I find Mr Lydon a little insufferable, I got the joke and then it stopped being funny.
There was a time that listening to PIL was intolerably hip, many people did it because you were supposed to do it, it made you appear a little more smart than the average early twenty year old. About now is the time I tell you some story about an attractive and yet serious young woman who would stare into the middle distance as she smoked her roll ups and swigged out of a stolen red wine bottle as the fire sputtered in the fireplace burning old pallets that barely warmed the damp squat we shared with her sartorially inelegant pals.
There may really be a story there but the thing is it is all bull, the real truth is when you heard Jah Wobbles bass on Metal Box, or Second Edition as I just found it, and you grew up on Hawkwind and Amon Duul you managed to connect with PIL on a guttural level. It’s the missing link a sprawling mess of a missing link that has all the idiocy and social commentary necessary to be serious with a nod and a wink, it’s art rock for the working classes. It’s minimalist with maximum bass.
There really was a serious young woman in a donkey jacket and shrink to fit levi’s. We were going to change the world in the struggle against Thatcher and the fascist state she was creating, we went to festivals, hitched around the country and slept in ditches, sometimes sober. We listened to all the right records and went to all the right gigs, well the ones we could afford, we did dumb stuff together. Then she decided to become an economist and eventually a banker and I went on to run a non-profit for disadvantaged teens. I bet she votes conservative now.
Funnily enough now my need to impress is gone I really need to hear Jethro Tull now the glorious mess that is Second Edition is over.