Stupid Questions

Rotten Egged

Stupid Questions: Johnny Rotten--The former frontman of the Sex Pistols talks about punk rock, marriage, and people he holds in contempt

Johnny Rotten, former frontman for the Sex Pistols, may be middle-aged (he's 44), but don't call him middle-of-the-road. The acid-tongued punker recently began hosting VH1's Rotten Television, a scabrous revamping of the half-hour-variety-show format. EW found the ex-Pistol eager to tout the program — and to shoot his mouth off.

1. EW ranked the Sex Pistols No. 69 on its list of ''The 100 Greatest Entertainers.'' Are you flattered or insulted?
That's very nice as a sexual position, but I don't like to be in any compilation, not by anyone. It introduces competition into music, which shouldn't be there. I don't like competition. I don't do anything to be better or worse than anyone else. But what was wrong with No. 1?

2. Jay Leno or David Letterman?
I hold both of them in nothing but the most complete and utter contempt. I'm lying, of course. If they were two sides of a coin, I'd toss it in the river.

3. When Elvis died, you were quoted as saying ''Good riddance to bad rubbish.'' What was your response to Princess Diana's death?
That was just part 2 of the same theme.

4. Billy Joel trademarked his name. Have you?
What a waste of time. I don't intend to be around as long as Wrigley's Spearmint.

5. Why don't you get together with the Clash, the Buzzcocks, and the Damned for a punk nostalgia tour?
We'd bore each other to death. Can you imagine us? ''Oh, can you remember when I invented punk?'' ''No, but I remember when I did.'' ''No, that was me.''

6. You're an unlikely husband, but you've apparently got a successful marriage. What's your secret?
Honesty, integrity, and damn excellent lies.

7. What product would you most like to pitch?
Tar.

8. Are Blink-182 the Sex Pistols' spiritual heirs?
No. Isn't that that bunch of silly boys? They're an imitation of a comedy act. They're so bad they should be permanently featured on Saturday Night Live, which, as far as I can see, is the ultimate insult.

9. Who would be in your dream punk supergroup?
Joe Strummer and 10 people he really hates.

10. Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?
Not anymore. I've learned from my mistakes. I tolerate fools now not at all. [Burps]

Originally posted Mar 03, 2000 Published in issue #528 Mar 03, 2000 Order article reprints
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