John Lydon: ‘They’re trying to give me a MBE or whatever it is. Nope, not interested’

The former Sex Pistols musician says that a national treasure 'sounds like a race horse'

Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon has spoken about his standing as a so-called “national treasure”.

Lydon, who recently published his second autobiography Anger Is An Energy, discussed his career and influence with NPR, joking that a national treasure “sounds like a race horse”.

Lydon added, “I’ve heard the rumors. Oh, they’re trying to give me an O.B.E. or an M.B.E. or whatever that is. Nope, not interested… You wouldn’t say that [I’m a national treasure] if you saw the state of my underpants. I tell you. Let’s be honest.”


The punk icon also defended himself against the notion that he has “sold out” by appearing on reality TV shows and in adverts. Lydon said, “People are prepared to absolutely condemn me, but then behind my back, rush off and copy it. I’ve spent my whole life trying to be myself. I’m not emulating other human beings, not trying to fit into what society thinks it has the right to dictate to me about what is right or wrong. Who’s right or wrong here? Well, it’s either me or the whole of society.”

Lydon previously said that the message of his book was that “self pity is for arseholes”, now telling NPR, “My mom and dad would never tolerate self-pity. And although that was a painful experience, to learn that’s actually the correct way of living a life – well, I’m just happy to be this way. I can’t imagine trying to fit in with the rest of the honky donkeys out there. It’s just not worth it.”

The PiL musician recently claimed that the Sex Pistols are too fat to reform, saying, “Oh no, that’s finished. I mean have you seen us? I mean We’ve all put on weight but Mr Jones [guitarist Steve Jones] is coming it at 500 pounds! And I did the butter advert!”

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