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John Lydon answers life's big questions

The former Johnny Rotten on the Sex Pistols, his love for the NHS and preferring to be in a jar rather than in a grave

John Lydon, generation-dividing iconoclast, Sex Pistol, prime mover of Public Image Ltd’s enduring definition of post-punk experimentation, is washing his hands. We can only admire his excellent hygiene, and venture that perhaps more artists should similarly ablute before embarking on the interview process. “And after,” the man who once was Rotten chuckles darkly. Poised to reissue massively expanded editions of PiL’s hugely influential Metal Box and Album, an unapologetic Lydon unleashes his infamous larynx to reveal, en chanson, no less, that even now he regrets rien.


Do you believe in God?

Spelt backwards is dog? It’s a man-made concept, very haughty and intellectual, but the end results prove no such thing could be possible.

Did your childhood illness leave you with strong feelings regarding the NHS?

It helped me to survive, so I’ve massive love and admiration for it. I’ve always thought a national health service is one of the finest attributes of any society. You have to look out for those less well off than yourself. It strengthens us rather than weakens us. If you let your fellow human beings down, your society is worthless.

From the archive

From the archive

From the archive

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