Happy Birthday to Johnny Lydon!
I never saw the Sex Pistols, but I did see his other band, Public Image Limited.
And I was lucky enough to meet Johnny Lydon, back in the day.
I told this story many times and it’s a very cool story because it was so unexpected.
Christmas Day Night (always something magical about that time, so a few years ago I started hosting parties on that night), 1981, I went with a few friends to see Johnny Thunders perform at the Peppermint Lounge in NYC.
After the show, one of our friends was missing — the guy who drove us in, Steve Miller (from punk band Electric Frankenstein).
Not knowing where to look, we decided it was best to just go back to the car and wait for him.
As we were walking back to the car, we noticed Steve was there and talking to someone. “Who’s that dude?” We all wondered.
As we got closer, one of the guys said, “Holy shit, it’s Lydon!”
I was so young, just turned 18, so I was a nervous teenager about to meet an icon. When we got to the car, I nearly froze.
Johnny Lydon said hello to me first. I just so happened to be wearing a button with his picture on it on my jacket with his famous saying, “Lydon Not Rotten.” I showed him the button.
“God, I’m ugly!” he said.
“No you’re not, you’re cute.”
My friend gave him a lift. And he was so great, talking to a car full of teenagers, answering questions about the Sex Pistols and being so respectful to all of us. I asked him for his autograph but he didn’t feel worthy of giving one. He said, “Here, have a beer instead” and handed me a beer.
When he got out, he wished everyone “Peace and good will.”
What a great person to be so nice to all us youngsters who admired him!
Here is Johnny Lydon’s famous “American Bandstand” appearance where he purposely stopped lip synching and just let the record play. Gotta love the dude! The two songs, “Poptones” and “Careering” are my favorite songs from his band Public Image Limited:
Public Image Limited was so avant garde, nothing like The Sex Pistols punk songs. So buying a Public Image album was a shock, but I loved them just as much, if not more than The Sex Pistols
In addition to the “American Bandstand” stunt, when Public Image Limited performed at the Ritz in NYC, they played behind a screen, causing an uproar with the fans.
And here is the famous “Nevermind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols” album in its entirety with Johnny Rotten on vocals (I record I got in the $3.99 bin when I was a teen).