happened like this: we we're at Organ Towers one day, battling through
the morning's demo tapes (got a great one from Inane!) when the phone rang
"Do you want to
come and talk to the Sex Pistols down the Hundred Club? We'd like them
to be in Organ."
"Is there any free beer in it?" we said...
"Of course," was the answer.
"We'll be there then."
11:30AM!! What sort of punk rock gobbing time of the morning is that?!
So we're down the 100 Club, 12.00 sharp and there's hundreds of tourists,
press photographers, all sorts, all hanging around - we fight our
way through, shove our piece of paper that was just faxed over to say we're
invited at the scouling guy on the door, blag a few mates in to help drink
the beer, a Big Issue seller, few people like that, throw a bundle of Charlie's
Angels pink flyers in the air and go in.....
just in time" says the transvestite with the pink hair,
so in we
go: me, Cecile the French babe (with the camera) and the people we blagged
in whose names I don't know and who we left under the table unconscious
at the end.... and as soon as we walk in a thousand camera flashes go off
in our face....
that's not them" yells an American with a microphone and an MTV jacket......
and amazingly enough there's hundreds of people totally ignoring the free
bar!... This is better than the last time I was at the 100 Club. That was
an Oasis gig though, I'll flog you a tape if you want. Free bar! let's
get in there! No one else is drinking, lot of serious looking people in
here, someone from The Times asked me who I was, and what I thought of
it all.... There's Union Jacks everywhere, one of 'em has Princess Diana
in the middle and "Queen Of Tarts" emblazoned across it. More giant
Trannies handing out food, smoked salmon bagels actually, we bag a few
for later. Old paper cuttings everywhere just to remind us. The Grundy
interview and various live gigs are being shown on the various televisions
scattered (there's a lorry driver in the corner kicking the shit out of
one of them). There's a whelk and jellied eel stall, oh dear... get us
another beer in. Can't believe there's all this free beer and there's only
four of us necking, there must be about 300 journalists in here, they all
seem to be from the Guardian and the New York Journal and things like that,
either that or sordid Sun hacks, whoever they are they're far too serious
about their work to drink the beer. Give us another one...
give us a V sign"
"JOHNNY, THIS WAY"
In they walk - massive scrum, one of the Trannies gets knocked over and
her feathers go everywhere. the Pistols look ancient, ancient and fat...
and they're laughing their heads off. Steve Jones looks like he's been
sitting at the end of the bar for ten years telling anyone who'd listen
that he use to be famous, that or he's been driving taxis... Matlock looks
about eighteen, like he's still living at his mum's. Last time I saw him
he was playing to 27 people, including his dear old mum, upstairs at the
Dome in Tufnell Park (most people were there for the support band, Angel
Interceptor). Paul Cook looks like an A&R man.
So they drag themselves onto the table up on the stage and thousands of
cameras and lights follow them....
is all a bit sad, isn't it!" shouts someone
"Piss off" yells someone else
"Right, we're here, who wants to go first?" snorts Johnny... at the same
time demanding a beer and sending various record company executives scuttling
like demented rabbits
do we call you these days?
yells someone official from the stage with a microphone
"Sad bastard" yells someone else, "Sad old bastard"
Are you on any medication at the moment Johnny?
"Just ego, and
I've got more than enough to go around...."
This is sad isn't it?" barks someone else from the press pack
"Can I have that in English? Actually, It's sad that an arsehole like you
doesn't actually appreciate the effort we've gone to" says Mr. Rotten....
Organs are having great fun, this is a classic Pistols performance, Johnny
Rotten is on top form with all his belching and swearing...
Everyone starts yelling questions, small Japanese girls with mega tape-recorders
fall over, someone from Finland yells "Why are you playing Finland first?
"Got to rehearse somewhere, haven't yer? Might as well be there!"
How much are you making?
"More than the fucking Beatles and fucking rightly so because this is the
only decent thing ever to come out of this country that's actually worth
"This isn't what should be happening now though is it, this isn't punk
"- Isn't this an about-turn from everything you ever stood for?"
we invented punk! We write the rules, you follow, not the other way
"Fuck Off" someone called me yells
"Who the fuck are you?"
I'm from Sniffing Glue"
"You're just jealous" yells Cook
Do you still hate each other?
"Yeah we do, with a vengeance, but we've found a common cause - and that's
Are you going to play Brazil?
know" says Lydon, "If the price is right, we'll be there."
What about Ronnie Biggs, will he join you?
"I think that
both Glen and I agree that the Ronnie Biggs episode was of rather dubious
taste" sneers Lydon
How much are you getting?
you the tax man? I'll tell you at the end of the year"
going to be doing any new songs?
"Errr....... not planning on it, no..."
What do you think of Green Day?
- can we have some decent questions please?"
Are you playing
"We're trying to get into Glasgow but I think the Lord Provost is getting
on his high horse again, he's at it already - It's the same old shit, really
nothing has changed. Through the years, we've all gone off and done different
things and left it up to others to make waves, and nobody out there has
done bollock all to change the world... so hello, here it is - part two!
- and quite frankly, the Sex Pistols never quite finished properly, and
that's what this is about, to put a fucking full stop on it."
why has it taken so long?
I ran away from it for a long time. I couldn't cope with it because it
all went tragically, horribly wrong due to corrupt management and various
other arsehole members. We don't quite see eye to eye as human beings here
but we do have a common interest and that is that the fucking songs actually
meant something - and if they didn't you lot wouldn't actually be here
- including you, you fucking arse....
You said you'd never do it
"I've said a lot of things, I've changed my mind, that doesn't make me
a hypocrite, I've had a change of mind - and yes, money is a lot to do
with it, I have to be honest here, as if you didn't know, but I'm also
incredibly spiteful and when someone thinks something is so sacrosanct
that it should never be touched, then I wanna touch it - it's not a religion!"
Asked about a Sex Pistols reunion in the past you've said "What are we
going to do, dig up Sid?"
I've thought about it, but Sid's ashes were blown all over Heathrow airport!
We'd need a fucking hoover!"
going to get rid of the monarchy for us this time?
Lydon: "No no
no, our very good fifth member, Lady Di, is doing an excellent job. In
fact we've offered to do a benefit for Madame Di, coz just like us, she
really does need the cash..."
What would Sid think of all this?
"He'd love it, if he could think at all"
in your absence did anyone, including Public Image, or the Professionals
fill the gap?
"Public Image is an entirely different thing, always has been, always will
be, that's still going on - this is The Pistols, this is the original members,
Sid was nothing more than a coat hanger to fill the empty space on stage."
never really left The Pistols, we are the Pistols, we've always been the
Pistols, we're the ones who started it all.."
are the people who wrote the songs, thank you very much - and now we'd
like to be paid for it. because quite frankly, over the years every fucker
has lived off us and we've not seen a penny, or the respect, and you wouldn't
think we'd need a thing like respect but quite frankly I do, and I fucking
"That's a start - and anyway, I deserve it because there ain't no one out
there doing shit all; you want to complain about people grabbing money,
then look at all those trashy little pop stars you've got out there left,
right and centre, I don't see you bitching about any of those bumholes
- is it because we're working class that somehow we have no access to cash,
But you live in Malibu!
Should we all
just stay in our horrible little council estates? Bollocks!
This really has turned into the Johnny Rotten stand up comedy show, he's
on great form and the place is in fits of laughter...
aren't you old farts now? You've become the Rolling Stones..
got enough old farts to smother you with if you don't shut your mouth.
There's nothing wrong with getting old, like a fine wine I've matured with
Glen, what have you being doing for the last twenty years?
"Not a lot!"
How far can you spit these days?
to test it?"
you said you'd never go back to Dublin
I don't plan to stay there overnight, I have not so fond memories of Dublin,
I'll stay in Belfast, and beautiful downtown Beirut if we can have it -
not Dublin though."
do the Sex Pistols stand for now?
Exactly how broke
Lydon: "Not very, that's the best joke of all.... I don't really need the
cash, but you know, there's a little bit more going, so why not - it might
very well be daylight robbery, but you know, you're here, I'm here"
Do you like Oasis?
"They're just a pop band you know, not really worth talking about really,
Who's doing the support on your tour?
"Judging by the amount of Charlie's Angels stuff flying around this room,
they're doing it, whoever they may be - where's all this stuff come
from anyway? It's our press conference not theirs!"
"Who are they?"
"The support band will probably be some bunch of fucking geriatrics.
I mean let's face it, nobody's going to be going for any of the support
bands, apparently the Buzzcocks are going to do it at Finsbury Park, so
if you really want a good laugh just turn up late..."
you going to play a full set or walk off half way through?
I don't know do I? To be quite frank it's entirely likely that we'll beat
the crap out of each other in the first three seconds - that's the reality
of it you know, I can't promise you a full lovey dovey set with us kissing
each other, it might happen, it might not - you want easy answers, you'll
have to give us an easy question"
Are you expecting people to start gobbing at you again?
Lydon: "No, and quite frankly I never appreciated that in the first place,
I am not no fuckers spittoon - you spit at me and I shall retaliate
in more than kind.."
How old are you now anyway?
I just turned forty in January and I'm not the least bit ashamed of it,
we're not like anyone else in this business, we're not pretending to be
kids, we never did in the first place, we never bought in to that Pete
Townsend Hope I die before I get old crap and we also don't give a shit
what we look like so don't bother asking us about that either.
we call you now Johnny - Rotten or.....
"You call me sir"
you say that the real punk stuff coming up now is people like Tricky? People
who are actually doing something new?
" What Tricky's
doing isn't new, that's all samples of other people's stuff... that ain't
new, there isn't one original thought in there... by the way, I like Tricky...
Now you've reformed do you think it's inevitable that The Clash will follow
Lydon:" No, we don't know anything about The Clap - forget them, it's like
chalk and cheese, they were just sloganeerers"
Matlock: "I think
they'll do it next year because they were always around a year after us
Lydon: "Ah, some
wit from the end of the table, good point Glen - I'd like a big round of
applause for Mr. Matlock
Malcolm be making any money from this?
Lydon: Most certainly not - well maybe he'll be able to flog a few interviews
to really tacky arsehole magazines like NMEeeeee
John, you use
to say you hated stadium rock bands - you are one now...
not, what stadium would that be that we're playing then? Name me the stadium
and I'll call you a liar
Finsbury Park is fairly big....
Park is not a stadium, it is a field....
you like to appear in Hello magazine with Nora?
"Maybe in a threesome
with Lady Di"
Lydon: "No Glen,
not Fergie - that tart in a tent can stay where she is. That's the bum
suck end of it - in fact that's The Clash of the royal family... Quite
frankly we better get this straight before you all fuck off, this is just
us doing a few gigs, it won't change very much - those who hate us can
still hate us, those who like us will like us anyway....who cares what
times have you been approached to do this?
"About ten solid years of it actually, but all those offers have never
been really serious. This is happening because we actually bothered to
sit down and think about it and actually started calling in on some of
these arseholes who were offering all this money and have no qualms whatsoever
about taking them up on their big fat mouths
If the concerts go well are you going to make this permanent?
Lydon: No, the concerts won't go well, and no, it will not be permanent
- I mean - you know what this lot are like, we always disappoint on the
night, and surely, that's the fun of it all..
Wouldn't you be better in seated concert halls, in the round, MTV unplugged?
another tiresome dig from over there - all those geriatrics turning
up, your questions are tiresome - who cares, tough titties, I hope at Finsbury
Park it rains and you all get your wheelchairs stuck in the mud - It ain't
Is Sid's mum going to make any money out of this
We look after her and her pussy - Sid's mum has a cat you see..."
play Top Of The Pops?
Lydon: "No, that would never work, you've really depressed me just thinking
about that show - I mean it's so bad.... Unless of course they pay
us to do it! Now that would be a novel idea."
Are you going to play 'EMI' now that Virgin, you record company has been
bought out by EMI?
Lydon: "Can you
please not mumble that again..... next."
And there was no next... best dinner time pantomime I've been to in ages....
got hassled by someone in a Sex Pistols shirt back at the bar, looked up
from my drink to see it was Boy George and a couple of his mates
"You're not from Sniffing Glue - you're from that Organ thing, you
did that interview with Sado Dada over in that club in Soho, you said I
was sitting in the corner smoking crack"
We didn't say it was crack, we said it was a spliff, we must have been
playing it down... do you want to come clean George?
with that, everyone filed out politely like they'd been interviewing the
prime minister - while we cleaned up the free beer, food and stole all
the union jacks to sell to the tourists outside....
nothing more than
an hilarious piece of pantomime from some aging gits.... bit like
the Alf Garnet show or something.... hell, who cares, it was fun and what
with Oasis grabbing all the headlines and being on every radio station
you ever turn on, The Bluetones and Long Pigs and Cast being thrown out
at us, Pulp headlining big fields, it looks like the Pistols pantomine
show might be the most fun the establishment mainstream can throw at us
all summer... may as well have a laugh. (When was the last time..?)
So anyway there
we were, beer fueled, liberated bottles of wine and more smoked salmon
and there's these three girls and a guy standing on the street outside
with those ridiculous big Lush signs from the front of their new record...
Don't you feel stupid doing this?
No, why should
Lush turning into a sad parody of Brit pop and sounding like a shite version
of Sleeper now?
No they don't,
I'll get into trouble talking to you - d'you want me to be sacked
Well yeah, if it saves some poor misguided unfortunate from spending their
money on that abysmal Lush album...
we swerved our way out of the Sex Pistols' Press Conference comedy show
at the Hundred Club via the people with the silly Lush advertising signs...
into the Virgin megastore to bug those assistants about
those (continued here)