You can always count on Johnny Lydon – AKA Johnny Rotten of the legendary Sex Pistols – to tick people off. He ticked me off last May when I saw him with his second band, PiL, and he not only failed to play any of the classic Pistols hits but also any of PiL’s good songs. I was deeply annoyed – and figured that if Johnny isn’t annoying you, he just isn’t Johnny. He is a rebel.
Johnny did it again when Queen Elizabeth II passed away. The Sex Pistol are, of course, known for their 1977 song “God Save the Queen,” among others – the whole punk scandal overshadowed the fact that the Pistols are a great, great rock band (“Bodies” not only rocks but is basically a conservative anti-abortion tune) – and a superficial reading of the song’s lyrics imply contempt for the monarch. Granted, lyrics like “God save the queen/She’s not a human being” might lead you to that impression, though the terrific song – it’s one of the best rock tunes ever – is really about the alienation brought on by the failure of their own British ruling class in the seventies.
So, when Elizabeth went