John Lydon

“Stand up and be counted”

Words: Ann Donahue
Photo (left): Paul Heartfield

The music icon and punk legend John Lydon tells us how he’s still fighting the “s- -tstem”

Calling John Lydon by his birth name still seems too prim and proper, especially as the 59-year-old ex-Sex Pistol – currently touring the US and Canada with his band PiL to promote their 10th studio album – continues to rage against the machine…

THE RED BULLETIN: The new album, What The World Needs Now…, was released on your own label. Is that thrilling?

JOHN LYDON: It’s taken decades, but I’m officially unrelated to the s- -tstem. Isn’t that the most wonderful phrase? I’m not alone, but I keep it pure. We’re all working to eliminate the s- -tstem.

How can others battle the s- -tstem?

Stand up. Be counted. But don’t attach yourself to a lie or a trendy belief. Research everything. And then, when you’re ready to commit, go ahead, laddie, because I’ll be there backing you.

The Song “Double Trouble” from their new album What the World Needs Now…

© PiL Official | Public Image Ltd // YouTube

As punk’s elder statesman, do you have any life advice?

We’re lucky to have a life. I love being alive. My peers are all dying around me – I suppose they’ve never got to grips with the life they’ve got. If I can make music for 100 years, that’s success. OK, I’ll settle for 70 years. Don’t want to be greedy.

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