John lydon - latest news, breaking stories and comment - The Independent
Arts and Entertainment

Mount Kimbie are playing this year's Festival No. 6.

Theatre: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, London

To some, Toyah Willcox will be best remembered for the frequency with which she changed her hair colour as a punky singer in the early 1980s. She even appeared in a Kenny Everett sketch where the hue of her barnet altered every second. Toyah's problem ever since has been to get people to take her seriously as an actress.

Daniel Synge suggests Four late-night drinking clubs

the elderly gent belonging to a Pall Mall club who once defined a private members' club as "a refuge from the vulgarity of the outside world, where people still prefer a silver salt-cellar which doesn't pour to a plastic one that does" illustrates perfectly the continued reluctance of gentlemen's clubs to join the 20th century. Thankfully, London's new arrivals in clubland have registered both social changes and current tastes, while still managing to preserve a healthy respect for the past. Had enough of the impersonal touch at restaurants, bars and pubs? Get a member of one these clubs to propose you and join the waiting list like everybody else.


JOHNNY ROTTEN, the pale anarchist who screamed "No Future" and wore "Destroy" on his chest when he led the Sex Pistols is now the lithe and tanned John Lydon, who wrote his catty memoirs under the Californian sun. He makes the occasional alternative rock album with his band Public Image Limited.

IVOR CUTLER by Nicola Barker

HEROES & VILLAINS: The novelist Nicola Barker on her hero Ivor Cutler, poet, humourist - and a true vaudevillian

Centrepiece: What a picture

The only time schoolkids ventured into a political dalliance was when they daubed little 'A's inside circles on the playground wall. What did anarchy mean? Nobody knew. But it was big and bad and Johnny Rotten sang about it, so it had to be worth a lunchtime detention. The Pistols split up and the kids grew up, but the movement got a brief shot in the arm from Crass, whose endorsement of anarchy proved lucrative enough to enable them to offload thousands of pounds onto various anarchist organisations, some of whom allegedly took the dosh and bolted. 'That's the trouble with many anarchists,' an insider said. 'They get a bit of money and then they're not so keen on anarchy anymore.'

CENTREFOLD / Rock 'n' roll at a price: Sotheby's are flogging pop memorabilia from Johnny Rotten and other 'rebel rousers'

It seems to happen every month. You watch London Tonight for kitsch value, and there's smug old Alastair Stewart trundling through the news with his supply-teacher tone making everything humdrum and trivial. And doesn't the final filler item (tagged on for those who like the Sun's 'Bizarre' column) always seem to be about some bloody rock'n'roll auction at Sotheby's? Well, there's another one on Thursday but you can't afford anything that's up for grabs, so you'll just have to swoon.

ROCK / Burning and barking in Berks

ANY BAND that risks third-degree burns in the name of entertainment is all right by me. At the Reading Festival, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were all right by everyone. Their Sunday night performance packed the field fuller than it had been for the entire weekend, so you could be sardined in the first 500-odd rows, or stand so far from the stage you might as well have been watching the show on TV through someone else's sitting-room window.

ART / Show People: California screaming: L7

THERE'S a song called 'Shirley' on the new L7 album. It's an exhilarating drag-racing anthem in the spirit of Amelia Erhart, wherein the California quartet's characteristic scrawny vocals and brutal guitar riffs vie for supremacy with screaming engines and mangled dialogue from the film Heart Like a Wheel. 'What's a beautiful girl like you doing racing in a place like this?' a sports-track announcer asks the song's heroine with time-honoured condescension. Quick as a tyre blowout, the answer comes back: 'Winning.'

RECORDS / New Releases: Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart: Take Me to God (Island, CD/LP/tape)

After spells in John Lydon's Public Image Limited, and as a guard on the London Underground, Jah Wobble (ne John Wardle) is an unexpectedly serene chap these days. In demand by the likes of The Orb and Primal Scream for his hypnotic, dub-style bass playing, he also pursues his own musical path. The new album is less browser-friendly than its Mercury Award-nominated predecessor Rising Above Bedlam, but there's a similarly large cast list, with vocals from Dolores O'Riordan (replacing Bedlam's Sinead O'Connor), Chaka Demus and Pliers, and Baaba Maal. But it's the rhythms that count: deep, unhurried and underpinned by the marvellous bass of Wobble himself.

ART / Overheard

We shall set targets for the number of nursery rhymes, jingles and stories children should hear by their fourth birthday . . . If we soak children in language-rich and music-rich experiences their language development will be more successful.

INTERVIEW / Ol' blue eyes is back: After an eight-year gap - 'the householder years' - the Pretenders are in the Top 10 again, and the critics' good books. Geraldine Bedell talks to Chrissie Hynde, while David Cavanagh compares the new album with the old ones

CHRISSIE HYNDE is behaving intolerably: sneering at my questions, snorting at them with hollow, hostile laughter. She only wanted to talk to the music press anyway, she says and last night she had to do an interview with someone who didn't even know who Martin Chambers is, for Chrissake. (He was the drummer in the original Pretenders, and he's back on the new album.) She can't believe she's being asked about all this old stuff. So she sighs a lot, answers in exasperated monosyllables, and affects total amnesia about her past. What did she do when she first came to England? Caught a cab and went to a hotel, she says, raising her eyes to the ceiling.

BOOK REVIEW / Rotten to the core: Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs by John Lydon with Keith & Kent Zimmerman: Hodder pounds 14.99

THIS portrait of the author as a young Sex Pistol is an exhausting, splenetic book, but there is something very gratifying about its refusal to fall into line with the numerous other accounts of the period (which Lydon rubbishes so tirelessly as to become tiresome) and with its subject's obsessive self-validation. Rotten's ranting reminiscences are interspersed with a fascinating body of testimony - some supportive, some healthily contradictory - from his father, his friends, Finsbury Park football hooligans - turned - jewellery designers, fellow Sex Pistols Steve Cook and Paul Jones, record company employees and assorted punk alumni such as Steve Severin, Chrissie Hynde and Billy Idol.

Rugby League: Lydon at home wearing a variety of hats: With 'Slow Joe' fast on the uptake, Wigan are looking to head down a familiar road to Wembley. Dave Hadfield reports

JOE LYDON is unique among his Wigan team-mates. He knows he will be earning a wage on Cup final day. Whatever happens in the Silk Cut Challenge Cup semi-final against Castleford today, Lydon will be gainfully employed at Wembley on 30 April. He is not only a versatile back of enduring star quality who has frequently got Wigan out of trouble during their 34-match winning run in the competition, he is also the new voice of the game.

BOOK REVIEW / Working holidays in hell: Nicholas Lezard follows some new literary adventurers

'I THINK there was a time when all of us saw the world in terms of exotic travel and thrilling adventure,' writes Tim Cahill in his introduction to Pecked to Death by Ducks (4th Estate pounds 7.99). 'Somewhere along the line - usually on the first day of the first real job - we find that these dreams have gone dormant.' Not for Cahill, who gets paid to write about his dreams, although they're my idea of nightmares: caving with inexperienced pro footballers, or mountain-climbing with sorority girls, or hanging around in the Rockies waiting to be eaten by bears.

A Surfer on the Zeitgeist: This isn't exactly life on the edge: Greil Marcus is married, nearly 50, and lives in a nice big house in northern California. But he is still making something new out of writing about rock

GREIL MARCUS is an armchair anarchist. From his hillside attic in northern California, he sees the lines between the Sex Pistols, the French revolutionary Saint-Just, and the 16th-century heretic John of Leyden. And this isn't just some obscure academic eccentricity - it's a famous career: Marcus gets reviewed in the Economist, reviled in the Sunday Times, and revered in the NME. All he really wants to do is write about pop music, but he can't resist writing about everything else as well. His new book, In the Fascist Bathroom, 'was gonna be 200 pages on my Punk favourites,' he claims, 'but it became a book about Reagan and Thatcher,' with more than 400 pages separating the first reference, to Margaret Drabble, from the last, to the Civil War Ranters of 1646. Actual punks appear only fitfully.
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona from £949pp
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro from £799pp
Provence from £599pp
Apulia, Lecce and Vieste – Undiscovered Italy from £899pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples from £759
Classical Spain from £539pp
Prices correct as of 12 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week