I’m In PiL, Get Me Out of Here!


John Lydon reforms
Public Image Limited minus, uh, the band. Vintage vid clips below.


By Fred Mills


Let’s be honest: Public Image Limited was a pretty great
band, from the signature Pistolian clang of the “Public Image” single and the
groundbreaking Metal Box album to
that memorable lip-synching appearance on “American Bandstand” (see clip,
below) and the group’s latterday intersection with Bill Laswell. Founder John
Lydon put the group on the shelf in 1992, however, in order to become a
professional celebrity (those ads for Country Life butter were awesome; see
clip below).


Media reports this week inform us that Lydon is reassembling
PiL for a 5-date string of concerts in England in December. Apparently for
Lydon the parrot, er, band, wasn’t dead, merely sleeping: “We’ll see where
we can go,” Lydon told London’s
. “Some things may be
quite similar, some may not.”


A few things that will not include the musicians: there’s no Keith Levene or Jah Wobble or Martin Atkins,
who formed the core of the band when it was at its most creative an influential.
Instead, Lu Edmonds will be on guitar, Bruce Smith on bass, and Scott Firth
will fill in on keyboards, additional guitars and whatnot.


It’s too early, of course, to determine if audiences will
feel they’ve been cheated. Bets are, however, that Lydon will walk away with a
sweet payday.



PiL on American Bandstand 1980:




Lydon shilling for Country Life:




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