John Lydon: Green Day Are Rotten

Sex Pistols frontman lashes out at modern punk, but has praise for the "mentally insane" Lady Gaga.

John Lydon: Green Day Are Rotten
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John Lydon slammed modern punk this week. Speaking to the LA Times, Lydon said, "Many of the punk bands are cop-outs and imitators and have made it easy for Green Day, who I hate. I really ... I can't stand them." The aged frontman, who turns 55 next week, also showed distain for the news that Green Day could be taking "American Idiot" to Broadway. "To me, they're like coat hangers, and haven't earned the right, they haven't earned the wings, to be wearing the mantle of punk." Judging by his statements, it appears he felt personally responsible for the resulting music culture that followed his band, the Sex Pistols. "I don't think I've done anything good if it ends up with Green Day on Broadway. But I have done something good that Lady Gaga is so quite as mentally insane as she is. "The lyrics are so good. They really are. And so every now and again, as corrupt as the music industry is, there is one in there that can manipulate it properly. She's one. So applause to her." There is no doubt that his leading 70s punk group had a huge effect on several genres of music in the long term, but Lydon seems to forget the degree that manager Malcolm McLaren manufactured the Sex Pistols. Perhaps manufactured punk has more going for it than he realises. Thanks to the LA Times and Rock AAA for the report.

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    SumFX
    He's been saying he hates Green Day for years, this really isnt much of a "news" story.
    Blitz93
    pineaple expres wrote: green day=good formula. people buy it. they arent changing anything or being revolutionary. and they recylce songs on every album. american idiot was all about america and jesus. not saying thats bad but a little variety mite help. and 21 century breakdown was all about the 21st century. it makes sense and a lot of people revolve an album around a subject. but evry other song either had the word jesus, america, or 21(st) in it.
    It's called a concept album dude. Both of those albums told a story, and the lyrics from each song hint back to other parts of the story in other songs.
    iwannabesedated
    jay3213 wrote: Johnny Rotten is a sellout too, He did a butter commercial.... And he had a label... Hes not punk, He just thinks he is
    Oh dear god, he did a butter commercial. I'm going to sell my Sex Pistols records right now. Who gives a shit honestly? And plenty of punks had their own label, Jello Biafra has Alternative Tentacles and Brett Gurewitz has Epitaph.
    AlbertJ
    I dont even consider Green Day punk and they certainly arent emo. But I am getting tired of Lydon whining about everything that has to do with "punk".
    Lion_Slicer
    WRONG.
    John Lydon: To me, theyre like coat hangers, and havent earned the right, they havent earned the wings, to be wearing the mantle of punk.
    The entire thing behind the rise of punk is that you don't need to earn it. Anyone can do it. It's not something with rigid rules that you have to adhere to. And in fact Green Day were less manufactured (at their start) than the Sex Pistols themselves. And Lady Gaga is not insane, but she definitely has shown she can manipulate the music industry--her carefully cultivated image is 50% Madonna, 50% Marilyn Manson and everyone just buys into how creative and edgy she is. He sounds like a freaking punk kvltist... I'll take Green Day.
    CydoniaKnight95
    Honestly, punk music itself is flawed The very moment any punk band can get "out there" they're considered sell-outs But yeah I agree with Lydon, Green Day are not punk They may look punk but they're just another alternative pop band singing about girlfriends Only modern punk band I really like are Rise Against
    BOYERxBREAKDOWN
    JFRules wrote: Well Green day is more of a emo pop rock type of band.
    You are an idiot. There's nothing emo about them. Sure they wrote some songs about some personal subjects but what band hasn't?
    benjy118
    I don't think he has the right to say what is and isn't Punk these days, not after he started doing adverts for BUTTER.
    tsrlop
    John Lydon has no room saying what is "punk" and what isn't. He's just as much of a "sellout" as any member of Green Day. As far as Lady Gaga goes, she's all shock value. No actually substance.
    GREENholiDAY1
    he also once said that punk is not about imagery, then he goes on to say that if green day were really punk they wouldnt dress and look like they do..... what the **** jonny rotten
    six6six6six6
    jay3213 wrote: Johnny Rotten is a sellout too, He did a butter commercial.... And he had a label... Hes not punk, He just thinks he is
    He's certainly more 'punk' than Green Day.
    war-on-errorism
    punk is dead to people who don't get it in he first place, and original punk is different from 90's/00's punk, it has evovled from the years of the sex pistols and the ramones
    AntwanL
    I dont see why everyone craps all over Green Day. They make a lot of great music and thats all that matters. Who cares what "style" they fall into. No one sits and makes rule that put you into punk or emo, or pop punk. To me rock is rock. Just enjoy the music.
    EternalLife18
    seriously can this guy just shut the **** up hes just a lame boring whining old man, he was never punk to start with and he goes around acting as if he owns punk, if anyone has the grounds to talk about punk the way he does it should be iggy pop or joe strummer or someone along those lines not this washed up butter selling has been but whatever
    Hopes&FearsMKE
    He is clearly so jealous of the tremendous success Green Day was able to achieve with the basic punk chord song formula, taking it to new heights which in his time were unimaginable cuz the dumbass was too worried about staying PUNK, whatever that means anymore...but id rather write amazing melodic songs that people love and put on incredible epic live shows like Green Day than worry about what's still PUNK like this bitter old rocker
    guitaristtobe40
    So Johnny Rotten supports Lady Gaga but not Green Day? That doesn't sound very "punk" to me... To be honest; Green Day are continuing The Sex Pistol's legacy, for The Pistols were one of the first bands to make punk commercially successful and Green Day are a very commercially successful band. Punk is meant to go against commercialism; so I don't really see The Pistols OR Green Day as real punks, the real punks in my mind were bands like The Stooges, Dead Kennedys and Black Flag. For they stood their ground and never tried to commercialise themselves.
    Shread_6009
    pistols : malcolm mclaren didn't manufacture the sex pistols. the only time he had a considerable say in what a band did was when he managed the new york dolls, and that destroyed their career.
    *cough**cough* Bow Wow Wow *cough**cough* the thing is that green days image has changed from their very early records as a DIY, starving artist punk band, then a bit after dookie they drew more into a larger than life "rock" band. and john lydon did things like the butter commercial to get some cash to do PiL again, since he's been broke since they disbanded pretty much. every time he earned went back into organizing tour dates and getting a band together
    Henkdemachtige
    I dont even think green day sees themselves as punk. everybody is arguing about green day: punk or not. But the last people to care are the guys from green day themselves, so people stop bitching.
    pineaple expres
    fetjuel wrote: pineaple expres wrote: green day=good formula. people buy it. they arent changing anything or being revolutionary. and they recylce songs on every album. american idiot was all about america and jesus. not saying thats bad but a little variety mite help. and 21 century breakdown was all about the 21st century. it makes sense and a lot of people revolve an album around a subject. but evry other song either had the word jesus, america, or 21(st) in it. lady gaga=like posted above marilyn manson meets madonna. johnny rotten=the milk i threw out this morning. You didn't listen to either American Idiot or 21st Century Breakdown, did you? You completely ignored the stories on the albums.
    Blitz93 wrote: pineaple expres wrote: green day=good formula. people buy it. they arent changing anything or being revolutionary. and they recylce songs on every album. american idiot was all about america and jesus. not saying thats bad but a little variety mite help. and 21 century breakdown was all about the 21st century. it makes sense and a lot of people revolve an album around a subject. but evry other song either had the word jesus, america, or 21(st) in it. It's called a concept album dude. Both of those albums told a story, and the lyrics from each song hint back to other parts of the story in other songs.
    yes i know wat a concept album is. i listened to both albums through. i know what the point was and the story. what im saying is they recycled. my chem's black parade was a concept album. guess wat they didnt do. recycle.
    pdxguitarfreak
    Yeah Green Day are not "punk" in the traditional sense... or probably even in the modern sense these days... so what? kids still enjoy them. Johnny is a miserable old fart and just wants attention. Even though I'm not a Green Day fan, kudos to them for evolving into what they wanted to. In my generation (high school in the 80s), most punk guys eventually branched out into other forms of music... Lydon did too!!! Look at his PIL stuff in the 80s. Give me a break - what a hypocrite. Yeah, I agree that punk became very fashionable, especially over the last 20 years, and bands like Blink 182 made it look corny (they were just as cheesy and commercial as the glam metal of the 80s which I love), but obviously kids liked it. And one more thing... the punk purists that are so anal about it need to get a life - real musicians don't live by rules, they play what they feel and what they want!
    Harry_66
    GenerationKILL wrote: Believe the hype. Behind the flashy dance floor pop and MTV coverage is a woman who seriously knows music. I'm glad pop music is taking a more intelligent demeanor, its come a long way since the mindless drabble of manufactured bands like NSYNC. While many of this is still out there, the biggest acts are showing serious talent. Everyone from the elder statesmen of rock to even intelligent aficionados of classical music have had nothing but good things to say about Lady Gaga. I'm not much of a fan myself, because I don't know her material that well, but I give her the same amount of respect that I reserve for virtuosos like Paul Gilbert or Roger Waters. The lead singer of the Sex Pistols can't blame himself for how punk music has progressed. Its core simplicities make it an easy genre to have morphed into pop music. At its very core, even the Beatles in all their pop and simplicity had the elements to be a band like what Green Day is now. Hes also naive if he thinks that the "entry level" punk sounds that Green Day emulates hasn't helped introduce millions of people to the genre of punk music. Even more, Green Day aren't a punk band anymore to begin with. They've progressed, like all successful artists do and have transcended musical boundaries to become something more, which truly makes them artists of musical expression. So kudos to them for trying "broadway theatre" as a form of artistic exploration.
    hear hear!
    Jack Off Jill
    Sounds like someone is jealous that no one has any respect for him. And if he can't have people who know something about music listening to his band, he at least wants the thirteen year old girls who are listening to Green Day.
    Gohel
    Come on, seriously ? Are you criticizing a man because of a ****in' butter advert ? Do you at least know why he did that commercial ? He needed money, in order to get his old band (PiL, great band btw) back together. Iggy Pop did adverts too, that doesn't make him a sellout.
    johnyguitar
    Punk was a genre of music that occured in the late 70's and into the very early 80's. Green day did not exist then. Therefore Green day is not PUNK....
    Acacia69
    Priad-Luabe wrote: these days punk is just a pretense for anger in music with no reason
    And what was it before?
    fetjuel
    johnyguitar wrote: Punk was a genre of music that occured in the late 70's and into the very early 80's. Green day did not exist then. Therefore Green day is not PUNK....
    I'd like to point out that Operation Ivy was late 80s, and they were indeed punk. Ska, sure. But still punk. And Green Day started in '87. So..
    Sassafras.Roots
    First off, for everyone who commented...it's Green Day, not greenday. I just think that for anybody's comments to be taken seriously, they should at least spell the damn band's name correctly. If your spelling it greenday you obviously don't know very much about the band now do you? Second, the band has stated on numerous occasions that they don't give a shit what criticism anybody else has to place upon them. They signed to a major label so more people were able to hear their music, and so they could have more opportunities and a better life for themselves....oh god for ****ing bid right? They don't give a shit what you call them, they have always done the things that they wanted to do and will continue to do what they want. If you have ever seen any sort of interview with Billie Joe Armstrong or been to a Green Day show you would know how much they love music and genuinely love doing what they do. Lastly, these so called "punk extremists" are really great huh? I would love to be stuck underground without means of getting my music out for people to hear, abiding by other people's rules and standards. Some great lifestyle you've got there. Punk is supposed to be about breaking the rules and challenging other people's ideas, something that these punk extremists are NOT doing and something that Green Day HAS been doing as long as they have been making music.
    guitarfrenchie
    What the **** is up with the classifying music?? Greenday is good music period. and Johnny and the Sex Pistols are long dead even if they were the essence punk...thirty years ago. Hail punk, rock and metal and death to manufactured music.
    jetgui22
    sex pistols is a good band but Green Day is better it's better to accept the reality that sex pistols now may be replaced or anything but their name will stay and also their music. And any body can be punk in their own style.
    edclear
    Too all who can't comprehend what Lydon's on about... Why do you think he sang "Use the enemy"? Appearing in a reality tv show or advertising buttar to get some easy money is quite innocent compared with the likes of Green Day licking corporate ass. We all need money and only an idiot would refuse a million from some big business. Better in your pocket than their. Money is about its use and Lydon has used it to fund touring with Public Image - Green Day get sponsored coz they toe the line. Punk Rock is about insight, about attitude, not a style of music, nor a fashion of dress. It's about seeing that society is utterly selfish and uses the word as a smokescreen to hide the dirty deeds of the bullyboys who make sure this game is only won by the very few who can manipluate the rules to suit themselves. It never ceases to amaze me how superficial most people are.
    Shawn1379
    Gohel wrote: Come on, seriously ? Are you criticizing a man because of a ****in' butter advert ? Do you at least know why he did that commercial ? He needed money, in order to get his old band (PiL, great band btw) back together. Iggy Pop did adverts too, that doesn't make him a sellout.
    It's not that he did a butter advert. It's that he's calling Green Day a bunch of punk-wannabes, AND he did a butter advert. Also, he's apparently taking credit for Lady Gaga. John Lydon Impression: Oh, that band that has made more money than I ever will? Yeah they're not punk. I'm punk! I mean, I did a butter commercial but....still...I also practically created Lady Gaga, too. yep.....You believe me, right? DON'T YOU??!! Just trying to stay somewhat relevant, I suppose. I can't blame him. I just think it's lame that he's got to tear a band down and act like he's responsible for a hugely popular pop artist in order to do so.
    fetjuel
    thedevil wrote: Screeching Weasel doesn't ring any bells? And pop-punk isn't a contradiction. I don't think you understand what pop actually is.
    yes it is. its about the deconstructing of pop music. which I agree means that at some point pop and punk meet somewhere, but I was more talking from an artistic stand point. Have YOU ever heard of Todd Rundgren? forgotten genius of pop music.[/quote] Punk is not about deconstruction, it's simply a style (lifestyle and music style). Punk back in its hey-day was about the nihilism, it was about rebellion. They never had any plans to deconstruct or help anything...they were just simply rebelling. It didn't really have anything to do with the music... it had to do with the state of things. The war in Vietnam, the governments, the economies..anything they were unhappy with. Music was the outlet, not the source.
    pineaple expres wrote: fetjuel wrote: pineaple expres wrote: green day=good formula. people buy it. they arent changing anything or being revolutionary. and they recylce songs on every album. american idiot was all about america and jesus. not saying thats bad but a little variety mite help. and 21 century breakdown was all about the 21st century. it makes sense and a lot of people revolve an album around a subject. but evry other song either had the word jesus, america, or 21(st) in it. lady gaga=like posted above marilyn manson meets madonna. johnny rotten=the milk i threw out this morning. You didn't listen to either American Idiot or 21st Century Breakdown, did you? You completely ignored the stories on the albums. Blitz93 wrote: pineaple expres wrote: green day=good formula. people buy it. they arent changing anything or being revolutionary. and they recylce songs on every album. american idiot was all about america and jesus. not saying thats bad but a little variety mite help. and 21 century breakdown was all about the 21st century. it makes sense and a lot of people revolve an album around a subject. but evry other song either had the word jesus, america, or 21(st) in it. It's called a concept album dude. Both of those albums told a story, and the lyrics from each song hint back to other parts of the story in other songs. yes i know wat a concept album is. i listened to both albums through. i know what the point was and the story. what im saying is they recycled. my chem's black parade was a concept album. guess wat they didnt do. recycle.
    How was it recycled? Both albums had very different stories.. 21st Century Breakdown had references to some of the characters in American Idiot.. but that was about it. Nobody downs Quadrophenia because the album mentions Tommy and the mirror, here and there. That's like saying the Empire Strikes Back was recycled from Star Wars simply because they have some of the same central characters.
    Saint of Steel
    Kudos to him for appreciating an artist such as Lady Gaga, but it's hard to take the man seriously when he appears on butter adverts.
    fetjuel
    I just don't get why people give Green Day such shit when punk artists like Greg Ginn also branched out and did other forms of music. His jazz stuff is incredible.
    Priad-Luabe
    Acacia69 wrote: Priad-Luabe wrote: these days punk is just a pretense for anger in music with no reason And what was it before?
    original punks had reason
    shwilly
    "Being punk" is a lot like "being metal" you can argue endlessly over that sh*t, especially after subgenres and purism enter the picture, but there's always bands everyone agrees on -> Pantera = metal, Black Flag = punk Green Day were never truly accepted by the punk community, even in their "indie label, touring in a van, starving to death"-days, most of which had to do with their surprisingly accessible sound. But most people outside that community, myself included, still liked 'em because they wrote these really fun and clever songs. Whether you want to call it "punk" or not: stuff like standing up against the discrimination of gay bands like Pansy Division (I believe they even brought 'em on tour) and never seeming too apologetic for having signed to a major label (like every major punk pand in history, including Lydon's) is what won "my generation" over, because even people who have nothing to do with the punk movement hate it when artists exploit that banner in order to sell more records ...and then they lost us after they started shifting towards that sh*tty "Good Charlotte" sound while wearing makeup and yelling "I can't heeear you" between every 2 sentences. I know there are worse things in life than being disappointed by a band you grew up with, but I hope they don't go on to disappoint this next generation of 12-18 year olds as well (or actually I do ) Also:
    GenerationKILL wrote: I think Johnny Rotten needs to listen to the new Gallows album
    +1 > I saw 'em at a Rage Against the Machine show last year: they had to open for them, Gogol Bordello AND Jane's addiction (in a friggin' sports arena, at that!!). It was clear the audience didn't come for them, but their singer just jumped off the stage and joined the crowd, and by the time they were finished they had easily gained 10000 fans ...and their songs are great too