John Lydon ("Johnny Rotten")
John Joseph Lydon was born on January 31st, 1956. It is not certain whether he was born in Ireland and immigrated with his parents (John Christopher and Eileen) to London, England - or if he was born in London soon after they arrived. John states that his birth certificate reads Highgate, which is a cemetery next to a hospital in London. He has three younger brothers - Jimmy, Bobby and Martin.
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John stands 6 feet tall and is left-handed. His favorite color is electric blue.
He has a history of illness that most people should never have to experience. At seven years old, John fell victim to Meningitis, which kept him out of school and in the hospital for one year. This left John with a curved spine and poor vision, which he says accounts for most of the interesting stares he often gives. He also suffers from asthma and is sometimes seen utilizing an asthma inhaler. He has also acknowledged a risk of going into seizures if certain colored flashing stage lights are used.
John is currently married to Nora Lydon (maiden name Forster) and has been since the late 1970s.
He has no children of his own. In 1977 his girlfriend at the time, Nora, became pregnant with his child. Sadly, she suffered a miscarriage in her second month of pregnancy, due to a fall from a ladder while changing light bulbs.
Lydon is best known by his moniker, Johnny Rotten and as the lead singer of the late 70’s era punk band The Sex Pistols, which he fronted from 1975 to 1978.
When the Sex Pistols broke up in 1978, John formed a new band, Public Image Limited (also called Public Image and PiL). The band’s music could never be categorized as punk, new wave, pop or rock as their format and music changed literally from album to album, and sometimes even song to song.
During this period Lydon costarred with Harvey Keitel in a low budget cop-murder drama movie, Corrupt.
Although PiL had its share of critics and a revolving lineup of members, John remained dedicated and stayed at the helm, proving it to be a very successful endeavor with over 10 albums, music videos, two official concert videos and many popular singles such as Public Image, This Is Not a Love Song, Rise, Seattle, Disappointed and Don’t Ask Me. In 1993, Public Image Limited officially ended its run when it went on "hiatus" (according to John).
Shortly thereafter John began what would ultimately be a varied solo career released the single ‘Open Up’, a collaboration with Leftfield. In 1994 he releases his first and only book to date, a long awaited and critically hailed autobiography titled "Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs".
During this time John lends his voice to a syndicated radio program titled "Rotten Day" - an amusing daily three-minute rant about ‘what happened on this day in rock history’, peppered with his own banter and opinions about each day’s historical rock significance. The program has a one year run.
Then, in 1996, after years of him refusing the possibility, John holds a press conference and announces a Sex Pistols reunion with all four original band members that will include a massive two country tour and live album release. The reunion is very well received by fans and becomes an extremely successful and lucrative decision.
1997 saw the release of a long rumored solo album, Psycho's Path. While the album received overall good reviews, John blames Virgin Records’ failure to properly promote it as the main reason for it not selling well.
In 1998, John starred in a short-lived VH1 television commentary show titled "Rotten Television". The show lasts just 4 episodes.
After "Rotten Television", John continued to remain in the spotlight. He had a brief role in an indy film titled ‘The Independent’. He also hosted an internet radio show called "Rotten Radio" on eYada.com, hosted VH1’s Grammy Awards Red Carpet show in 1999, appeared many times on ABC’s now canceled "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher" and has appeared on many other various radio and talk shows in England and the US.
In 2002, John wrapped up a second brief Sex Pistols reunion and is presently a DJ for BBC Radio Two in the UK.
While many projects (including a big screen movie about his life, a follow-up solo album, an even a PiL reunion) all remain rumored or in-the-works, one thing is certain… we haven’t seen the best or last of John Lydon.
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