Johnny Rotten just gobbed on me

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al-Qa'bong
Johnny Rotten just gobbed on me

Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

al-Qa'bong

As someone who's been listening to the Sex Pistols since 1977, this is a huge disappointment.

Quote:

A few months ago Lydon claimed he's "well-known for being a pacifist" and named Mahatma Gandhi as his all-time hero. Surely, then, he would be open to supporting one of the most impressive examples of Gandhi's principles being put into action in today's world: the weekly demonstrations in the West Bank village of Bi'lin, where unarmed activists are regularly fired at by Israeli forces. Surely, too, he would be sympathetic to the call made by numerous Palestinian trade unions and other campaign groups for a cultural and economic boycott of Israel.

Not a chance, I'm afraid. Lydon has vowed to go ahead with a PiL concert in Tel Aviv, scheduled for late August. "If Elvis-fucking-Costello wants to pull out of a gig in Israel because he's suddenly got this compassion for Palestinians, then good on him," Lydon told the Independent. "But I have absolutely one rule, right? Until I see an Arab country, a Muslim country, with a democracy, I won't understand how anyone can have a problem with how they're treated."

 

 

John Lydon's rotten politics

PiL's frontman has betrayed punk's ethos by embracing greed and disregarding the plight of the Palestinians

ennir

Are we talking about the same Johnny Rotten who sang, "this is what you want, this is what you get" as he spat on the audience?

6079_Smith_W

He wasn't actually that edgy, talented or politically aware back then either. Anyone remember their tune "Belsen Was a Gas"?

If he has learned anything from the fellow who made him famous in the first place it's how to say outrageous things to grab headlines. Nice to hear about Elvis, though.

(edit)

And I am sorry for your loss a'Q, though I was more of a jam/slits/stooges fan back then myself. Perhaps this will ease the sting a bit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6yTRq_rJg4&feature=related

Cueball Cueball's picture

Belsen was a Gas, was clearly ironic. About macho militarism, obviously, at one end then shock theater at the other.

Quote:

Be a man be a man Belsen was a gas
Be a man kill someone kill yourself be a man
Be someone kill someone be a man kill yourself

Anyway, Lydon later rejected the song and said it was nasty and silly. As for edge, in the terms of the times they most certainly were edgy and opened up a lot of doors. Obvioulsy he was an obnoxious but talented kid and angry kid, who like to rock the boat and piss people off. He also really despised the "moralist" intellectual left. His motive might be as simple as trying to piss off Elvis Costello. He does like to piss people off.

Quote:
If Elvis-fucking-Costello wants to pull out of a gig in Israel because he's suddenly got this compassion for Palestinians, then good on him.

A good point, about hypocrisy: "suddenly" the world is jumping on the band wagon, when they didn't give a damn, not so long ago.

If you have been following him lately you can see he has mellowed into a bit of a stodgy old fart, doing TV commercials, late night tv talk shows, and his schtick has lost a lot of its charm in that environoment. He never had the intellectual discipline I think to decipher complex politics, and his approach was mostly emotive, I am not surprised that he has taken this position, he has always been quite strongly anti-Nazi, despite the regalia, and getting caught up in pro-zionist politics, given his later day transformation into an aging pop-star showboat.

Never mind the Sex Pistols, Here Come the Bollocks!

One trick poney. But what a great trick.

He doesn't care. He is an nihilist. He will take the money... what more did people expect? Now do you know what its like to have been cheated!

Not really, i didn't expect much more.

Now here is "Rock the Casbah" in Algerian

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I've never heard anything by Johnny Rotten/Sex Pistols myself, and only heard Elvis Costello in his recent CTV television specials, where he sings with some really interesting guests.

Is there a 'concerts' thread anywhere? I'd be interested in seeing what concerts folks have been to... I've been to quite a few myself, between 1966 and 1975. Them good old days. Laughing

Caissa

Here's there God save the Queen:

God save the queen
The fascist regime
They made you a moron
Potential H-bomb

God save the queen
She ain't no human being
There is no future
In England's dreaming

http://www.plyrics.com/lyrics/sexpistols/godsavethequeen.html

6079_Smith_W

Cueball wrote:

Belsen was a Gas, was clearly ironic. About macho militarism, obviously, at one end then shock theater at the other.

Yes, I got that it was ironic and designed to shock. I don't like it because it WAS just theatre - it's not really like the song said anything at all about the thing it was exploiting in anything other than a very superficial way.

I think it is interesting that the band which got picked as the cutting edge was essentially a drunken clown act rather than a group which actually said something or pushed real buttons (and there have always been enough of them). After all, ridiculing the queen has been an easy way to manipulate the mob since the before the days of the French Revolution, and it does nothing to challenge the listener. Hell, "My generation" was better, faster and more challenging years before the Pistols.

And regarding Elvis, I care less about whether what he did might be fashionable than the fact that he did it. Otherwise he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. And Lydon's smear is unfair because he doesn't know, and he only projected on someone else because he got asked a hard question about his own bad decision.

As you say, I didn't expect much more.

al-Qa'bong

Many years ago there was a line in Trouser Press about how London Calling showed that the Clash wasn't so bored with the USA after all.

 

I always detested Rock the Casbah and Train in Vain.  They were such obviously commercial panderings.  I suppose one shouldn't blame the Clash for trying to make money (or the Pistols for making cash from chaos), but there was an ethos about punk that was strongly anti-commercial, which was where lied much of its appeal.

 

6079_Smith_W

@ a'Q

Interesting. "Train in Vain" is one of my favourite songs of theirs, not because it is in any way political, but just because it is, in my opinion, a great song.

But since you seem okay with this tangent, I hope you won't mind me mentioning a couple of other bands back then which engaged in some actual social and political commentary:

The Pop Group - We are All Prostitutes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VnwL4-Ghn0&feature=related

 

Ton Steine Scherben (bricks, stones, shards) - Macht Kaputt was Euch Kaputt Macht (Loosely translated - Break Down Whatever is Breaking You Down)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwE8dlRnsio

http://www.riolyrics.de/song/id:146

Without doing a full translation, the three verses are about the things we buy, build and protect in our society, with a call to ask why, and to stop.

Cueball Cueball's picture

al-Qa'bong wrote:

Many years ago there was a line in Trouser Press about how London Calling showed that the Clash wasn't so bored with the USA after all.

 

I always detested Rock the Casbah and Train in Vain.  They were such obviously commercial panderings.  I suppose one shouldn't blame the Clash for trying to make money (or the Pistols for making cash from chaos), but there was an ethos about punk that was strongly anti-commercial, which was where lied much of its appeal.

 

The only album I really liked by the Clash was Blackmarket Clash, I was never a big fan, even though I saw them more often than any other major punk rock band. Over their career I saw them 5 times, right from small clubs to stadiums. That had more to do with being with the people I was with than any choice I made.

I get tired of hearing their "hits" over and over again, in particular "rock the casbah". That said, I love Arab-western cross-over, and I really like that version of Rock the Casbah.

As for the SP, I missed their renuinion tour because it was completely the opposite of the anti-commercial idea that made them likeable. The reunion cash grab was when I felt betrayed by them, after that, I basicaly wrote Lydon off.

milo204

The pistols said some pretty ridiculous stuff in their time, and obviously had no problems wearing swastikas because they were "shocking" (although that might have been at McLaren's insistence), so i wouldn't take anything rotten has to say about politics seriously at all.  It is really frustrating when a band you love takes an ignorant position on politics, especially punk rock because they should know better.

For example i love FEAR, Agnostic Front, ALL, GBH etc  but they say some REALLY questionable shit. 

al-Qa'bong

Quote:

@ a'Q

Interesting. "Train in Vain" is one of my favourite songs of theirs, not because it is in any way political, but just because it is, in my opinion, a great song.

 

Uh, er, OK...but then you like The Jam

So Winston, did you know that Joe Strummer was in a pre-Clash band called The 101ers, named for Orwell's famous room?

6079_Smith_W

@ a'Q

No... I didn't. And that vid is hilarious, thanks. Kind of reminds me of myself listening to "Disco Sucks" before I realized how many great disco songs there actually are (realizing of course that Disco is a lot more palatable without the army of dancing fools that went along with it in the old days).

al-Qa'bong

I can actually listen to disco now with a little sense of nostalgia; not like 30 years ago when I wanted to kill the radio all the time.  I wouldn't go so far as to say that there are any "great"disco songs, however.  I have noticed that there are quite a few songs from the late 70s-early 80s that I hadn't considered disco; but upon hearing decades later, realise had a disco beat.  It's amazing how insidious disco was in its oppressive control of our minds back then.

milo204

i can relate to what you're saying about disco.  I always hated it growing up--especially being a punk--but after i started DJing and buying disco records by accident i realized there are different types of disco.  There's the ultra cheese mainstream stuff like village people and the bee gees, but there is a ton of great disco that has more in common with funk and jazz than pop music.  It just happens to have the disco beat.

 

al-Qa'bong

Hmmm, I don't know about that.  The Clash and Peter and the Test Tube Babies made some disco records, but they sucked just as bad as real disco.

6079_Smith_W

al-Qa'bong wrote:

It's amazing how insidious disco was in its oppressive control of our minds back then.

And not just that... it was a big part of the bars shutting down almost completely to live acts in Winnipeg, where I lived back in the day. If we wanted to hold a gig it meant someone's house,  renting a hall or a space that was under the radar and outside the law.

But of course it was the materialism, the stupid dancing, the trendiness, and how terribly mainstream it was. I just hated it back then.

Of couse we weren't aware that disco and the club scene actually WAS part of someone else's revolution at the time - particularly for the gay community, but for other people as well.

And "great" may be a relative term, but there is some I do consider great music - though some of it is borderline soul. Without actually flipping though my old K-Tel I'd say tunes like "Shame Shame Shame", "Don't Stop 'til you Get Enough", "Brick House", "More More More" and "Disco Inferno", and "Get Down On It" are great songs.

 

al-Qa'bong

I checked Youtube to see if I could find that Peter and the Test Tube Babies disco tune, and found this instead: their version of Hocus Pocus by Focus.  It's so bad it's good.

al-Qa'bong

Disco Boy (avec sous-titres français).

j.m.

WTF is wrong with The Jam/The Style Council/Paul Weller? Not political enough?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whSYTSXm8wo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5HfOipwvts&feature=avmsc2

ebodyknows ebodyknows's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

 If we wanted to hold a gig it meant someone's house,  renting a hall or a space that was under the radar and outside the law.

Was there something sexy about that independance or did you just feel marginalized?

6079_Smith_W

ebodyknows wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

 If we wanted to hold a gig it meant someone's house,  renting a hall or a space that was under the radar and outside the law.

Was there something sexy about that independance or did you just feel marginalized?

??

Personally, I just wanted a place to hear and play the kind of music I liked. Didn't really analyze it.

Papal Bull

I know exactly what you're saying Smith. When I was younger, there were always options. There was the sketchy bar that got absolutely destroyed. The Polish Halls...God, good memories. I miss that.

 

One could analyze what happened, but I think it was more a fact that it was one of the rare times where a whole lot of kids could get together, be themselves and enjoy the shit they loved. Oh, the stories.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I've been searching for threads about concerts we've been to, can't find one. Would it be worth anyone's while if one was started up? I'd love to see which performers babblers have seen in their history, who's been to say Woodstock or Monterey Pop or indeed any other notable music events. Cool

al-Qa'bong

I went to Black-a-Rama in Winnipeg a couple of times.

Papal Bull

Boom Boom wrote:

I've been searching for threads about concerts we've been to, can't find one. Would it be worth anyone's while if one was started up? I'd love to see which performers babblers have seen in their history, who's been to say Woodstock or Monterey Pop or indeed any other notable music events. Cool

 

I'd be into that! I've been to see a LOT of live music in my day. But most of it was underground metal-punk stuff.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Well, I'll take a chance and go ahead with it. What's the worse that can happen? Embarassed

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
Well, I'll take a chance and go ahead with it. What's the worse that can happen?

 

You'll be banned for liking the wrong music?

ebodyknows ebodyknows's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

ebodyknows wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

 If we wanted to hold a gig it meant someone's house,  renting a hall or a space that was under the radar and outside the law.

Was there something sexy about that independance or did you just feel marginalized?

??

Personally, I just wanted a place to hear and play the kind of music I liked. Didn't really analyze it.

I thought if the politics of punk was part of its drawing power the politics of venues would also hold some importance.

It was certainly an issue for us in the early 2000's to try and gravitate towards ways of celebrating that didn't depend on capitalist infastructure.

How did they get to do this for free in stanely park?

Caissa

The red Army Choir?

al-Qa'bong

Quote:

What's the worse that can happen?

 

This reminds me of a tune from one of my first records. It was a pre-K-Tel LP called "24 Dynamic Hits."

 

Brooklyn Bridge - The Worst That Could Happen

Yikes, why is it that the clothing and hair styles in that video seem completely normal to me?