John Lydon

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John Lydon

John Joseph Lydon (born 31 January 1956) is an English rock musician also known as Johnny Rotten, the name he used when lead singer of seminal punk group the Sex Pistols. He was also lead vocalist for Public Image Ltd.


  • Ever get the feeling you've been cheated? Good night!
    • At the end of the last Sex Pistols concert, Winterland Theater, San Francisco, California (14 January 1978)[specific citation needed]
  • If the Royal Family was going to assassinate someone, they would have gotten rid of me a long time ago.
    • On the 2003 panel TV show The Belzer Connection, when asked if there was a conspiracy in the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.[specific citation needed]
  • Punk is like looking at a mirror. I already have a mirror so I don't need the Offspring to remind me how gorgeous I am.
    • The Jimmy Kimmel Show (4th September 2003)
  • England's a violent place. Too violent for me. That's why I prefer it here (the USA). For a gun-toting nation, Americans are surprisingly passive. This place suits me and the wife.
    • Interview: Seven Magazine in the London Telegraph (6 January 2008)
  • [On the lyrics of his songs] They meant a lot to my generation. And it's nice to know you've written songs that mean something to someone rather than some trivial pop dirge. I'm not thriving off a career slagging off the Queen. I think I have something valid to say. My words are my bullets. I like to brag that somehow I got it right.
    • Interview: Seven Magazine in the London Telegraph (6 January 2008)
  • I've never told anyone this, but I suffer from terrible stage fright. True. You can't tell though, can you? Unbelievable, the panic. I nearly die of fear before I go on stage. Something wicked. I can't eat a thing the day before a gig. It'd make me vomit. Once I come off? I could eat a scampied elephant between two buttered mattresses. But I'm kinda glad about the stage fright. I've read Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud about their terror. And I reckon it's what gets the adrenalin going.
    • Interview: Seven Magazine in the London Telegraph (6 January 2008)
  • [Replying to the question of the presenter: "where did the name "Sex Pistols" come from, who thought this name up?"] Some animal. I can't remember. It doesn't matter. It's history.
  • It's no more of that 12 bar ditty wavy hair in the breeze platform boots flap your flare nonsense. It's not a packaged image of third-rate idiots. It's not a pose. We just do our stuff. Hate it as it usually is, you know I was very shocked by the reviews of the last album. I believe none of them. They liked us for the wrong reasons, trendy reasons.
  • How can you ban language, words? How're words offensive? And why should I have to tolerate YOUR interpretation? I'm the one using the word. ASK me how I'm using it, don't TELL me. And if you don't like the way I'm using it, so what? It's my right. It's my freedom of expression. Without that, we're nothing but slaves.
    • In response to the infamous court case against Richard Branson and the owner of a Nottingham Virgin Records shop who was arrested for publicly displaying the word "bollocks" in his window while promoting the album "Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols." Classic Albums: Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols (© Isis/Eagle Rock Entertainment, 2002)
  • Turn the other cheek too often and you get a razor through it.
    • In: Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 303. CN 5585. 

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