Questions from the press in bold
Additional notes in [.]
The Press Conference took place 30 minutes after the end of the show. After a fantastic concert proving the tempestuous vivacity of the Sex Pistols, journalists were waiting for the headline act of the festival in a rather excited atmosphere. But on entering, John Lydon immediately broke down that situation, with what he had come to do - true human communication.
John: Hello France! You must understand that I am tired. I've just come off stage. So be fucking nice! And I'm thirsty!
[The conference chairman, Laurent Jouffe, begins a very tiring formal speech. John interrupts]
John: What we will do is: I will answer questions individually ... Because I'm a social human being. All right?! And thank you all for coming. It is appreciated. And just in case you forget, the name is ROTTEN! [Turning around and showing the inscription on the back of his shirt]
What are your feelings about tonight's concert? For us it was one of the mythical concerts of the last 11 years.
John: The stage was very awkward for me, because you had a long runway and it splits the audience. I don't like to split a crowd. It was very difficult, difficult, gig for me to understand where the people were. From my point of view on stage there was a huge mass over there and a few more over here [indicating with gesture]. I want everyone to clearly see who is there and what I'm here for. So it's a very strange layout. But I did the best I could.
Tell me, how do you think the audience understood us tonight?
[Laurent Jouffe interrupts at this point before anyone responds.]
John: Wait, this is impossible! I asked a question and I still haven't received an answer! How was the concert for you?!! [Holding his ear.]
[There follows general loud enthusiasm, with shouts of "So much anarchy!!! We have come especially from Germany!" ]
[John stands up and looks towards Laurent Jouffe]
I came to talk to you [the press], not to listen to him waffle! So the people liked us. This is what we do.
[Member of press moves forwards] Sit down man!!
We've always found French audiences to be slightly reserved. We have travelled a great distance in the last three days. We've played every single night. The last gig was in Poland where the audience were magnificent!! And a band like the Sex Pistols...we are true folk music.
Oh yes! Oh yes! I'm of the folk. I'm of the poorest of poor. I know what poverty is! There are no spoilt rich children in the Sex Pistols! And this is why our message is pure and truthful. But you French are too busy with your fussy clothing. And if there is a designer in the house, I fancy a new French suit! Because you do make excellent clothes!
Concerning the choice of the concert locality.
John: Louder!! [Singing] The sun goes on shining..!
You don't choose. You have to take what is available. We are currently on tour right now - right?! - and we will be until nearly around Christmas time. Whatever is available, is what we have to mix. We have to mix and match! For me, whether it's Public Image Ltd or the Sex Pistols, it's about availability. And showing no fear of any venue - we're hear to play to the whole world, not just to a selected little group. This is the Sex Pistols! We are not clique! We are true folk music! In its truest form, & I know this, I'm an Irishman. You cannot take this away. And because of my apparent lack of formal education I'm supposed to be stupid. But unlike any intellectual, I tell the truth! So now, now in France I will educate you in the correct way! And like a true Johnny Rotten, with love and affection. Shut up! [To the chairman.] Because that is from the bottom of my heart. There is no evil in anything we do. It is! This is love that we do! This is true love!!
We've come from Germany to hear you. We need your energy and anarchy in Germany urgently!!
John: This is what my wife tells me. She is from Stuttgart. I married a German. That's one way to stop a war!
When will you come to Germany??!!
John: It will all depend. We actually fill in as many dates as we can. Our schedule at the moment is madness! I've slept 2 hours in 10 days... This is hard, but what we do! But I love it! I love it!
We have been in Germany many times - mostly with Public Image Limited which is oddly far more appreciated there. I see the Germans bothered to learn English. I know you can all speak English just as well as I can. [To the French] You probably speak better English than me because of your education system. The one thing you mustn't drop: Don't learn to be a snob! It doesn't do anybody any good! I'm Mr ROTTEN and I look down my nose on no man! You are my friends until you prove that you are my enemy!
As you know I'm a very bad enemy. The one thing I've managed to succeed in achieving in 30 years is to offend every single government on this earth. My crowning achievement when I first started was that I was banned in both in the USSR and the West simultaneously! And my message is clear: Hurt no man! No more war! No more politicians! The politicians are our enemies! All of them!
For what reason did you show your arse to the public? Is it a way to get closer to the public?
John: You have to repeat that question!... [laughter]
Why did you show your arse to the public? Is it a way to get closer to the public?
I have no shame in what I do and I come here to talk and to communicate. One thing that the music industry lacks is communication. Pop stars distance themselves from human beings. And this is not my way. And I have these scars to prove it. They are worthy scars.
The reaction of the audience was very enthusiastic. In the public there were a lot of people, young, mother, father, I saw one old lady, she was jumping. Everybody was dancing!!! That was remarkable what you did.
John: Thank you for your observation! Because this is true. This is where we break all barriers, all prejudices! Why is this not the common ambition of all musicians? Because they are just greedy selfish pop stars. This is why I despise the record industry. And I'm correct in doing so.
When are you going to do another great album for the world?
If we get the time to do it. We are under no pressure at all from anyone. If we deliver a record, it will be in our own good time and not a recording contract schedule. Because it isn't just about putting out commercial projects. It is about communicating on a daily basis with human beings. And that is exactly what I'm doing now. Oddly enough this may be more worthy than putting out a record. You see no thugs or skinheads around us. We are human beings. You understand?!
[John looks towards Rambo] Just me and my very good friend and manager Mister Rambo Stevens! Say "Hello", John Rambo!
Rambo: Hello, everybody!
With all your fame, naturally because of security mesasures, some people think maybe the security that is imposed upon you gets you further away from the public.
John: It's all rubbish, she's talking rubbish! There is no security firm wrapped around us now. Except my one man army Rambo... And we need no fucking body else! Because we are proper gooners. Arsenal! We love Arsenal! All my life: Arsenal - now it's le Arsenal! We love Arsenal! This is most amusing!
Apart from the tour with the Sex Pistols, do you have any personal projects you'd like to talk about?!
John: Yes, my solo career, Public Image Limited, a lot of nature programs.. I'm really enjoying doing nature TV. Naturalist TV - the proper way. For instance, when I go into the jungles in Africa to meet gorillas - which I have done, I go to make friends.
When I go into the ocean and swim with great white sharks - which I've done, I sang "Feelings!" [He sings] Feeelings...!
You understand? My view of nature is different from everything that has gone on in the past. I want to open the world up to children. So children are animal friendly. A frog is a frog, not a Latin name. Remember, this is the one thing I don't like in nature: is the Latin terminology. Latin is a dead language. The Romans are gone! Romans conquered none of us. They came, they built us some roads and then we got rid of them.
I reckon that's about good enough....