Festival of Words
Off the Shelf Festival of Words 2014
October 11 – November 1
John Lydon inspired the youth of the 1970s and continues to do so, as proven by the hundreds of people who came to see him at Sheffield’s Student Union last night.
Lydon, also well-known as Johnny Rotten and the lead member of Punk band the Sex Pistols and PiL, was given a warm Yorkshire welcome as he arrived into the City yesterday to discuss his book, Anger is an Energy: My Life Uncensored.
The outspoken and controversial idol retold his life and expressed how anger was in fact the thing that helped him make a 20-year-career out of his youthful rebellion.
In an intimate conversation with BBC Radio Sheffield’s Paulette Edwards, Lydon expressed how falling ill with meningitis at the age of eight affected him at the time and still affects his relationships to this day. He said:
“It was damn terrible not knowing who anyone was at all. Anger was what helped me remember who I was. It has affected the way I see relationships, but I have the most important relationship with my wife Nora – who is all I need, everything is all there. ”
Lydon, who recounted his time on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and being at one with nature, made a passionate speech on today’s politics and incited the audience to do their part
“100 years ago, half the people in this room would not have the right to vote. We need to honour the privilege that we have, we need to be a part of the society to make the changes.”
The event, which saw more than 600 people in attendance, was finished with a Q&A from the audience. When asked about his title – King of Punk – he responded:
“King of Punks? I am – when I was given the title I took it on and carried it through! But let me tell you, a true punk doesn’t need to dress the way and act the way it’s been made out to be. People must be themselves.”
Anger is an Energy tells of a life full of incident from a sickly childhood in post-war London to his status as an alternative national hero and one of the most recognisable icons in the annals of music history.
Lydon kicks off a reputable musical strand lined up for Sheffield’s Off the Shelf festival. Other guests include – Viv Albertine, Julian Cope and Edwin Collins.