JOHN LYDON CLASHES WITH ALAN FREEMAN ON JUKEBOX JURY And THen walks off the set!
By Mark Nobes, chief editor
Every now and then I manage to find a rare gem on Youtube, and this one is essential viewing. It's a classic TV gold moment, and you just know there is going to be controversy when the Sex Pistols and P.I.L. frontman John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten) appears on a TV show.
This is an episode of Juke Box Jury from 1979, with Lydon as one of four guest reviewers alongside Alan Freeman, Joan Collins and Elaine Paige, with Noel Edmonds as host. The clip is from one of those bad TV compilation shows (I'm not entirely sure which one) in which ZTT co-founder and music journalist Paul Morley is reviewing the programme.
The clip missed out the review of the first record by Showaddywaddy, which is a shame. The second record is "Bad Girls" by Donna Summer. After asking Rotten what he thinks of it, he replies "That ain't the Donna Summer I know. I hate it, it's awful!". Just say what you're thinking, Johnny!
Of course, he has been deliberately placed with three guests with an upper class accent, who could easily be stereotyped as part of the "establishment". They are typically polite and predictable with their views, with Elaine Paige stating "I liked it, actually" (this is verging on being twee) and Alan Freeman claiming "her singing has tremendous merits". Of course, everyone watching is only really interested in what Johnny has to say.
Johnny gets annoyed with Alan Freeman
Next up is punk band The Monks with "I Ain't Gettin Any" which you would presume would be liked by Johnny. Wrong! He states "normally I wouldn't listen to it. It's patronising rubbish". Freeman is surprised by his reaction to the song stating "in his Sex Pistols career he delivered the same kind of thing", to which Johnny replies "Yes, four years ago". Freeman goes on to suggest that the band are equally as proud with their music as what Johnny was doing four years ago. When Johnny goes on to say "I don't like to be patronised and that's what that record reeks of", Freeman butts in telling Johnny to "Shut up, will you!". Johnny gives one of his classic wild-eyed stares and calls him "old man".
Towards the end he also looks completely cheesed off with Noel Edmonds and eventually walks off the set. As Paul Morley states "How Johnny Rotten looks at Noel Edmunds is eventually how an entire nation would look at Noel Edmunds".