Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Watched the new Pistols DVD commemorating their 30th anniversary tour at the weekend. Rotten cuts a somewhat pathetic figure these days, even outside the context of butter adverts and reality TV - a fat, self-satisfied, drunken, gurning Albert Steptoe ranting about Arsenal in place of the sharp-eyed, feral fury and wit of the Richard III '76 version. The band is tight, particularly the shirt stretched across Steve Jones who has clearly eaten the pies, all of the pies, and the whole gig's got a fun, end-of-the-pier feel to it, but the strutting oaf at the front of the stage somehow manages to look less punk than Glen Matlock's floppy fringe. 

You can't stay 18 and pissed off forever, and no-one wants Lydon to pull a fucking Alice Cooper and turn into a golfing Tory, but there's a pitifully self-aware quality to the costume these days, a self-conscious "Johnny Rotten" act that I never noticed in either interviews or performance during PiL's 80s heyday, and a dumbed-down tone to the proceedings - lad culture as the new counter-culture. Lydon's smarter than this, and he used to be more than willing to show it.

Fuck it - here's the Pistols doing Problems live at Dallas's Longhorn Ballroom in '78.

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