Tuesday, 29 September 2015

A Leg In Each Corner

Or, to be more precise, a hole in each arm!

What did you inherit from your parents?

Eye colour? Curly hair? An aptitude for maths?

Know what I got from my mother?

Wide feet, a tendency to pull terrible faces when someone points a camera at me and collapsing veins!

Thanks Ma ...

These tablets I'm taking can have an adverse affect on your kidneys so I'm having regular blood tests and so far everything's fine except for the blood tests themselves.

Luckily I'm ok(ish) with needles and if I look the other way I can pretty much deal with having blood taken but I just wish my veins would play ball and give out some of the red stuff easily instead of disappearing completely or very reluctantly pumping it out sluggishly.  Invariably they have to try both arms and then end up taking it from the back of my hand leaving me festooned with bits of cotton wool and surgical tape and then, as my veins then wont quit once they get started - huge bruises.

Anyway, enough of the moaning, guess what I've been up to?

No, it's NOT the beach for once!

On Friday night SD and I dressed to unimpress and headed for the O2 in Bristol and the legend that is John Lydon and PiL.

My first introduction to John Lydon (or Johnny Rotten as he was then known) was at the church youth club when I was about 10 or 11.

God knows how we snuck 'Friggin in the Riggin' through the strict control of the youth club leaders but somehow we did (but maybe just the once ...).

The Sex Pistols completely revolutionised music for me.  I was far too young to understand much of the things they were singing about and their attacks on social conformity passed right over my head.

All I knew is that I'd never heard anything like it and almost everyone over the age of 30 hated them which had to mean they were great didn't it?

I loved the image of the punks.  Some of my earliest memories when I came to Taunton are of the punks that congregated at the end of the High St outside the now long gone George pub where underage drinking was rife and fights were a common occurrence.  Sadly I was far too underage to ever get served in even the George but, my claim to fame is that when it was demolished some of the ridge tiles somehow made their way to the house I live in now and to this day adorn the top of the wall that separates my house from next door.

You can't really tell but I ripped that skirt to shreds - it possibly wasn't entirely decent by the time I'd finished with it but SD seemed to like it ...

After being repeatedly told to leave I finally gave up hoping for a decent photo in front of the stage.

John Lydon may be a little older these days.  He may have gained a little weight over the years but the one thing he hasn't lost is his passion, his unique delivery, his energy.

He takes control and he hammers home his message with self depreciating humour and belief.

It was a huge privilege to see him live especially in a venue which meant I could get to within just a few feet of him.

That look on my face is mainly due to the realisation that my bum was being slowly welded to the window sill in the famous Hatchet pub opposite the O2 by spilt beer after the gig.

Lydon left the Sex Pistols in 1978 to form his own band Public Image Ltd (PiL) a post punk rock band that was far more experimental.

He had a fairly tough upbringing.  The eldest of 4 brothers he often had to look after his sibling due to his mothers frequent illness and his father absence when he worked away on building sites and oil rigs.

When he was 7 he contracted spinal meningitis and suffered with various side affects including hallucinations and memory loss for the following 4 years.

He was often bullied at school until he was about 14 or 15 when he started to fight back at what he saw as the oppressive nature of the school teachers, whom he felt instigated and encouraged the kids to all be the same and be "anti-anyone-who-doesn't-quite-fit-the-mould".

After rowing with his father about his long hair he had it cut but dyed it bright green.

As a teenager he was influenced by bands like Hawkwind , Iggy and The Stooges and  Alice Cooper.

Later he became friend with Sid Vicious (then known as John Simon Richie) who  he squatted with in a house in Hampstead and who later joined him in the Sex Pistols replacing the original bass player Glenn Matlock.

He was asked to join the Sex Pistols after impressing Malcom McLaren with his ragged look and unique sense of style, particularly his orange hair and modified Pink Floyd T-shirt (with the band members' eyes scratched out and the words I Hate scrawled in felt-tip pen above the band's logo).

There's so much more I could say about the man, he draws, he writes, he paints.

He continues to challenge and be challenging.

You don't have to like him (he probably won't care)  but it's hard not to admire someone who has such energy, such courage in his own convictions and the guts to challenge politics and society.

Someone who's belief is rooted in diversity and equality.

It has to be said, I'm a bit of a fan ....


joeh said...

Always the "Bad" girl!

I never listened to punk rock, but then I always tell Mrs. C I missed most of the seventies and the eighties. (Kids, not drugs...sadly.)

Sarah said...

You can't suppress the 'Bad' girl forever Joe - she's been waiting to break out for years and SD is a great accomplice. It's never to late to join us in the post punk apocalpse!

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Awesome tights Sarah. I saw him on Piers Morgan and he came across as a really sweet guy. x