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Johnny Rotten: 'Don't call me a national treasure'

In 1975, the Sex Pistol’s lead singer was the angriest man in the UK. Now living in LA, John Lydon is still furious – and as entertaining as ever. He talks to Guy Adams about insulting Hollywood’s elite, why he’s chosen gardening over amphetamines, and the real reason he didn’t make Malcolm McLaren’s funeral

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Public Image Ltd, Academy, Birmingham<br/>Julian Casablancas, Forum, London

Even though John Lydon is flogging butter on the telly, his Public Image is above criticism

Album: Public Image Ltd, Metal Box: 30th Anniversary Remastered Edition (Virgin)

While John Lydon's cultural impact will always be measured by his time with the Sex Pistols, his artistic reputation is more reliant on his subsequent work with Public Image Ltd, most notably the groundbreaking Metal Box, which borrowed the reggae sound-system notion of earth-shaking 12-inch dubplates, three of which were included in the circular tin.

Public Image ltd, 02 Academy, Birmingham

The sneering "'ello-'ello-'ello!" that began the song "Public Image" and the band Public Image Ltd in 1978 reintroduces both as, for the first time in 17 years, John Lydon fronts the band with which he followed the Sex Pistols. Then his trousers nearly fall down. "All that butter," he moans, not missing a beat, "and I've still lost weight... "

First Night: Public Image Ltd, O2 Academy, Birmingham

Difficult, honest and angry, Lydon pushes at the limits

John Lydon: 'I'm not a leader, bully or dictator'

Agitator, innovator, naturist: more than thirty years after crashing into the public sphere, John Lydon is still as hard to define as ever

Best music books for Christmas

Books on classical music are these days as rare as hens' teeth. Indeed, only Faber, with its links to Benjamin Britten, features at least one title per season. And for the true Britten aficionado (or those whose curiosity was piqued by The Habit of Art), there's John Evans's Journeying Boy: The Diaries of the Young Benjamin Britten (£25). Of broader appeal is Susie Gilbert's Opera for Everybody: The Story of English National Opera (Faber, £25). The company, product of late Victorian philanthropy, began life at the Old Vic and Sadler's Wells before settling at the Coliseum in the 1960s – a people's opera to rival Covent Garden. Thatcherism inflicted more damage than two world wars, and it has never entirely recovered.

Christina Patterson: Forgiveness? All very nice, but rather overrated

Sometimes, as John Lydon sang, in his post Sex Pistols band, &lsquo;anger is an energy
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