Needing no introduction, and never being very far away from some sort of headline, the legacy and impact of John Lydon goes before him. Damian Robinson caught up with John to talk about PiL, his speaking tour and loving to spend time in the Northeast.
Hi John, you’re a few nights into the spoken word tour, how’s it been going?
It’s been going really well thank you, as I’ve always said communication and dialogue are essential to human beings and this is a great way for me and the audience to talk about things that matter to us. The more we talk to each other the more we understand each other. I’ve had a few people shouting out but I can deal with those quick enough…
And the structure of the show is a question-and-answer interaction?
It is yes, I’m asked a few questions by the compare I’m travelling with and then questions are submitted by the audience, so I then move on to answering those and they’re all sorts of questions. It’s totally unscripted and I’m totally sober for these shows; I treat them incredibly importantly as I should.
It’s quiet a mammoth tour you’re doing
Yeah it’s something like 57 shows pretty much back to back but I’ve committed to them and I don’t break my word. The travelling can be a bit tough but it’s more than worth it to get a chance to talk and interact with people; dialogue, questions, answers, hearing other people’s opinions, these are important steps for us all.
You’ll be in the Northeast on the tour, does the Northeast mean anything special to you?
It does, I’ve played Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough all fairly recently with PiL and they’re all great places to play, there’s a real and genuine appreciation from the audience and I really feel that and it means the world to me. It really does. I understand the values of the Northeast, they’re the same as mine.
Speaking of PiL, there’s talk of new material coming out, how’s that progressing?
It’s going as well as it can given Covid but the plan is that we’ll be back on tour next year and I’m hoping we’ll have new songs to play for those shows. But as the past two PiL albums were self-released the challenge is probably going to be the same as always which is to work out who’s going to help us get new music out. But we’ll be back soon and we’ll keep doing what we always do.
John is appearing at Whitley Bay Playhouse (Oct 13th), Durham Gala Theatre (Oct 17th) and Yarm, The PAA (Oct 26th). A limited edition book – I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right – is also now available. Further details can be found at www.johnlydon.com