It may be an unpopular opinion, and I agree he was had some massive missteps and done some horribly cheesy things, but I think John Lydon has had so many moments of brilliance despite surviving so much manipulation, animosity, and tragedy. I think very few humans will ever know what it feels like to be the #1 national target for so much hot-blooded anger and brickwall rejection that all starts when just being a teenager.
Outside of being on Judge Judy, doing butter commercials, entering the Eurovision contest, etc., he has made some fantastic recordings and been an incredibly loving person to his family including his wife of 45 years. I can’t imagine loving someone so long and so dearly only to see them fade away into the abyss of Alzheimer’s Disease as he has seen wife fall into over the last 5 years. *Since the writing of this article John’s wife Nora has passed
Every PiL record from the 80s has huge merit all while sounding nothing alike. Some of them still sound astoundingly fresh and relevant. And, while yes, it could be much more raw and visceral, I personally believe that “Never Mind The Bollocks” is a pretty perfect album. Call me a sucker if you will…go ahead take a moment to do it. I even thought the 2012 “This is PiL” album has some vastly bright moments on it including this song, “Deeper Water.”
My oversimplified interpretation of it is that it is basically about the idea that no matter how much weight life thrusts upon you, you can dive deeper into that pain in order to free yourself from it. This of course is a remarkably not British and yet a perfectly British sentiment at the same time. Eastern spiritualism by way of a stiff upper lip. So there you go, neither here, nor there, or just possibly maybe there and here at the same time — just like growing up as a sickly kid in a council estate while being from an Irish immigrant family and living in a stolidly British world.
Society en masse often dislikes nuance and hates contradiction. Lydon has always been overflowing with both. He is assuredly one of the most spat upon people in history, and yet he persist and he swims on in the deepest of waters.
Written by: Brian Teasley
By - Kristi Houk “These are dangerous days. To say what you feel is to dig your own grave.” -Sinead O’Connor, “Black Boys on Mopeds” from I Do Not Want What I haven’t Got, (1990) I wasn’t supposed to write this. I was slated to review the latest Guided by […]
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