Lydon was speaking in the latest issue of Uncut, to mark the upcoming 40th anniversary of Public Image’s debut album ‘First Issue’ and the breakthrough of post-punk in 1978.
Speaking about the song ‘Low Life’, Lydon opened up about how the track was inspired by Sid Vicious – who was on bail for the murder of girlfriend Nancy Spungen at the time he wrote it.
“I missed Sid,” said Lydon. “I missed how I could have helped him, steered him away, but he sought it out. We dragged him into the band but he wasn’t prepared for the onslaught.
“Heroin was a natural safety blanket; it takes away those feelings of doubt. For me, self-doubt is one of my biggest motivators. It’s where I thrive. I can’t deal with compliments but I can handle an insult. It armours my artillery.”
Meanwhile, Public Image Ltd recently announced details of a 40th anniversary tour, as well as a documentary and box set.
Public Image Ltd tour dates and tickets
The band’s upcoming tour dates are below. Visit here for tickets and more information.
Wed 30th May Bristol, England O2 Academy
Fri 1st June Bournemouth, England O2 Academy
Sat 2nd June London, England Camden Rocks Festival
Mon 4th June Coventry, England The Copper Rooms
Wed 6th June Norwich, England The Waterfront
Tue 12th June Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England O2 Academy
Wed 13th June Glasgow, Scotland O2 ABC
Fri 15th June Sheffield, England O2 Academy
Sat 16th June Manchester, England O2 Ritz
Mon 18th June Hull, England ASYLUM, Hull University
Thu 21st June Cardiff, Wales The Tramshed
Sat 23rd June Exeter, England Lemon Grove
Sun 24th June Wrexham, England William Aston Hall
Tue 26th June Reading, England Sub 89
Wed 27th June Frome, Somerset, England Cheese & Grain
Fri 29th June Nottingham, England Rock City
Sat 30th June Southampton, England Engine Rooms
Sun 5th Aug Blackpool, England Rebellion Festival
Sun 19th Aug Hardwick, England Hardwick Live Festival
Sat 25th Aug Bangor, Northern Ireland Bangor Marina
Tue 28th Aug Inverness, Scotland The Ironworks
Wed 29th Aug Aberdeen, Scotland The Assembly
Fri 31st Aug Dundee, Scotland The Church