Given the disastrous experience of the Sex Pistols' sole U.S. tour -- a 1978 jaunt through the deep south that lasted just two weeks before the band broke up in a blur of riots and regret -- the first trip through the states by singer John Lydon (formerly Johnny Rotten)'s post-Pistols project Public Image Ltd. was bound to be a memorable one.
Public Image Ltd
“Lock up your children. The priests are coming,” John Lydon wailed in a theatrically deepened voice as he and Public Image Ltd. launched into an extended version of 1978’s ‘Religion,’ arguably the most intense 12 minutes of the band’s relentlessly pounding two-hour set at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg last night (Oct. 9).
John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, is staying true to some of the first words he uttered after launching the post-punk group Public Image Ltd. in 1978: “I will not be treated as property.”
The group released 'This Is PiL,' their first record in 20 years, back in May on the their own label, and the former Sex Pistols frontman and punk icon is determined to remain independent. Having wrapped the European leg of the tour supporting the new record, Lydon and PiL bandmates Scott Firth, Lu Edmonds and Bruce Smith dive into an expansive North American tour this week. Checking in with Diffuser.fm from his home in London, Lydon talked about music, politics ("If you vote for Romney, you're a f---ing idiot!") and his strong connection with children. Despite suffering from a head cold and facing the prospect of an early flight, the 56-year-old proved anything but rotten.