The book is a compilation of every lyric that Lydon has composed in his career which spans 4 decades. The book, which took 6 months to complete, will be called “Mr. Rotten’s Songbook“. The book will give the reader a great insight into the psyche behind explosions such as the Pistols Anarchy in the U.K. and Public Image’s Death Disco. The book will also contain various sketches and illuminations scribbled down by Lydon.
Lydon, now 61, has said that compiling the notes has helped him to reconnect the various feelings and emotions that have affected him throughout his career.
In an interview with The New York Times, Lydon discussed how the idea of a book of his compositions came about. Chinese authorities requested Lydon to submit his lyrics for review before commencing a tour there, and when they were approved he was left thinking “shock horror, they actually approved us…Where have I gone wrong?”
Interestingly, Lydon paid homage to the late comedian, Robin Williams. When asked about his style of writing, he replied “With songs, I’ll run them in my head, sometimes for years, before I commit them to paper. I don’t mean to grab any thunder from a man who I did respect as a comedian, but Robin Williams, my God — I’d seen him live once, and he left such a great impression on me, that I’m not the only one who babbles inside his head at a 1,000 miles an hour, in 200 different directions. It was nice to find a kindred confusionist.”
In the interview, he also reflected on how he had changed as a person in the last 40 years and the dissolving of punk. “There was a whole world out there that was sacrosanct and untouchable, like the royal family. Excuse me! I have a valid opinion on these things. Shall I stand up and be counted? And look where that got me…But it went horrible when it started to feel packaged and sold as a commodity, rather than a do-it-yourself act of independence. I found that I was really quickly being turned into a pop star there, and I was really uncomfortable with that.”
Lydon is known to be a particularly extreme person when it comes to politics. A lot of his nihilistic lyrics culminate themselves in a genuine belief in Anarchism. However, in this interview, Lydon makes a very peculiarly moderate, but very insightful observation when asked about American politics; “It had swung so far to the left, it’s now going to swing to the right. And neither way will work because they’re too extreme in their attitudes. There’s nothing for people who live in general, and want to be just normal. And this is an odd one for me, I know, because I’m far from normal.”
As John Lydon has now lived in Los Angeles for many years and in 2013, became a naturalised American citizen, although he continues to keep a residence in London. When asked about the abandoning of his birth land he replied, “Frankly, I came to America because, yes, it [Britain] might have been the country I was raised in, but it was very fast becoming the country I was being erased in. The censorship, the police raids, it was absurd, and America seemed to have welcomed me. I became an American a few years back. I’m one of the few that beat the wall.”
He’s never far from controversy either and his latest outing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain yesterday (March 27th) had him allegedly coming out in support of Trump, Farage and the Brexit campaign.
He described meeting UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, as “fantastic” and stated that President Donald Trump could be a “possible friend.” However, today on Virgin Radio, Lydon tried to clear up confusion by saying “I didn’t expect to be misunderstood, I think I speak very clearly. America now has a new President and whether you like him or not you have to support him or you will destroy the country. You got to make things work.”
He continued: ““The attitudes that are being pulled on him are stupid and wrong. He’s got some serious money issues and business concerns that deeply fascinate all of us but to be smearing him as a racist, this isn’t right, there’s no evidence or proof to that and until there is, I’ll stand up and say that I think that’s wrong.”
‘Mr. Rotten’s Songbook’ is available for pre-order now.