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Anger is an Energy: My Life Uncensored Hardcover – October 1, 2014
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About the Author
John Lydon is a hero to millions, across every continent and several generations. Without parallel, he changed the game in popular music, not once but twice, first wreaking political chaos upon starchy mid-'70s Britain with The Sex Pistols, then shapeshifting with Public Image Ltd (PiL) as a free experimentalist. 'Rock' simply wasn't big enough to contain such an immense, shapeshifting character, as he scored global hits with the likes of Afrika Bambaataa and Leftfield, and then diversified into television, where the erstwhile Johnny Rotten ended up presenting his own nature series.
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He is a straight talking, wickedly funny individual. I think "individual" is a pretty accurate description of JL. It seems he has fought many battles in life with the biggest being to stay true to himself and what he believes. You don't have to agree with him, or even like him for that matter, but you must respect the price he has paid to maintain his own sense of dignity. I found his story and views admirable. He's certainly not one to play the victim. No excuses here. He is a man whom takes responsibility for his own views and behaviour. I'm left with a feeling of hope that there are still people in the world unafraid to own their behaviour and stand by their convictions. Great read. Highly entertaining, illuminating and recommended.
What we get from this great book, told by Lydon, is a personal and many times touching life history, with candor, honesty and views on the world that reveal a very compassionate peace loving and loving person behind the sneer he made famous. Lydon is also very intelligent, and his world view is admirable. He detests racism, nationalism, and other "-isms" that blind humanity and make it impossible to ever behave as true equals, no power mongers and others who use religion and politics to impose their agendas for self-gratification and money.
He touches on everything, his boyhood in a very poor section of north London, the Pistols and his relationships to that time in his young life, and on as the leader of Public Image, Ltd. Lydon is no one trick pony, either. We learn he deeply loves animals (hooray!) and has done television shows on various topics related to the animal kingdom. He also is a great lover of children, which I didn't quite expect. He states he is as happy as he can get playing with his grandkids from wife Nora's first marriage when they were young, building Lego structures, throwing birthday parties for neighborhood kids and playing their games with the same glee and delight as they do.
He also tells the reader that he had airline tickets for Pan Am flight 103, the horrible flight that was blown up in midair over Lockerbie, Scotland. His wife was running behind in the packing from mainland Europe, and they re-scheduled the flight for the next day. To say that near miss had a profound effect on him is a gross understatement.
The Sex Pistols would re-unite for a much larger successful U.S. tour and some other stops around the world, but the personalities by that time according to Lydon were not conducive to trying to work together again. He has instead used PiL as his vehicle for all his musical projects, and has done quite well.
"Anger Is An Energy" is a book that makes me greatly admire this man for his honesty and genuine desire to love his fellow man and fight for the good fight without resorting to violence, something he deeply abhors. It is not common to find musicians and entertainers these days to share so openly their stories and be erudite and sensible at the same time. Lydon was perhaps the most famous punk rocker of all, but as this book reveals, he is much much more.
I feel like I sat down and had a conversation with Johnny Rotten about his life. I knew a bit about him, the bands he played in and even other things he has been up to. I feel like I know so much more now. Getting glimpses into the backstage part of the show, sort-to-speak.
What a story too! Being a fan I was completely enthralled throughout. Especially in those private moments where he talks about Sid, and Nancy too. I've always wondered about his point of view. Now I have it.
I do feel that he bounced around a lot when telling a story, I mean, if you have ever heard him talk then you probably get what I mean. He gets back to where he needs to be, but often gets sidetracked in the stories.
It's all good though, and fans, like me, will eat it up!
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There's no doubt, this reads like a long conversation with the arguable king of punk rock, and it's IMPOSSIBLE not to hear...Read more