Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rotten, racist or both?

After one "final reunion" too many, have the Sex Pistols run out of stuff to grab headlines?

"Rotten by nature", was the apt headline from yesterday's Daily Mail. Many of us always suspected John Rotten Lydon and the Sex Pistols were amongst the most overrated popstars ever. And many thought their popularity is only justified if you are 14-year-old braindead who finds pulling faces and middle fingers up sooo rebellious and rock'n'roll. Well, finally we have been vindicated.

Controversy was recently spurred by Lydon as he left Duffy in tears after a psychotic fit at the Mojo Awards and after he was sued by an American TV assistant for smacking her in the face. Then there was the Isle of Wight festival last month, in which the rebel complained about the quality of bands on the festival bill, saying there were "still fucking homo bands coming up here". Coz the Pistols are a quality band, not a marketing tool, you know.

But this time there's enough evidence to state that a stunning concoction of senility and stupidity has definitely got the best of the self-styled 'punk rebel'. Or, arguably in line with a history lined by a marketing ploy after the other (the old saying 'all furcoat and no knickers' springs to mind), one final reunion too many meant that the Pistols have run out of stuff to grab headlines.

The scene was the Barcelona Summercase festival. After the gig, Bloc Party singer Kele Okoreke walks up to his old idol Lydon asking him if there will ever be a chance of a reunion for his post-Pistols band Public Image Limited. Apparently, mayhem ensued. Okoreke, born from Nigerian parents, said in a statement that the Sex Pistols singer “became intimidating and aggressive while his entourage responded with a racist tirade including the statement, ‘Your problem is your black attitude’.” Okoreke ended up with a split lip and severe bruising.

*How the press covered the incident*

The Telegraph titles :"Sex Pistols star John Lydon denies racist abuse allegations ", but it seems to muddle the issue up a little. Was the attack coming directly from Lydon or was it from his entourage? "Okereke claims he was the victim of unprovoked abuse by Lydon and members of his crew at the weekend in Barcelona, where both were performing at the Summercase festival".

"Anarchy in Barcelona as Lydon is accused of racist attack on singer", is The Independent's headline, while The Mirror focuses on Ricky Wilson's alleged rescue attempt in the guise of some kind of 'indie hero': "Kaiser Chief Ricky Wilson stops Sex Pistol John Lydon's 'racist' attack on Bloc Party's Kele Okereke". "Witnesses described Lydon and his gang as 'as acting like a gang of racist thugs'”.

The Sun seems to be in possesion of more details. Then again, the source being The Sun you really have to tread carefully. Apparently, "A eyewitness said: “Three guards piled in with fists and started pounding him, shouting things like, ‘We don’t like your bongo bongo music’ and, ‘Your problem is your black attitude’. “Johnny stood to the side and at one point he screamed, ‘You f****** kids don’t know what you’re talking about’”.

The Guardian ("Sex Pistols: Lydon denies racial abuse as singers clash") publishes Lydon's response, stating that the incident was sparked by "jealousy in certain bands". "The trouble was brought to us", Lydon said in a statement, "resulting in those causing the trouble being physically removed by festival security". He added, pathetically: "Grow up and learn to be a true man. When you have achieved as much as I have, come back and talk to me".

Lesson learnt, then. One: unless you've reached superstar status, and for a prolonged period of thirty years, absolutely do not dare talk to John Lydon. Two: too much money, fame and 'omnipotence syndrome' can get to a Rotten head really bad.


Anonymous said...

Like him or not, if there's one who hasn't got a black attitude then that's Kele. For sure.

Banquet said...

Erm...What exactly does a black attitude mean???

Anonymous said...

Lydon's a buffoon

Sham_72 said...

Rotten is not racist. But he is pathetically desperate to play up to the part of being Johnny Rotten: Most Dangerous Man In Rock. A caricature, basically. His security team may well be racist thugs, though, kind of goes with the type of shitty job. Rotten should be more careful with the kind of people he picks

Anonymous said...

Anyone stupid enough to believe the daily mails version of anything deserves the contempt they get.
That isn't to say this no mark clown didn't get a slap, who knows? After all what better publicity for your mediocre drivelling band than verbally attacking someone who has walked the walk with absolute integrity for 3 decades?

Stan Moss said...

You mean, like this one: