lydon: The guy's persistent.
It's been more than a month since he and the rest of Pistols failed to show up for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — as they had promised (see "Sex Pistols Respond To Rock Hall Invite With Filth And Fury") — yet in a lengthy interview posted on his official site, JohnLydon.com, he continued to hammer away at the hall.
But this time, he wasn't railing against the institution's corporate ties nor its stuffy selection process — but rather, it was the evening's official "Guide Book," which is filled with such hyperbole as "The Sex Pistols played the industry, and the industry played them right back" and stated that the band's agit-anthem "God Save the Queen" "reached #1 in the U.K." (It only sort of did: The tune claimed the top spot on the New Musical Express' chart, yet only reached #2 on the official chart.)
"We tried to work with these people [at the hall of fame], we did make a concerted effort to get things right, but they consistently couldn't be bothered. But they can be bothered — and do go out of their way — to employ people who have no real grasp of reality," Lydon said. "We have re-educated the Halls of Shame many a time, and they've ignored the lot, and they're still employing naff journalists. It's exactly what I expected, which is why in all honesty I couldn't recommend anyone going to that hall, or having anything to do with them."
But Lydon wasn't all filth and fury in the interview — which identifies no interviewer and is billed "The JohnLydon.com interview." He took time out to profess his admiration for England's Arsenal football club and spoke of the possibilities of yet another Sex Pistols reunion. But this time around, he's not thinking about a tour (the Pistols toured in 1996 and 2003 and have played various scattered dates), but rather a one-off special on Japanese TV.
"Well, we got an offer [to re-form], but it was no good," Lydon said. "It was for a whole bunch of gigs. But what I wanted to do ... was to just do one big gig in Japan. My original idea was I wanted to do it on the day of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame [induction ceremony], but that was a bit childish on my part.
"I'd like to do one gig in Japan, live TV, and not bother with a whole tour because there's no need for it. And I've got too many other things to do. All of us have other work obligations now," he continued. "We would do a gig for fun ... it would be a possibility if it's for TV broadcast. Then it's special. It would be like a thank you present. Any other way, no. Not particularly interested, certainly not going to go out touring."
Lydon also spoke about his involvement in an upcoming exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, called "AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion" (which runs from May 3 until September 4). The show focuses on the groundbreaking British fashions of the past 30 years, beginning with the tattered jumpers and bondage pants sold by punk profiteers Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood at Sex, the London boutique they ran in the late '70s.
A spokesperson for the Met confirmed that Lydon will be recording a podcast for the exhibit, which will be put up for free download on the Met's Web site (MetMuseum.org) as well as on iTunes. The podcast — in which Lydon talks about the historical context of "God Save the Queen" and punk fashion in general — will also be available on the museum's headphone systems, so visitors to the exhibit will be able to hear his take on the whole thing ... which, in a manner seemingly unbecoming of the punk provocateur, seems to be unusually positive.
"They want me to explain exactly what the lyrics of 'God Save the Queen' were about. Which is a good opportunity to actually get something right. They came to us, so I have a sense of responsibility towards that. It sounds very good, sounds like a huge laugh," Lydon said. "I'm gonna loan them my original design — which was made by Vivienne — of the tartan jacket which I wore on the first American tour. The bondage pants fell apart years ago, they rotted actually. Quite literally rotted, but the jacket — moth holes and all — is still in existence. I love that tartan. I've never been able to get the tartan to do it again."