John Lydon is the proverbial penny that will not go away. He has a story to tell and he’s damn well going to tell it, in his words, in his way.
‘Rotten, No blacks, No dogs, No Irish’ was Lydon’s first book, the story of his youth and The Sex Pistols. ‘Anger Is An Energy’ is a reaffirmation of that background, revisited and bolted to the narrative of his film, ‘The Public Image Is Rotten’ where Lydon continues the story of his life, and the life of PiL, warts and all. As a fan, the book is compelling reading, written by Lydon and journalist Andrew Perry, taking you behind the scenes into the life and times of John Lydon the poor little kid. How he became Johnny Rotten, the most hated person in the land, and then to John Lydon the man, in all his reincarnations of singer, actor and TV celebrity. The people in his bands, the people in his life, the highs, lows and even the imitator trying to muscle in on the action. I never tire of the anecdotes, the story flows from crisis to solution to the crisis and beyond, nothing is easy and everything is worth fighting for, and therefore, as a reader, the book keeps me turning page after page.
I am in there with him, just one little step behind, except when he’s in the shitter having his next great idea, there are, after all, some places that should remain off limits. So much has already been written about John, the Sex Pistols, PiL. Some of it good, some bad, but mostly rumor and skewed half-truth. If you want to know the truth, you have to speak the truth, uncomfortable as it may be, as misinterpreted and it may be. John is brutally honest, and in return, he expects and respects the same, whether it be from his family, friends, band members or the media, anger is John’s energy, it’s what drives him, it’s what compels him to keep pushing forward, to be the best he can in a world where there is only one John Lydon.