John Lydon: ‘Illnesses and pain made me what I am’

Singer also says he will never write new Sex Pistols material

Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon has spoken about his life in music and has said he believes that ”illnesses and pain made me what I am”.

Lydon, whose band Public Image Ltd. released their first album 20 years, ‘This Is PiL’, on Monday (May 28), told the Guardian that he would like to be remembered as “someone who has stood up for the disenfranchised”.

Asked how he would like to be remembered, Lydon said: “As a person who respected the rights of others, and always stood up for the disenfranchised. I love being alive so much. When you come out of comas in your childhood, every moment awake is a joyous occasion.”


He continued: “That’s probably where my predilection towards amphetamines came from. While you’re awake, you’re alive! But all the illnesses and pain made me what I am.”

Lydon also said that despite his recent collaborations with former Sex Pistols bandmate Glen Matlock, he would never write another Sex Pistols song again.

He said of this: “I can’t write for the Pistols. Emotionally, I’d be imitating myself, so respect it for what it was. PiL is expression of freedom, and you can’t go backwards once you’ve done that. Any new ideas go into PiL. My inspiration is everything that the human being gets up to. I don’t listen to any music when I’m in PiL-zone, because influences can poison your well.”

Last month, Lydon distanced himself from re-release of Sex Pistols’ ‘God Save The Queen’, also on May 28, which coincides with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. In a statement he said that the campaign to push the track to the Number One spot is “not my campaign” and claimed it “totally undermines what the Sex Pistols stood for”.

You can watch a video interview from John Lydon’s NME recent cover shoot by scrolling down to the bottom of the page and clicking.