AUDIO: John Lydon previews Sheffield Off The Shelf talk

John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, author of new biography Anger Is An Energy
John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, author of new biography Anger Is An Energy
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Sex Pistols legend John Lydon is angry and wants to set the record straight – for years he has felt misjudged.

Johnny Rotten, as a generation remember him, says he is no monster and has never run around in leather studded jackets and a Mohawk.

John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, author of new biography Anger Is An Energy

John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, author of new biography Anger Is An Energy

Yes, he admits he does not like the idea of paying for the monarchy, but he does not mind the royal family as people.

He loves pageantry, though he would turn down a knighthood as quickly as an offer to appear on Strictly Come Dancing.

And while The X Factor is ‘too karaoke’ for him, the punk rock king wants to make it clear he loves pop music. His greatest love remains playing live and recording with his band Public Image Limited.

Now this complex anti-hero is putting the record and the world straight with his new autobiography, Anger is an Energy: My Life Uncensored – and he is coming to Sheffield’s Off The Shelf book festival to tell us all about it.

John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, author of new biography Anger Is An Energy

John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, author of new biography Anger Is An Energy

AUDIO: Listen to Graham Walker’s big chat with John Lydon on The Star’s new Audioboom account at www.audioboom.com/SheffieldStar.

Speaking from his home in Los Angeles, he told how the anger began when he suffered complete memory loss after a bout of life-threatening meningitis aged just seven.

His parents were told to keep him angry, to revive the memories.

He said: “ I was in a coma for nearly four months and when I came out of that I had no memory.

John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, author of new biography Anger Is An Energy

John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, author of new biography Anger Is An Energy

“I forgot everything; how to read, write, everything. Even body movements were a problem to me. I couldn’t co-ordinate very well.

“For the next four years I was trying to remember who I was. The hospital told my parents to keep me angry, because out of that anger memories would start to return.

“Eveything came back but it took a long time and a lot of anger. Unfortunately the Sex Pistols got most of it.

“It’s all those experiences that gave me the energy to do what I needed to do once I started in the Sex Pistols and moved on to Public Image.

“Johnny Rotten didn’t just appear there out of nowhere. He came from something and to make it clear to people is all important.

“I’m fed up of being misjudged. I was this pop star, a monster, a character that just looked completely unbelievable. It got to the point I couldn’t really recognise myself with all the mythology that grew up about it and it was nonsense.

“Underneath all that is a bloke just looking for answers and I still am. That’s my life. I want answers. Books give you answers.

“Don’t expect me to be the cliche that some would have you believe I am. I’ve never run around in leather studded jackets and a Mohawk. For me clothes are good fun, but don’t let the uniform take you over.

“I never turn it into violence, which I don’t think solves anyone’s problems. Politically I’m more the Gandhi approach, passive resistance.

“My words are my bullets.

“I’m an avid reader and to go to a book festival to me is a joy of joys. I love books, of all kinds. I love the feel of them, reading the written word. I don’t like it on computers or iPads. That stuff just blinds my eyes.

“I love to absorb knowledge. Hello Johnny at a book fest. I’m going to grab as much as I can. Almost like a Viking book raiding party.”

* Anger is an Energy: My Life Uncensored is published via Simon & Schuster on Thursday. He will address Sheffield’s Off The Shelf book festival at The Octagon, Western Bank, on Wednesday, October 15, at 7.30pm.

For tickets, priced £11 or £8,80 concessions, visit tickets.sheffieldstudentsunion.com and www.wow247.co.uk.

AUDIO: Listen to highlights from Graham Walker’s big chat with John Lydon at The Star’s new Audioboom account - CLICK HERE.

VIDEO: Watch our special video report and read our Off The Shelf 2014 book festival feature - CLICK HERE.

FREE GUIDE: Read this year’s 52-page Off The Shelf 2014 guide, with keyword search to find authors and events, free on the Star web Tablet App. Download it now - CLICK HERE.

BROWSE GUIDE: Desktop users can also view our Digital Edition of the Off The Shelf 2014 Guide booklet on a our web site at - CLICK HERE.