John Lydon: “I had to sell off bits of Sex Pistols publishing just to survive in the ’90s”

John Lydon: “I had to sell off bits of Sex Pistols publishing just to survive in the ’90s”

John Lydon explains in the new issue of Uncut (dated November 2013), out now, that he was forced to sell some of his Sex Pistols publishing in the ‘90s to keep afloat.

The Pistols and PiL singer experienced disagreements with his label, Virgin, when he released Psycho’s Path in 1997, which led to his financial problems.

“The record company strangled me to the point I basically wasn’t allowed to record anything,” Lydon says, “until what they’d decided was an outstanding debt was paid back. But how can you recoup the money if you don’t promote the record?

“That became a really heavy, desperate bad situation. Painful. I had to sell off bits of Sex Pistol publishing, just to survive. Just to get through another month. But I came through.”

Lydon talks us through the making of his greatest records, from the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks… to his most recent, last year’s This Is PiL, in the ‘album by album’ feature.

The November 2013 issue of Uncut is out now.

Photo: Davis Factor ©Drrmgmt

Visit our dedicated features section, with plenty of our best long pieces archived there. You can find it here.

Uncut is now available as a digital edition! Download here on your iPad/iPhone and here on your Kindle Fire or Nook.


Editor's Letter

The new Uncut revealed! Arctic Monkeys, Neil Young, Kate Bush and Warren Zevon in new issue

Next month, Arctic Monkeys play two shows at London’s Finsbury Park to more than 100,000 people, which makes it a reasonable moment to look back at the band’s journey from the Sheffield suburb of High Green to their current all-conquering place in a rock pantheon where they are...