• Louise

Not so rotten Johnny

I can pinpoint the time I first saw Johnny Rotten. I was on a family holiday and we had a TV in the house we rented. On came "Pretty Vacant" to Top of the Pops and I literally sat there with my mouth hanging open at the whole spectacular that the Sex Pistols and Rotten were. I remember thinking, " Who IS that?". From that day onward, my musical life and own life transformed and it's a feeling that has never left me.

So what is so great about Johnny Rotten? Taking "EMI" as a particular example, the presence of the person is absolutely there. You feel he's standing right in front of you directing every single word at your face. He demands that you listen and rightly so - it's worth listening to - one other talent of his being biting lyrics with no compromise or softening when something needs to be said. His diction is superb and every word dealt with - no missing off the beginning or ending of lines or words which is a common flaw in those new to singing. Finally, the passion. Oh the passion. There is no holding back: an essential ingredient if you are to sing in a way that makes the hair on the listener's arms (and elsewhere) tingle.

Some thought of punk as a bunch of musicians and singers who couldn't play or sing. How wrong and misinformed they were.

Johnny Rotten has remained one of my favourite vocalists; a fact that might surprise some when they listen to my own music! As the great man himself says in this song, "Don't you judge a book just by the cover"!


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