(fuck new generation metalheads).
JOHNNY ROTTEN: ďI LOVE CHEMICAL IMBALANCESĒ November 7, 2012
Mr. Rotten, how often do you brush your teeth?
I thought that if I replaced them Iíd never have to use a toothbrush ever again! (Laughs)
I am not sure it works like that. There is one missing quite prominently.
I paid a lot of money to have my teeth fixed because they were making me seriously ill. I found out that a great deal of the amount of time I spent ill was because of my teeth. So I had to do something really serious, and it cost me a lot of money. Within a week of having all these put it, theyíre all false, I broke this on a cherry stone. I thought, ďFuck that, Iím not going back and having all that operation on my gum ever again.Ē
Do you fear illness?
Fear? Well I had meningitis that put me in a coma for three months and when I came out of that I had no memory of anything. I didnít know my parents, didnít know my own name, and I never want to wake up and feel that pain ever again. Thatís a constant problem to me. Getting to sleep at night itís always there: ďWhat will that be like if that ever happens again.Ē That never goes away, that feeling.
You are known for your terrible behavior. Was there something special in your childhood that caused you to act out like that?
I refused to go on holiday with my parents from a very early age, you know 13 or 14, because I used to be terrifically embarrassed towards my dadís proclivity towards taking his clothes off and running around naked. Heíd do it for a laugh, but it used to really, really annoy and upset me.
I remember catching my mom and dad having sex and it ruined me for about a year. You know? It does, it affects you badly. Itís something that should be kept private, that side of it, because a childís mind canít cope with what that is. I remember my mom going, ďOh, no, oh, no,Ē and I thought my dad was killing her.
Some would say you might have embarrassed your parents in public. You certainly provoked a lot of peopleÖ
Yeah, sometimes deliberately in real life and sometimes not. Sometimes when I mean nothing but good things, it seems to really, really infuriate a lot of people. Iíve had the rare privilege in life of offending everyone all at the same time. Joyous moments! Only Johnny Rotten can do that.
The older you get, do you see yourself more as John Lydon or Johnny Rotten?
Itís the same thing. Sometimes thereís a devil in me that just wants to be a down and dirty, nasty bastard.
And that never went away?
No! You know that old expression where thereís a devil on your shoulder telling you to do this and thereís an angel on the other. I think we all have this in our own heads, all of the time. And thereís a Johnny Rotten in all of you! There really is and you know it.
Is there anybody you can think of in the current music industry that resembles punk rock, even just a little bit?
I suppose the joy of Lady Gaga. Her audience likes to dress up and enjoys the pantomime of it. The songs stink, the music stinks, but the lyrics are kind of sharp and witty. I like that. You see, Lady Gaga is quite an ugly person, but sheís made herself beautiful by going to the furthest extreme. And thatís what punk did, you know?
When you look at the people topping the charts these days, does what has happened to the music industry make you upset?
No, Iím not pissed off. I mean, if thatís what people want to do with their lives, fine. I find it kind of amusing, really. But I donít find any hope in the tedium of whatís in the charts at the moment. The only rebellion left in the young people that seem to be records that sell these days is sex scandals and gossip about each other. Or desperately trying to be drug addicts Ė and failing even at that! You know? Itís such an old, tired, worn-out pattern to be emulating. Sorry Pete Doherty! But, you know, youíre a mug. (Laughs)
Have you taken a step back from the excessive lifestyle?
I havenít! Iím no Puritan, not by any stretch. Iím quite comfortable doing what I do and I see no need to cease anything. Iím not habitual. I could never be addicted to a substance, because I get bored with doing the same thing over and over. It amazes me when I hear of drug addicts. Donít they get bored? What next? Done that.
Taking a wide variety of drugs isnít necessarily healthier than just doing the same drug all the timeÖ
I love chemical imbalances.
Looking back at the outrage your behavior often created, is there anything where you think you might have taken it too far?
To be quite frank I havenít stopped being a saucy bastard Ė and I donít intend to. Iím still getting in trouble and I still act like a silly kid. I donít want to grow up. I like being childish, I do, because I donít like what adults do to this world. I like what kids come up with, I donít like what adults create.
When was the last time you got into trouble?
I canít tell you other than it involved international travel. (Laughs) But Iím accused all the time of, I donít know, acts of nonsense and theyíre all lies.
Mick Jagger said that dwelling on the past for longer than twenty minutes is just boring. Do you remember your past with fondness?
I donít view anything as my past, because my life is continuing, but what Iíve done then and what Iím doing now and what I will do in the future are all part of the same thing. I do not separate and categorize. Poor old Mick if he goes, ďThatís my past.Ē Thatís a bit sad of him, really, isnít it? He should be saying, ďThatís me, all of it. Thatís me continuing to develop as a human being.Ē I donít have any downward strokes on any part of my existence. Itís all been a wonderful ride so far and Iím only 54 years young.
Arenít you 55?
(Laughs) So even on that Iím fibbing. I donít even know my own age! But I think Iíve got another half century to live. I view it that way. Iíve only really just started out in life.
In his suicide letter, Hunter S. Thompson wrote that life became unbearable past the age of 50.
Thatís ridiculous. The only thing you have in life is life. To eliminate that from yourself is, I think, the ultimate stupidity. I donít care if both legs fall off and thereís only one eyeball left and Iím on a stomach pump and a colostomy bag, I want life!