Guitar World August 1996
Interview with Steve Jones and John Lydon by Alan Di Perna
AFTER 20 YEARS OF LONG-DISTANCE BICKERING, THE SEX PISTOLS HAVE REUNITED FOR A SUMMER TOUR AND AN UPCOMING ALBUM. JOHNNY ROTTEN AND STEVE JONES REVEAL WHAT IT'S LIKE TO KISS AND MAKE UP……
A 40 year old Johnny Rotten stands in the lobby of the Foghorn Hotel, in a Los Angeles boat marina, ready for a day of press interviews.
He looks younger than his age. His skin is white as a fresh sheet of typing paper, its paleness intensified by his carrot-coloured hair. After a terse greeting, he produces a nasal inhaler and rams it into one nostril. He plugs the other nostril with the inhaler's lid and breathes in deeply, arms back, his scrawny chest thrust forward like a rooster's. Ahhhhhh.
The Sex Pistols don't want your love. They want your money. Your hero worship doesn't interest them. Nor does your contempt. They don't care if Never Mind the Bollocks changed your whole life, or if you're grateful to them for radically altering the course of rock and roll with one big, loud, disruptive belch. And they certainly don't give a toss whether your think their current actions violate some notion of second-generation punk political correctness. No, they've come back for your cash, the one thing they got precious little of the first time 'round.
What they did get was plenty of publicity. The first time the world heard the term "punk rock", it was coupled with the Sex Pistols name. They scandalized proper England by insulting the monarchy with their class war cry, "God Save the Queen". They were bounced off two consecutive record labels within months of being signed. Tabloids the world over just loved the Sex Pistols. The Spitting! The Puking! The Safety Pins!
The Sex Pistols even got respect, although most of it came after they broke up. Never Mind the Bollocks routinely appears on critics' "Ten Best Rock Albums" lists. Their angry, guitar-driven sound is essential to our idea of what rock is. The band's place in history is as substantial as the Beatles', the Rolling Stones' or David Bowie's. But not their bank accounts. The Pistols split up and Sid Vicious died long before public recognition caught up with them. Hefty amounts of case went up in smoke during lengthy and bitter litigations with the band's former manger, Malcolm McLaren, leaving the four original Pistols - Johnny Rotten, Steve Jones, Paul Cook and Glen Matlock - short on the very stuff that makes a working-class lad turn to rock in the first place: The Bucks.
They're hoping to correct that small omission with their much-publicized reunion tour, which began June 21 in Finland, and a live album comprised of material culled from the first few dates of the tour.
It would have been so much more comfortable for everyone if the Sex Pistols had remained safely in the past tense. They wouldn't be around to outrage the kind of people who are easily outraged, or to shatter the illusions of adoring Pistols fans. But shattering illusions is what the Sex Pistols were put on this earth to do. And so they're back.
The Foghorn was Rotten's choice for an interview location. It's the kind of hotel where fat, balding insurance men bring their secretaries for a squalid lunchtime shag and lower middle-class families spend nightmare vacations.
"Oh, it's so third rate", John purrs, stroking the cheesy wood panelling in the lobby. Steve Jones is late, as usual, so Rotten and I repair to the head Pistol's chamber and start without him. Rotten calls for his mid-morning refreshment - Coronas and Marlboros. Before settling down to talk, he grabs the room's cheep, plastic wastebasket and places it conveniently near him for use as a spittoon. Over the course of the next hour, he makes an admirable effort to fill it to the brim.
GW: Guitar World
JR: Johnny Rotten
SJ: Steve Jones
GW: Rock and roll is arguably more boring, stagnant and self-indulgent now that it was in 1977. Do you think the Sex Pistols can have the same kind of revitalizing effect that they had then?
JR: I would hope not. I'm not doing this for anybody else but myself! Sod that. That's bollocks. We're not championing any cause here, or waving a flag and asking you to rally 'round. 'Cause that's what went wrong with punk in the first place. They all jumped on the bandwagon, so to speak, and started getting into uniforms and codes and strict disciplines, which was anti-punk. It's not what you wear, it's what you do and what you are that counts. And sod all the rest of that baggage. I mean it's a press thing, really isn't it? They do love to categorize and label. The record shops like it, too.
GW: Nor was your original intent, I take it, to save rock and roll.
JR: No, of course not. Nothing like that at all. I never liked rock and roll; I still don't think I do. Every now and again there's a good records, but that's the same with any form of music. If you're going to limited yourself to one style, you're very, very stupid. You will have a narrow outlook on live. And that's not healthy. It's all out there - a wonderful world of entertainment. And I want the lot. Some would call that the spoiled brat syndrome. But I don't think so. That's just them being insular and blinkered. Oy, here's Steve.
[Steve Jones joins us. He's wearing a pair of wraparound shades. His hair, which is greased back, rockabilly-style, is just starting to go grey. The Sex Pistols guitarist looks like one of those guys who's got a questionable '78 Barracuda he wants to sell you. As soon as Jones arrives, Rotten launches into a tirade about an interview with the Ramones he'd recently seen:]
JR: Joey Ramone was slagging us off for reforming, saying we're too old. I mean that's hilarious. He must be 48, and he's apparently the youngest one of them. I love the way they like to point fingers and leave out the facts.
SJ: Oh, that's that old New York thing, isn't it. That they started punk. There's real resentment I feel from that New York crowd.
JR: They were nothing but art school brats, the lot of them. Spoilt little middle-class kids.
SJ: With Brian Jones hairdos, you know what I mean? It was hardly punk, was it?
GW: Who made the first move toward this reunion?
JR: There's been endless talk over the past 15 years about the Pistols getting back together. We just started calling in some of these offers and seeing if they were real. And a lot of them weren't. But one thing led to another. It's matter of convenience for us to do this now. It's not a problem. Whereas, years ago, it would have been, for me, I must say. Until I put my book out [the autobiography, Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs (St. Martin's, 1994)], I wasn't really up for this at all, in any shape for form. But I cleared out all those ghosts. All those bad memories. And found out that they weren't so bad after all. A change of heart.
GW: So when was the first time the four of your actually sat down together in a room and discussed this thing?
SJ: February, wasn't it! It was in England.
SJ & JR: [simultaneously] Three days before the press conference [Rotten emits his "demented medieval dwarf" laugh.]
GW: What was the meeting like?
SJ: For me, it felt like the 18 years since we were last together hadn't passed. Just like the next day. When you have the kind of chemistry we do, you don't particularly have to like each other.
JR: Not at all. You just get on with what you have to get on with.
SJ: There's an understanding among us all. Especially in a band like the Pistols, which had such a beg influence and was such an important band. To me, all that was automatically there when we saw each other 18 years later. It's okay, as long as you know that, and you're not doing it to be friends or any of that other bollocks.
JR: None of that male bonding crap.
GW: So this is strictly a business thing?
SJ: No, it's not…..Well, yeah, we wanna make dough.
JR: As we always did.
GW: Were things awkward with [bassist] Glen Matlock at first? I mean you guys have said some pretty nasty things about him over the years.
SJ: Oh, he's a wanker isn't he?
JR: [laughs] So what? Live with it. Life's cruel. Then you die. And Glen's a smart lad. I'm sure he'll come out with some pretty fuckin' volatile statements soon. So what? That's part and parcel of it. That's just the way we are. That's the way we always were with each other, and always will be. There's not much room for dishonesty among us. Don't have time for that.
GW: Retrospectively, how do you rate Matlock's contribution to Never Mind the Bollocks [Warner Bros., 1977], from a songwriting point of view?
JR: Well, he was there for the songwriting, yeah. And that was it. I know a lot of Americans are into this Sid thing. If you want to know where the show business was in the Sex Pistols, it was with Sid. That's what Malcolm manufactured. That's when it all got kind of silly and wrong. This is the real McCoy. There's the difference. We wrote the songs with Glen.
SJ: When Sid joined, it got really dark and gloomy and fuck'…
SJ: Like the circus is in town. Know what I mean? No one was interested in hearing us play, really. It was to see what was going on. It wasn't about music anymore.
JR: [contemptuously] It became fashion, didn't it? And clone punks. And to this day, they're still into that. You see on them on the King's Road in London. The same studded leather jackets and the Mohawks, but it's all just a uniform. Join the fuckin' army, if that's what you want.
SJ: As far as songwriting goes, Matlock had good ideas. But if he had done his ideas on a solo record, it would've sounded like shit. Because when they got moulded through the four of us, they became great songs.
JR: I've said this too: if it was all me running the show, it would be bloody unlistenable. See, we know that about us. We worked off each other - against each other - and that's what made if such fun. The songs still stand. I haven't heard anybody come anywhere near it.
GW: It's uncanny how good Bollocks still sounds.
JR: Now there's going to be the purists out there, aren't there? "Oh no, he missed a word! That guitar's in the wrong place! Oh, noooo!!!" But the Pistols live - I've always said this - when it really mattered, we'd be the biggest disappointment. It wasn't deliberate. Things just weren't properly organized. And on top of that, we really don't care, when it comes down to it, about being the number one rock and roll nice band. It's never been like that. You get what you're given and you be fucking grateful for it - or fuck off.
SJ: Half the time the Pistols was going, for the first part of it, fuckin' everyone hated us. We'd go up north and….
JR: Terrible. The violent geezers.
SJ: They hated us. It wasn't like it is now, where everything's accepted. We were a real insult to people. Dumb fuckin' northerns up the north of England would be slingin bottles and shit at us.
JR: And then waiting outside. It would be the four of us and a driver. We'd go in a transit van up north. Load our own equipment in, set it up, play and leave. But they'd all be waiting outside to "sort us out". And this'd be nightly. Extremely unpleasant behaviour. I don't think any of the other punk imitations went through that. We kind of cleared the road for them.
SJ: Looking back on all that, it was real neat. Looking back on it.
JR: Romantically speaking, those were the best times. But what wasn't good was something like our show at Brunel University, when Sid was out of his fact on drugs. A lousy P.A., no monitors, couldn't hear shit. Far too many people in that aircraft hangar. The whole thing became ugly.
GW: Did you ever get caught by any violent goons?
JR: Many times. I have a huge scar down one leg, and a knife was put through here [exhibits the scarred heel of his hand], and came out here [displaying another scar on his finger]. Done by guys who [thuggish voice] "loved their Queen, and how could I say something like that about the royal family?'
GW: Have you formed an approach to performing the songs on this tour? Are you going to attempt to replicate the old sound?
JR: Same instruments, innit? What do you expect? There'll be no great walls of new modern equipment.
GW: What about new material? Any ideas you'd like to try out?
JR: No. Not yet. Don't know. Who knows? It ain't like that. We don't sit down and go, "And next week, we're going to have a new song all formatted…." This ain't the Clash. That would be their way of approaching it.
SJ: We never did write like that. We always wrote down on Denmark Street, out in the West End of London, in a little rehearsal place we had. We'd all show up there and then we'd just write a song. John would some down with some lyrics.
JR: It would be haphazard. There'd be no plan. Nothing.
SJ: Nothing like, "Oh, let's go to your house and work on ideas." It was all in that one room. So I guess that's gonna be the same now. That worked. That was the chemistry.
GW: Is this reunion…..
JR: Oh, don't use that word- it's terrible.
GW: Well, what should we call it then?
JR: The Comeback Kids? No, none of those things. We're doing some gigs. That's about it.
GW: So there was no impetus from, say, the remaining Beatles getting back together?
GW: The Who are going to do a reunion show in London's Hyde Park.
SJ: The Who? They've done about 30 farewell gigs, them.
GW: Well, it's not a farewell gig.
SJ: We don't know what it is in our case. We just wanna play. Again.
JR: It's just that at any of the gigs we play, there'll be the Sex Pistols. You either like it or you don't. And tough tits if you don't . We ain't out to prove anything - certainly not to prove that we're a young pop band again, because we were never a pop band to begin with. I never had those kind of girlie aspirations. Didn't want to be loved.
SJ: Do you think people begrudge us making money?
GW: Probably no more or less than they do anybody else who makes money.
JR: I think that's more of an English attitude that's kind of crept in here. Which is a shame, because America never really suffered from that bullshit. And it all comes from that - what do you call them? The politically correct. The students. The people we're always hated anyway. The worst gigs we ever did was playing those bloody universities. Spoiled brats was all you'd have. [affects upper-class, intellectual accent] "Oh, but you can't play." Fuck that - what's that got to do with it? Grab a hold of this cob's head, baby.
GW: I don't think it's that people resent your making money. But you are going to get that faction who feel somehow betrayed.
JR: Well, there's all this new punk lot, isn't there? Who think, "Oh, money's bad and wicked and evil." Well, yes, it is. But I'd rather have it than some other cunt. And you try living without it. Quite frankly, as I've always said, I ain't no communist. I live in the West because I like the West. And if I didn't like it here, then I could fuck off to Russia. And look what happened there.
GW: What do you think of Green Day and Rancid?
JR: Rancid is a hilarious example of that uniform-grabbing. The tartan bondage pants, all neatly pressed and dry-cleaned. The "punk jacket" thrown over the top. It's bullshit. They look like they just come out of a boutique.
GW: On a musical level, what do you think of them?
JR: Same thing. Very, very Clash-like. The Clash is all those outfits can really deal with. They can never really deal with the Pistols. 'Cause we're a little bit too real, too odd, too full of content.
GW: Granted, there's never been a convincing band of Pistols imitators.
SJ: That Green Day Billie Joe guy is kind of funny. I just saw an interview with him last week on MTV.
JR: Ah, he's got a good sense of humor! I'll give him that. The T-shirt concessions joke he made about us….
SJ: "I am the Anti-Christ. Please buy our merchandise."
JR: I put a fax through to him and said, "Fine, you can sell T-shirts at our gigs."
SJ: I like that kid. He's pretty smart.
GW: How do you rate them, musically?
SJ: They're poppy.
JR: Tra la la la la.
GW: What is the most revolting Sex Pistols cover either of you have ever heard?
JR: Oh, was it Megadeath or……
SJ: The one I play on? [Megadeath's "Anarchy in the U.S.A"]
JR: Where the singer got the words wrong? I loved it! Funny, that. Now, was it Megadeath?
SJ: Well, they did it. And Motley Crue.
JR: Motley Crue's version was hilarious. Now there's a band that's sold millions and millions of records, and they just couldn't get it right.
SJ: They all play it too fast.
JR: Yeah. They don't understand - the Pistols have never been a 100 miles an hour band. We're very, very difference from that. We take it much slower. More deliberately. It's more definite, that way. High speed is just bullshit.
SJ: It loses its power when it's too fast.
GW: Were your tempos sort of New York Dolls-influenced?
JR: Um, not the Dolls. I don't think they had a tempo, did they? They'd get in fairly fast, start to drift in the middle and them catch up at the end.
SJ: I love the Dolls, myself.
JR: They were a brilliant catastrophe. Their shame was that they were at the wrong end of glitter rock and glam. So they kind of missed the boat, taking that makeup and lipstick stuff to the ultimate end.
SJ: I was really into the Faces. I would go to a lot of their gigs. Then I went to one where the New York Dolls were opening for the Faces. That was the first time I saw the Dolls. And I went, "Fuckin' 'ell, this is brilliant, 'cause it's so real and out of control." And that's what I liked about it. It wasn't the songs and the lyrics.
JR: It was the attitude. The attitude was A-1 on.
SJ: You didn't know what was going to happen next. Well, actually that night their fuckin' drummer died. You know what I mean? Their first drummer. Whatever his name was. [Billy Murcia - Ed.]
GW: To what extent, if any, did Malcolm McLaren encourage you to sound like the Dolls?
JR: None. Never.
SJ: He didn't have anything to do with the music at all.
JR: He never turned up for rehearsals. Hardly turned up for the gigs unless there was some way he could be fashionably seen.
SJ: If Malcolm was so great, how come Bow Wow Wow [another band managed by McLaren] wasn't a great success? How come anything he touched after the Pistols fell apart?
JR: He puts himself up as this great media and financial manipulator, and really the guy's penniless. Think about it.
SJ: He's had to resort to talking about nostalgia on TV shows. I heard recently he was in Australia giving a lecture - boring everyone to death for like seven hours with one lecture.
GW: Do both of you live in L.A. now?
JR: Yeah, both of us. I like it here. I had to move out of England because I couldn't put up with the bullshit anymore. The population, to my mind, is too apathetic, lazy and set in its ways.
SJ: It's too expensive over there too. Hard to get by.
JR: I can't afford to live in London. Can't do it.
SJ: There's nowhere to park a car there.
JR: L.A is cheap and cheerful. And the weather ain't bad.
GW: What's your opinion of grunge?
SJ: Sounds like Black Sabbath to me.
JR: Yes it does. Worse, like Deep Purple - the sillier parts of Deep Purple, at that. When [grunge bands] get good, they kind of sound like Bad Company. But when they really want to be bad, they get into Joe Cocker territory. And all this in a plaid shirt and a pair of second hand jeans. Don't tell me they don't cultivate that image; I know damn well that they do. They work very hard at not having an image, which is like reverse snobbery. And they're cheating themselves. Because, although I don't believe in being a fashion victim, you are what you wear. You wear clothes because you want to project a certain idea. That does not mean you should run out and imitate bands or any of that shit. You should be an individual. And all of that lot have no individuality whatsoever. It's back to uniform. The tatty shirt and the tatty pants.
GW: John, what's the status of your band, Public Image?
JR: Hiatus. Whatever that word means. At last I got a chance to use it. On hold. I've got a solo album that I'm holding back, because I can't bung that out while I'm doing this.
GW: So you might take up again with Public Image?
JR: In about a year or two. But no quick rush.
GW: Does reforming the Sex Pistols seem like a step backwards after Public Image?
JR: No. Five years ago it would have. I would have seemed to me to be like two steps backwards. But it doesn't now. It seems to fit in quite well with what I have in mind for myself.
GW: Which is?
JR: Not to be so damned serious about things. To not treat things so preciously. I think that was a real problem for a long time: I treated the Pistols as something so sacrosanct and holy, like a religious icon. Ane that's not healthy. That was very stupid of me. And absolutely against any attitude that the Pistols ever had. We're icon busters, more or less. When we treat ourselves as gods, we fuck ourselves up.
GW: Why didn't punk happen big in America the first time around?
JR: What do you mean, "happen big?" We did a tour and that was it. [laughs] You mean why didn't it spawn a million imitation bands? Well, that's not my problem. I'm glad it didn't. You have too look at the way America was set up them, financially. It was quite different; it wasn't quite as dilapidated as it is today. And punk definitely is a reflection of your dollar being devalued, prices being raised and unemployment. It comes from that. The closest thing to punk was rap, for quite some time. And I don't think rap could have started without that initial punk kick.
GW: So now that America's on its way to becoming a second-rate world economic power, is the time more ripe for punk?
JR: I think it's to America's benefit for things to be that way. Because for too long, you've celebrated your own big, bad wonderfulness and not related to the rest of the world. That's a very naïve outlook. And very dangerous. Now you're gonna have to wake up.
SJ: But it hasn't changed anything, this wave of so-called punk. It's very corporate.
JR: They've got it wrong. They come at it from the nice melodies angle rather than the content. There are some serious subjects out there that should be dealt with. And none of these punk bands want to know about them. That doesn't mean political subjects. 'Cause we all know how that ends up, going back to the Clash. They just end up sloganeering, taking quotes and turning them into choruses. I think that's a very lazy attitude. That's something like what's happening here, but without the political content.
GW: On the other hand, the Buzzcocks are together!
JR: Oh, well, they're hilarious, you see. They stand the test of time.
SJ: They're not with [guitarist and vocalist] Pete Shelley though, are they?
GW: Yes, Shelley and [guitarist] Steve Diggle are still in the Buzzcocks, with a younger rhythm section.
SJ: I saw Diggle when I was over in England.
JR: They had their own little thing, see. They weren't imitating anything.
SJ: They came and saw us, Shelley and Howard Devoto [the Buzzcocks original vocalist], when we played Manchester Free Trade Hall. And they formed a band. But they gave it its own little twist. They didn't just copy us.
JR: They used the idea of being in a band, and that's where it ended. And that was fine. Without variety, it all becomes very, very sterile. Ane currently, at the moment, there is a place for Rancid, isn't there? 'Cause they're like, I dunno, they fill that little mold that Billy Idol filled when he first came over. Mr Nice Guy. They're hilarious. They're a cartoon. But I don't know if they could be on the same bill as us.
SJ: I don't think they wanna be.
GW: Why do you say that?
JR: 'Cause it would burst their bubble.
GW: They might be honoured to.
SJ: Actually, a lot of these bands don't want to tour with us.
JR: Yeah, they're shying away like you wouldn't believe.
SJ: They probably think their fans are not going to like them because they're playing with the old farts.
JR: There's so many myths about us. The film [The Great Rock and Roll Swindle] created a lot of that bullshit. And the Sid and Nancy film. I get asked from time to time - and it's hilarious, but fucking annoying at the same time - people come up to me and say, "Oh, are you the one that died in the Pistols?"
SJ: It's surprising how many people haven't got a clue who we are. Lately I get, "Well, who's going to be singing in the band?" If people don't know about music, it's fine. But it's not like we're some unknown fucking band.
GW: Who do they think is going to sing?
SJ: A lot of them think the singer was Sid Vicious. They don't fucking know.
JR: Check out some of the internet stuff too. It's hilarious, "Oh, the Pistols would be nothing without Sid. Everybody knows he wrote all the songs and sang 'em." Hee hee hee hee. There is all of that to contend with. But that ain't no problem.
GW: Is there anything either of you guys could have done to stop Sid from ending up the way he did?
SJ: We broke up. And then it went on, and then he killed himself. I never saw him. I didn't really like being around him too much. It was all too fucking dark and depressing with him and that bird [Vicious's girlfriend, Nancy Spungen].
JR: Sid's problem was that he believed that New York myth - the glamour of heroin and the underground scene. But it was all fantasy. Sid was a romantic. And, as you know, romance always ends in grief.
GW: It seems like he was a naïve, innocent kid, released from the protective shell of the Pistols and dropped, defenceless, into that whole scene.
JR: No. Sid was a compulsive in this respect: before the Pistols, he was a huge Bowie fan. He'd just spend his entire life trying to look like David Bowie. And he obviously didn't look anything like him. It was pointless, stupid and hilarious. And then he tried to look like a punk, and he got that wrong. Then he tried to live that New Your lifestyle, and that …mmm…was a temporary situation.
GW: Is there any chance of the Sex Pistols might turn out to be a more permanent thing this time - beyond the tour and the live album?
JR: No. What for? [laughs] Don't know. Shit happens.
GW: So it could happen…
SJ: Don't know. That's the answer.
JR: If you're gonna waste all your waking moments just thinking about what could be or what should have been, you're a real fool. You just have to deal with what is. And that is a daily occurrence.
GW: So did [British session guitarist] Chris Spedding paly any of the guitar tracks on Bollocks?
SJ: No! God, I hate that fucking question.
JR: Ask Chris. He'll tell ya. No.
SJ: Before we did Bollocks, we did a three-song demo at this studio, and Chris Spedding kind of produced. And that was it. He didn't play on them. It was at [veteran British Invasion producer] Mickey Most's studio, wasn't it?
JR: Yeah. Weird studio. Very odd looking. Spedding did the demo as a favour, 'cause he thought [in a goofy voice], "There's nothing bloody wrong with them, uh, uh, uh." I don't even have a copy of those demos. I just had a little cassette which deteriorated over time. They were kind of trashy. But it was kind of fun being in the studio, seeing all this flashing knobs for the first time.
SJ: That was the first time we'd ever been in the studio. We did three songs in one day: "No Feelings," Pretty Vacant" and "Problems."
GW: Is it true that the announcements and crowd noises on the Chelmsford High Security Prison album [a popular, Pistols bootleg] were faked?
JR: I haven't heard that bootleg, so I can't comment on that.
SJ: That audience was a pretty gruesome lot, though.
JR: Yeah. These were real killers, people like that, in a high security prison. It was their silence that worried us. I've never seen more drugs in one place in my entire life, though.
SJ: There was a guy down the front who was on acid. He was out of his mind. They kept telling him to sit down. He was pretty funny.
JR: And he was a lifer. Don't want to find out why. It's funny how all these serial killers turn into hippies when they're inside, innit? Anything for a quick parole. We also played two orphanages and things like that. You must also remember that we played a very wide plan of bizarre venues. We were banned practically everywhere in England and had to take whatever opportunities to play that we could find.
GW: Another area of controversy is the number of guitar tracks on Never Mind the Bollocks. [To John] Somewhere, I can't remember if it was in your book or Jon Savage's [England's Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock and Beyond (St.Martin's, 1992]…
JR: I said there were 21 guitars.
JR: I was LYING!!! [laughter]
SJ: Also, Sid didn't play on Never Mind the Bollocks. Or actually he's on maybe one track, farting away underneath the other bass.
JR: Yeah, but we had to replace it.
SJ: He was in hospital with hepatitis, thank God. He kept wanting to come down. [mimics fucked-up voice] "Let me pway the bwass on that."
GW: Last time we spoke, I think you told me Matlock played…
SJ: He's on "Anarchy in the U.K." We cut "Anarchy" before we did Never Mind the Bollocks, with Chris Thomas.
GW: And all the other bass parts are played by you?
SJ: Yeah. Fumblin' away there.
GW: Is there anything you're as angry about now as you were about English monarchy back then?
JR: Yeeessss. And that's my bloody business for the moment. You think I'm bloody gonna give you advance material? Cheeky cunt. Everything in its time. There's no rush with the Pistols. We don't rush through our songs. We don't rush through anything. We do it all at a steady, even pace.
GW: Someone expressed the theory that you might just take the money and not do the gigs.
JR: I think I expressed that theory.
SJ: That would be great.
GW: But you've said that this is not about the money.
JR: I've also said it is about the money. You work it out. I don't do nothing for nothing. I expect to be paid. I work hard for what I do. Harder than most.
GW: I think what you were saying is that you're not hard up for the bucks.
JR: Oh no. Hardly desperate. I have enough to get by, and that's good enough for me.
GW: Is it about the music, then?
JR: No. It's about content. Always has to be. Everything has to have a point a reason. But not a conclusion. If anything works in this world, it's this: that you pose more questions with each answer. Answers just open up more questions. That's success in life. If you know that and can deal with it, then this is a very good planet for you. If you're looking for easy answers to anything your fucked. You are the problem [quoting] "And the problem is you".
SJ: Hey, isn't that a song?
JR: Certainly is. [gobs] ·
(Thanks to Julianne Salway)
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