Friday, October 03, 2008

Punk rock will never die

Not for as long as John Lydon, a man we steadfastly refuse to refer to by his other name, is "shockingly" doing butter adverts.

Because that's exactly what he does now, isn't it? His entire career now is based on the hypothesis "what would people not expect me to say and do?", hence I'm A Celebrity, Judge Judy, the skateboarding videos he presented, the claim he wants to duet with Kylie, the innumerable identikit interviews in which he claims X were punk and Y wasn't in which X is a hoary old American trad rock outfit and Y is a sacred cow of 1977... basically, Lydon is Ozzy Osbourne with a different accent. You'll notice that while he's ever willing to play himself up as both an establishment threat and a national treasure he seems reticent these days to talk about the project closest to himself, Public Image Ltd, to the extent that the whole Kele Okerele fracas started when Kele suggested Lydon should have reformed PiL instead.

Doesn't this whole thing blow the long unsteady foundations of Punk Ethics up, though? You can't call Lydon a sellout because he was doing that in 1982 when he toured PiL with a scratch band, let alone the Pistols reformations. (Odd, isn't it, that after so much criticism of Malcolm McLaren's commodification of the Pistols he's gone to play ball) For a movement that was all about the youthful, DIY here and now we've ended up with Punk Weekenders, Jamie Reid exhibitions and the Clash back catalogue recycled as much as Dylan's or the Stones'. And yet it's still presented as the spirit of the Westway and the 100 Club still being alive, rather than never dying because it's been cryogenically frozen. Meanwhile, we wait to see which resort Lydon will be playing Bubbles at over next Christmas.

Can't wait to see the comments box.


Vincent Robleto said...

Johnny Lydon's been conning us the whole time.

The Daily Growl said...

Advertising butter? I bet you'd NEVER have expected that, eh?

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