"I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die..." --John Lydon
Punk has been romanticized and embalmed in various media. An English class revolt that became a worldwide fashion statement, punk's idols were the Sex Pistols, and its sneering hero was Johnny Rotten.
Seventeen years later, John Lydon looks back at himself, the Sex Pistols, and the "no future" disaffection of the time. Much more than just a music book, Rotten is an oral history of punk: angry, witty, honest, poignant, crackling with energy. Malcolm McLaren, Sid Vicious, Chrissie Hynde, Billy Idol, London and England in the late 1970s, the Pistols' creation and collapse...all are here, in perhaps the best book ever written about music and youth culture, by one of its most notorious figures.
Britain's short-lived, notorious late-'70s punk band the Sex Pistols has become one of rock 'n' roll's greatest legends. But it's time to set the record straight, writes Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, frontman for the Pistols and author of the controversial songs--``Anarchy in the U.K.,'' ``God Save the Queen''--which made his band an immediate sensation. In his engagingly nasty and unexpectedly witty autobiography, he seeks to demythologize the Sex Pistols by suggesting that punk rockers are just like the rest of us, people with families, friends and financial troubles. Vitriolic about the British class system and the music industry, Lydon is nevertheless unabashedly affectionate when discussing his own family. And his depiction of Sid Vicious, his ironic bandmate who has been alternately romanticized and maligned for his addictions to heroin and self-mutilation emerges as a touchingly helpless figure. Lydon's account of the Sex Pistols' demise is one-sided and his narrative rambles at times, but textual anarchy seems appropriate in the context. He augments his personal perspective with the disparate impressions of his fellow bandmates and associates to make his memoir a convincingly candid account of the Sex Pistols as working-class stiffs who mainly wanted to shake things up a bit and inadvertently stumbled across rock 'n' roll sainthood. Photos not seen by PW.