John Lydon reveals Chinese government requested his lyrics before approving PiL gigs

The former Sex Pistols frontman is given all-clear to play shows in Beijing and Shanghai this weekend (March 30, 31)

John Lydon reveals Chinese government requested his lyrics before approving PiL gigs

Photo: Ed Miles/NME

John Lydon has revealed that he had to send every lyric he has ever written to the Chinese government for approval before Public Image Ltd. were given permission to play in the country.

PiL are due to perform at Beijing's Yugong Yishan on March 30 and Shanghai's Mao Live House on March 31, however, Lydon's lyrics – including The Sex Pistols' 'Anarchy In The UK' and 'Pretty Vacant' – had to be vetted by China's Ministry of Culture prior to the dates being confirmed.

Vetting by the Chinese authorities for foreign bands and artists isn't uncommon and has resulted in many big names, including Oasis, being refused entry into the country to perform.

Speaking about the process, John Lydon told NME: "The Chinese Government asked me to send every lyric I have ever written, and they surprisingly approved me. They have either incredible good taste or they have no idea what I'm going on about. I can't wait to find out."

When asked if he was surprised to be given the all clear, Lydon joked that it may be part of a cunning ruse to snare him. He added: "Well, I hope their prison food is better than elsewhere. I've been in jails all around the world. I'm due an update."

Earlier this year, it was reported that authorities in China had allegedly hardened their stance on foreign performers after Elton John dedicated a concert in Beijing to artist and political activist Ai Weiwei.

According to reports, John finished his November 2012 performance in Beijing by saying the show was dedicated "to the spirit and talent of Ai Weiwei". Officers wanted John's manager to sign a statement saying the dedication was inspired only by admiration for Ai's art.

Similarly, Bjork was condemned for shouting "Tibet! Tibet!" while performing in Shanghai in 2008. Speaking about her comments at the time, a spokesperson for the ministry of culture in China stated: "[her] political show has not only broken Chinese laws and regulations, and hurt the feeling of Chinese people, but also went against the professional code of an artist."

Read More On This Artist

John Lydon - Why Record Store Day Matters John Lydon - Why Record Store Day Matters

Video: John Lydon - Why Record Store Day Matters

More News
Sly Stone awarded £3.3 million in unpaid royalties
Rage Against The Machine's Tim Commerford teams up with Lance Armstrong
Skrillex, Flying Lotus, FKA Twigs, Duran Duran added to Sónar festival bill
Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante to release acid house LP
Run The Jewels share 'Lie, Cheat, Steal' video - watch
Everything Everything: 'If you put out a record this year and it's all smiles, then...
Students launch petition to name east London University building after Wiley
Sinead O'Connor withdraws application to join Sinn Fein
Sleaford Mods back crowdfunded documentary 'about the band and state of modern Britain'
Björk on 'Vulnicura' album leak: 'There's no way to say how you'd...
Drenge on new album 'Undertow': 'One song just screams 'Fleetwood Mac'
Liam Howlett confident ahead of new Prodigy album: 'I've been feeling these new...
Taylor Swift tells hackers who claim to have nude pictures of her: 'you got nothing'
Noel Gallagher: 'new album is is full of songs that make you punch the air while crying'
Carl Barât says he 'needs therapy' now that his Libertines bandmate Pete Doherty is clean
The Cribs say new album is 'their poppiest record since 'Men's Needs, Women's...
Sam Smith responds after US DJ Howard Stern calls him a 'fat ugly motherfucker'
Tom DeLonge says Blink-182 'haven't talked in months'
Carl Barât & The Jackals announce one-off UK show
Blink-182's Mark Hoppus confirms conversations about replacing drummer Travis Barker did...
Faith No More announce release of new single 'Superhero'
L7 announce reunion and European gigs

More News

Comments

Please login to add your comment.

Latest Tickets - Booking Now
 
Know Your NME
 

 
NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM