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August 31, 2011 12:46 PM   Subscribe

Public Image Limited, Live on American Bandstand in 1980, that is all.
posted by sgt.serenity (54 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Love this. An entirely chaotic piece of super weirdness from Johnny Rotten, but...awfully thin for an FPP dontcha think?
posted by Skygazer at 12:49 PM on August 31, 2011


It's a piece in and of itself, there's been plenty of slyt links fpp'd on mefi before.
posted by sgt.serenity at 12:50 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I loved how Clarke introduced them. It was almost a reverent intro. You hear that soft tone of voice where he says they are "special." I've been to enough religious services and heard that tone. Musicians = Gods. Not for me to answer.
I've seen it a couple times before but it is fun to watch. I don't mind it as a fpp.
Always liked PIL.
posted by hot_monster at 12:56 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, you're alright, sarge. PiL in its prime.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 12:59 PM on August 31, 2011


Skygazer: “Love this. An entirely chaotic piece of super weirdness from Johnny Rotten, but...awfully thin for an FPP dontcha think?”

Nope. The badly-named sergeant and I have had our differences, but on this we can set those aside. This is plenty of awesome for one post.
posted by koeselitz at 12:59 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


> An entirely chaotic piece of super weirdness from Johnny Rotten

Shit, that ain't Jonny Rotten. That's John Lydon.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:00 PM on August 31, 2011 [11 favorites]



Nope. The badly-named sergeant and I have had our differences, but on this we can set those aside. This is plenty of awesome for one post.
posted by koeselitz at 8:59 PM on August 31 [+] [!]


Punk hands across the ocean m8, punk hands, *sniff*

Badly named ? It was good enough for Shepard Fairey to rip off for his clothing line : )

Dialectical usernames ftw !
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:08 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


You'll dance to anything by Public Image Limited.
posted by Slothrup at 1:12 PM on August 31, 2011 [9 favorites]


I'll dance to anything by any bunch of stupid Europeans who come over.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:13 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Feathered hair (even on Dick) and lack-of-rhythm dancing. Oh 1980s how I miss thee.
posted by stormpooper at 1:19 PM on August 31, 2011


Love this. An entirely chaotic piece of super weirdness from Johnny Rotten, but...awfully thin for an FPP dontcha think?

Did you see the FPP about Surrender?
posted by juiceCake at 1:25 PM on August 31, 2011


Who the hell dances to PiL like it's disco?
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:30 PM on August 31, 2011




I'll dance to anything by any bunch of stupid Europeans who come over.


Go for it : )
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:36 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


This confirms to me that I'm totally correct to be thoroughly bored with
modern music, and modern musical performance.
posted by Decani at 1:39 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


awfully thin for an FPP dontcha think?

Nah, this is great. Thanks, sarge.
posted by homunculus at 1:40 PM on August 31, 2011


Wait, they're not actually playing and Lydon is lip syncing. Bah.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:57 PM on August 31, 2011


My god, I hadn't realized. I've never really listened to them. This is fucking incredible. I'm downloading Metal Box right now.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:01 PM on August 31, 2011


Wait, they're not actually playing and Lydon is lip syncing. Bah.

Faking isn't always a bad thing in these venues.
posted by Beardman at 2:03 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Props on the title:)
posted by stonepharisee at 2:12 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


One day in 1980, I was record shopping and faced a decision - spend my money on "Metal Box" (I can still see it in my head, sitting on a shelf behind the cash register) or the Iggy Pop bootleg, "Heroin Hates Me". I opted for Iggy and I'm still haunted by that poor choice.
posted by davebush at 2:17 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of my favorite groups ever. One of my favorite television moments ever. Two great tastes that taste great together. My friends and I must've watched this clip hundreds of times on a bootleg VHS comp, a tape that included (among other things) PiL on Tom Snyder, Crispin Glover on Letterman (excerpt), Uncle Goddamn (nsfw), that state senator who shot himself on live TV, and graphic footage of an overweight woman taking a wet shit on a square-looking guy's face (sorry, no clip).
posted by item at 2:19 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Very nice. Not too thin. Just right.
posted by safetyfork at 2:30 PM on August 31, 2011


God this is awesome.

I think this is the kind of anarchy I was hoping for as a kid, the lights are still on, nothing's on fire, but we're dancing where we shouldn't be and some of us are in baseball uniforms.
posted by chronkite at 2:57 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Horselover Phattie: “Wait, they're not actually playing and Lydon is lip syncing. Bah.”

Did you read the link text? It says "live on American Bandstand." That means "lip syncing and not actual playing."
posted by koeselitz at 2:57 PM on August 31, 2011


Although, that probably was dissolved cocaine in that nasal spray Lydon inhaled at the end.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:59 PM on August 31, 2011


Faking isn't always a bad thing yt in these venues.

It's often hilarious.
posted by homunculus at 3:01 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks Slothrup, I gave myself a two hour window before I made that joke.

(It doesn't seem like I should make it because I WILL dance to anything by Public Image Limited... and any other instant club hit)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:02 PM on August 31, 2011


aar-aar-aar-aart fa-artfag.
posted by humboldt32 at 3:06 PM on August 31, 2011


Does anyone know if the Nirvana clip was influenced by PiL's performance?

It's hard to tell how much of Lydon's antics were performance art and how much are frustration with being asked to play along with music-promotion bullshit.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:17 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actual live PiL musical performance on Old Grey Whistle Test, 1980:

Poptones

Careering
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:24 PM on August 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well, alright. Let's do this then, I was kronKin' to Poptones while most of you weren't even out of your RUSH IS GAWD phase.


*Kronkin' - Standing in place spastically waving ones arms around without rhythm or purpose.
posted by Skygazer at 3:35 PM on August 31, 2011


Well, alright. Let's do this then..

Okay... This was sitting on my desk when I read your comment.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:49 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's John Lydon on Judge Judy. Unfortunately, the beginning is missing.
posted by Daddy-O at 3:52 PM on August 31, 2011




I loved how Clarke introduced them. It was almost a reverent intro.

I think what you're actually hearing is bewilderment and irritation smoothly hidden under the trademark Dick Clark persona. Story is that Clark was actually furious with Lydon for his lack of professionalism. I think the main thing is that PIL didn't want to play along to their own recording which was all the rage with shows of that kind at the time.

If you like that you will love the Tom Snyder interview of around the same time (Part 1, Part 2) is just as cool and strange as that AB appearance. Lydon is openly contemptuous and difficult towards Synder. And the whole interview devolves into Synder and Lydon taking shots at one another verbally.
posted by Skygazer at 3:55 PM on August 31, 2011


Charlie don't kid around: This was sitting on my desk when I read your comment.


Ooh...ahhh...awww....ouch.

Check and mate dude.

I am not worthy...

Dang.

Well done.

posted by Skygazer at 3:59 PM on August 31, 2011


If this is the clip I've seen, (at work, damnit) easily the best part is the couple dressed in full on St. Louis Cardinals uniforms, from jerseys to stirrup pants, and Lydon wandering through the studio with Clark looking as close to outright angry as I've ever seen. Genius. May the road rise to you, indeed, Mr. Lydon.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:13 PM on August 31, 2011


Did you see the FPP about Surrender?

The clip has been removed from YouTube. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO


Was it a clip where Rick (who's all right) leads the audience in a 10-minute "WE'RE ALL RIGHT" chant? Cause that tradition is one of the greatest things in music ever.
posted by Spatch at 4:41 PM on August 31, 2011


Spatch: “Was it a clip where Rick (who's all right) leads the audience in a 10-minute "WE'RE ALL RIGHT" chant? Cause that tradition is one of the greatest things in music ever.”

No, it was better.

It was an ancient clip of a high school band at a talent show basically throwing every single ounce of their beings into playing the coolest song they knew.

Wish that clip still existed somewhere, actually.
posted by koeselitz at 4:44 PM on August 31, 2011


Actually, no. I am totally confusing that with a Rush video. Pardon me.
posted by koeselitz at 4:45 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's got a good beat and you can dance to it.
posted by Sailormom at 5:12 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


I miss Dick Clark.
posted by jonmc at 5:25 PM on August 31, 2011


Does anyone remember Dazzling Killmen? I always think of them when I hear this song, what an amazing band that was.
posted by chaff at 7:44 PM on August 31, 2011


THANK YOU.

One night, probably 1995, I came out of the TV studio I was working in and threw on my headphones. On an obscure college radio station in NYC, I caught the tail end of and AMAZINGLY intelligent and quirky interview with Johnny Lydon (AKA Johhny Rotten.)

Now he has this voice, so I knew immediately who was speaking.

Love that guy.

This was contrasted years and years later when I caught him as a defendant on Judge Judy and I wondered why he'd be on something like that - it wasn't his finest moment.

I'll remember that interview instead, ThankYouVeryMuch.

And this post!
posted by jbenben at 8:12 PM on August 31, 2011


Wait, they're not actually playing and Lydon is lip syncing. Bah.

Well, Lydon's lips don't actually seem to be moving much at all. Every moment of this video - from literally pulling the audience out of their seats, to Lydon wandering around the set, to the band mucking about with their instruments and deliberately playing off-beat - was a giant middle finger to the entire AB set up.

The whole two-song set was perfect anarchy, but my favorite part, though, is when Lydon pushed the camera away from himself and onto a total stranger. Everything about this moment speaks volumes about him. Reading England's Dreaming currently, and what I'm discovering is that despite his shortcomings, Lydon was really interested in shaking people's notions of what a pop star is. I'd say he achieved that long before PiL was formed, but seeing this set is an example of his staying committed to that task for years to come.

God I love PiL for this.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:36 PM on August 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Ton Snyder interview with PIL was great:Remember when Dan Akroyd used to do Tom Snyder on SNL awesome!
posted by Upon Further Review at 8:57 PM on August 31, 2011


> Well, Lydon's lips don't actually seem to be moving much at all.

Yeah, watching it again I can see that my initial kneejerk reaction to fake TV performances blinded me to how Lydon was turning that on its ear.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 6:43 AM on September 1, 2011


Jah Wobble talking to Steve Jones in 2006 about this appearance;

Interview on soundcloud

The full interview has John talking about learning bass, selling the bass to Jesus and Mary Chain,
How Sid was meant to be Sex Pistols original vocalist, PIL first album was his first ever recording, violence in London in 2006. Driving subway trains
posted by stuartmm at 7:17 AM on September 1, 2011


When I first heard Rise ... 10 years after it was released ... I was at the same time sorry I missed it and glad I found it. It's one of my top 10 favorites of the 80s.

PIL was really a fine move for Lydon, and stamped his SP critique APPROVED with the seal of real innovation.
posted by Twang at 7:57 AM on September 1, 2011


Who the hell dances to PiL like it's disco?

Dick Clark's staff, apparently. I can't imagine that the American Bandstand crew did due diligence vetting Lydon for Bandstand.

That said, there's clearly an Andy Kaufmanesque aspect to Lydon's performance in the video.

I listened for Jah Wobble and Holger Czukay's weird, emo drum & bass improvisations. Lydon was just their front-man.
posted by vhsiv at 8:38 AM on September 1, 2011


Does anyone remember Dazzling Killmen??

Yes! Such a criminally underrated band. I still bring them up to people as a reference but then most people just look at me funny and say "huh? who?" The curious should seek out Face of Collapse.
posted by safetyfork at 9:33 AM on September 1, 2011


I saw PiL live around this time at some auditorium in Pasadena. It was sorta awful. PiL made us wait a punishingly long time for them. [I have no memory of the opening band except there was one.] The audience got mean and restless. When the band showed up Lydon was angry - he expected the crowd to want the Sex Pistols, and some idiots in the crowd were asking for Pistols songs. I was fifteen or sixteen and just wanted to hear Public Fucking Image, and didn't realize that Lydon and a part of the audience were there to give each other shit. The crowd started moving when the band started playing, and I realized my feet couldn't find ground and my arms were pinned. The whole mass of angry people was moving and I couldn't find air to breathe. I was maybe five foot one then, maybe a hundred pounds, and I couldn't get out. The music was great - huge, rhythmic music that I loved - but as a small scared immobilized unit in a moving crowd, I couldn't really hear it.

Guess I got my money's worth.
posted by goofyfoot at 4:10 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: "Reading England's Dreaming currently"

I thought that book was fantastic.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:12 PM on September 3, 2011


I thought that book was fantastic.

It's pretty exhaustively researched, that's for sure. I've only just now - at what, page 150 or so - gotten to Lydon joining the Pistols. So far, I'm happy to see a less parasitic side to McLaren, but even more, I'm finding Lydon to be a really vulnerable guy. I guess that shouldn't surprise me all that much, but he carries this imperious demeanor in interviews these days, so it's easy to forget what sort of kid he was back then.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:13 PM on September 3, 2011


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