"Much has been written about the Sex Pistols. Much of it has either been sensationalism or journalistic psychobabble. The rest has been mere spite. This book is as close to the truth as one can get ... This means contradictions and insults have not been edited, and neither have the compliments, if any. I have no time for lies or fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die."
So writes author John Lydon, a.k.a. Johnny Rotten, in his introduction to the book Rotten, an oral history of punk: angry, honest, and crackling with energy. Seventies punk has been romanticized by the media and the up-and-coming punk bands of today, but the sneering, leering disaffection of that time has been lost. Now, Lydon candidly and at times, dare we say it, fondly looks back at himself, the Sex Pistols, and the "no future" attitude of the time. Rolling Stone calls Lydon a "pavement philosopher whose Dickensian roots blossom with Joycean color," and the San Francisco Chronicle calls Rotten an "invaluable [book] ... sheds welcome light on that short period of great music and spasmodic cultural change."
Bollocks you say? Read, sneer, and enjoy or die.
From Publishers Weekly
Britain's short-lived, notorious late-'70s punk band the Sex Pistols has become one of rock 'n' roll's greatest legends. But it's time to set the record straight, writes Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, frontman for the Pistols and author of the controversial songs--"Anarchy in the U.K.," "God Save the Queen"--which made his band an immediate sensation. In his engagingly nasty and unexpectedly witty autobiography, he seeks to demythologize the Sex Pistols by suggesting that punk rockers are just like the rest of us, people with families, friends and financial troubles. Vitriolic about the British class system and the music industry, Lydon is nevertheless unabashedly affectionate when discussing his own family. And his depiction of Sid Vicious, his ironic bandmate who has been alternately romanticized and maligned for his addictions to heroin and self-mutilation emerges as a touchingly helpless figure. Lydon's account of the Sex Pistols' demise is one-sided and his narrative rambles at times, but textual anarchy seems appropriate in the context. He augments his personal perspective with the disparate impressions of his fellow bandmates and associates to make his memoir a convincingly candid account of the Sex Pistols as working-class stiffs who mainly wanted to shake things up a bit and inadvertently stumbled across rock 'n' roll sainthood. Photos not seen by PW.
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