Like every other “larger-than-life” cultural entity before him, John “Johnny Rotten” Lydon means many things to many people. To a blissfully ignorant few, he is punk rock’s progenitor, the man whose brief tenure with a band called The Sex Pistols almost singlehandedly devised the genre’s entire ethos. To a wiser majority, he is a devastating asshole, a racist, butter shilling jerk-off who isn’t afraid to stake his illustrious CV on slew of inane, publicity-bating provocations.
But to the rest of us sorry pop music nerds, he is the man responsible for this fucking unmatched record. And this one. And this single. And good fucking Lord, this fucking goddamn motherfucking single, too. For as much as we geeks try to hate on the opportunistic shitbag John Lydon is/has become/has always been, Public Image Ltd are nigh untouchable, and while the band’s joyfully nihilistic legacy has certainly not justified Lydon’s recent racist/butter lovin’ antics, reminders of PiL’s past work have at least saved me from innumerable fits of retching whenever I read stories about John Lydon’s recent racist/butter lovin’ antics.
Which is why I’m pretty sure Lydon chose to reunite PiL right now. With all the hate crimes and Judge Judys and crumpet-spread douchebaggery levied against the dude’s name, I’d imagine being John Lydon’s reputation is a pretty rough gig at the moment. So in an effort to please the “hip” set that still chooses to see the former Mr. Rotten as something of a hero, Lydon is bringing back his “first love” to the stage, albeit without such seminal members as bassist Jah Wobble and guitarist Keith Levene. Instead, the newly formed PiL will be playing five UK dates with previous members Lu Edmonds (formerly of The Damned) and Bruce Smith (formerly of The Pop Group) as well as new meat Scott Firth. Is this new tour just another bullshit cash-in by the notoriously notoriety-starved John Lydon? Hell yes, of course it is! But then again, he made this fucking song and you didn’t, so you can shut your fucking mouth, you fucking fuck!
12.15.09 - Birmingham, England - O2 Academy
12.16.09 - Leeds, England - O2 Academy
12.18.09 - Glasgow, Scotland - O2 Academy
12.19.09 - Manchester, England - Academy
12.21.09 - London, England - Brixton O2 Academy