John Lydon says caring for wife’s Alzheimer’s disease “shaped me into what I am”

“All the things I thought were the ultimate agony seem preposterous now"

Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon has opened up about caring for his wife of 44-years since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease five years ago.

Last month, the Public Image Ltd singer revealed that he would be vying to represent Ireland with his band at this year’s Eurovision song contest with new song ‘Hawaii’.

Previously describing the song as a “love letter” to his wife Nora, the singer, who was born in London to Irish parents, lost out on his bid earlier this month to Dublin four-piece Wild Youth.


In 2020, Lydon said he threw out a planned album with the band in order to care for Nora. Now, the punk rocker has opened up about the emotional toll of his wife’s diagnosis.

John Lydon of Public Image Ltd performs on stage at O2 Forum Kentish Town on June 16, 2022 in London, England. (CREDIT: Jim Dyson/Getty Images)

“All the things I thought were the ultimate agony seem preposterous now,” Lydon told the Sunday Times. “It’s shaped me into what I am. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. I don’t see how I can live without her. I wouldn’t want to. There’s no point.”

He did, however, say that the challenging journey has been “worth every moment”, adding “no joy comes without pain and, boy, do I know that now”.

Lydon continued: “You make your commitment to a person and nothing changes. These are the cards life dealt, and my mum and dad were right: never show self-pity. Ever.”

At the time of the interview, the musician also expressed how difficult it was going to be to leave Nora to perform at the competition: “Unbeknownst to me (my manager has) thrown me in the deep end and I don’t know if I can survive.


“Will my ego come back? It’s hard to go from 24/7 care to this. I’m unprepared.

“I have to bring this illness up to the public but leaving Nora disturbs me. It’s a rock and a hard place. But what do I do?”

However, after losing out Lydon said he did not regret entering the competition because it helped raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease.

“We had responses from victims who said they were close to suicide but for this song,” he said.

The singer also expressed that the couple had hoped for “adventurous” later years, but that it was “not going to plan”.

“I break into tears thinking about it,” he added.

Elsewhere, Lydon recently said that he finds Eurovision to be “disgusting” and “dreadfully phoney”, despite his hopes around that time to represent Ireland.

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