Johnny Rotten's Still My Hero made it to the YouBloom Music Awards semi finals
A tribute to John Lydon
Johnny Rotten's Still My Hero, as the title suggests, is a tribute to John Lydon, who came to fame as the singer for the Sex Pistols and went on to front PIL. The Sex Pistols were one of the most widely publicised and controversial Punk Rock bands back in the 1970s and really created a stir with their hits like God Save The Queen and Anarchy in The UK.
John Lydon, who is also known as Johnny Rotten, proclaimed he was an "anarchist" and the "Antichrist" in the latter of these two songs. He swore on a TV chat show and the band's sneering contempt for the monarchy and the system found legions of supporters amongst the rebellious young music fans of the day. The Sex Pistols and their image rapidly became icons for the Punk Rock era.
At the same time their concerts were protested against by offended Christians and others who felt the band were a danger to the standards of society. Not only that, but God Save The Queen was banned by the BBC and all other independent radio stations and technically prevented from being number one in the pop charts where it should have been.
The song's lyrics include: "God save the queen/She ain't no human being/And there's no future/In England's dreaming"
YouBloom Music Awards
Johnny Rotten Is Still My Hero got as far as the semi-finals of the YouBloom Music Awards, an Internet song contest with a celebrity panel of judges from the music industry, headed by Bob Geldof. Geldof came to fame in the Punk Rock and New Wave music era himself, as it happens, when he was the singer for the BoomTown Rats.
I have already reached as far as the Semi Finals of the contest with my song Mañana.
There is a big cash prize for the eventual winner of the contest and many other great prizes that go with this, as well as lots of top publicity for whoever it is that wins.
The Sex Pistols - God Save The Queen
About Johnny Rotten's Still My Hero
My song was recorded In Crawley backed by a new girl group calling themselves The Somethings. We had all met many months before when I played a gig at the West End Centre in Aldershot. The girls were impressed with my performance and had become instant fans.
We kept in touch after I went back to Cardiff and one day I got a letter from Elle, who was one of the girls, saying they had been inspired by what I had told them and had decided to put a band together. They were doing their first gig at a high school in Aldershot but wanted to know if they could support me if I ever played down their way again.
Now it was the year 2002, and this was 25 years from the Queen's Silver Jubilee and when the Sex Pistols had hit the headlines, and I felt inspired to write Johnny Rotten's Still My Hero. It was a tribute to the band and John Lydon. I replied to Elle that better than them just supporting me if I played a gig down their way, how about they back me for a new song I wanted to record?
Of course, it was going to be difficult to organise any rehearsals because they were about 140 miles away from where I lived but I thought it would be great for my image to have a group of teenage girls backing me, and there was the idea of capitalising on the anniversary of the Jubilee. Because they were all new to being in a band and our efforts were going to be very much a thrown together bash at performing my song was all very much part of the D-I-Y ethic of the Punk Rock years.
I went down once to Aldershot and we had out one and only rehearsal in the living room of Elle's parents' house. I was amazed to find that her father actually approved of my song. Bother her mum and dad didn't seem at all worried about their daughter being friends with and performing a song with an ageing hippie. Times have changed, I thought, having often experienced parents in the past who took one look at me and decided they didn't like me!
The girls were all doing their final exams at around this time so it was tricky with dates so I left it with them to book a cheap studio in their area on a day they could all make it. Raven Studios in Crawley was what they came up with. So I travelled down and we recorded the song.
The Somethings all went on to various universities and so the band broke up and I lost touch with them but the song we recorded lives on!
Sex Pistols link
Conspiracy theorist and author David Icke has been putting forward a very bizarre theory that the Royal Family and many world leaders are actually shape-shifting reptilian aliens from ancient bloodline families and who only masquerade as humans.
Because John Lydon sings "she ain´t no human being" in the Sex Pistols hit I made reference to this in my lyrics and name-checked Icke. He was pleased because he ran a mention of my song in his headlines at the time it first came out back in 2002.
© 2011 Steve Andrews