John Lydon Says Patti Smith Is Not The Beginning of Punk
John Lydon has expressed his belief that attributing punk’s origins to Patti Smith and New York is inaccurate.
He contends that the UK should be credited as the true birthplace of the genre, citing acts like David Bowie, T-Rex, Sweet, The Clash, The Damned, and the Sex Pistols as prime examples. Lydon stated in an interview with The Sun:
“I’ve heard an awful lot of American journalists pretending that the whole punk influence came out of New York.
“Well, hello? Bands like Sweet with ‘Ballroom Blitz’ and Mud with ‘Tiger Feet’ — that’s the do that, man!”
“T.Rex, David Bowie, Slade, Mott The Hoople, The Alex Harvey Band — their influence was enormous. And they try to write that all off and wrap it around Patti Smith. It’s so wrong!”
Lydon also took issue with the Ramones, a punk band from New York, blaming them for popularizing certain punk fashion trends. He shared thoughts on his former bandmates and their new project, Generation Sex, featuring Steve Jones, Paul Cook, Billy Idol, and Tony James.
Lydon teased Billy Idol about being the “Cliff Richard of punk.” He stated:
“Good luck to them but come on boys, get it together. The Pistols side of it is songs they never really understood and Billy’s got to come in as a translator. What has poor Billy taken on? We used to call him the Cliff Richard of punk and he was such a nice fella and easy to get on with. Him and Sid [Vicious] used to be quite ludicrous about who could do the best Elvis Presley sneer.”
Additionally, Lydon’s current band, Public Image Ltd, released their 11th studio album titled End of World on August 11. Meanwhile, he also revealed dealing with a troubling situation involving a stalker who claims to be his daughter. The stalker’s behavior has escalated to the point where Lydon has had to report the matter due to concerns about potential serious consequences and the stress it’s causing him.