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Old 01-11-2019, 09:27 AM
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Inigo Montoya Inigo Montoya is offline
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What did Johnny Rotten mean by "Kill Rock & Roll"?

I get WHY he (and his cohorts) wasn't crazy about the direction Rock & Roll was heading. But what did he mean by "kill"? Was he hoping to give rise to a musical genre that would lead to its abandonment? Or was he just hoping to lead it down such a ridiculous path as to render it useless as a meaningful medium of self expression? Somfin else entirely? Because Punk (such as it actually was a thing) essentially gave the genre new life.

Last edited by Inigo Montoya; 01-11-2019 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:50 AM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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Depends on whether you're a joiner or a splitter, really.

First off, know that Rotten probably didn't mean anything by it other than getting some attention. The Pistols were never really about any sort of revolution in the music business. They didn't really have the ability to do that.

But when haven't young aggressive men said they're going to tear down and replace what came before? It's a part of the culture, especially in a youth-obsessed subculture like pop music.

In terms of what happened? There's a significant argument that punk didn't get adapted to rock. But there's also an argument that it did. It all depends on how one defines rock - a debate I've no real interest in having because there's no answer - in terms of its adaptability or whether the term is just an overarching phrase to mean 'all pop music'.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:01 AM
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:42 AM
Treppenwitz Treppenwitz is offline
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Serous question: when did he say that? Nothing jumps off google.

It just doesn't sound like something he would say. He was a smart kid, actually rather good with words, and this just sounds clumsy.

j
  #5  
Old 01-11-2019, 11:53 AM
blondebear blondebear is online now
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Well, Johnny pretty much said it all here:

I am an anti-Christ
I am an anarchist
Don't know what I want
But I know how to get it
I want to destroy [the passerby]...



ps: ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

Last edited by blondebear; 01-11-2019 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:12 PM
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Maserschmidt Maserschmidt is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
First off, know that Rotten probably didn't mean anything by it other than getting some attention. The Pistols were never really about any sort of revolution in the music business. They didn't really have the ability to do that.
This is such nonsense. The Pistols gave rise to a massive DIY sensibility and possibility that had become invisible to people who otherwise might not have thought to make music, in an era when music had become turgidly overproduced. It was a lie that they couldn’t play their instruments - Steve Jones and Glen Matlock were terrific musicians - but they put together simple, angry songs that made a lot of people say, “oi - I can do that!” And then made fun of themselves while doing it.

Their wiki page has a ton of reference material on cultural impact if you want to skim it.

ETA: And that turgid, over-engineered rock ‘n’ roll is what John Lydon said he wanted to kill, to answer the original question.

Last edited by Maserschmidt; 01-11-2019 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:21 PM
Walken After Midnight Walken After Midnight is offline
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Here's a video of him discussing why he dislikes rock and roll.
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:00 PM
Treppenwitz Treppenwitz is offline
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Yeah, he was a snotty little iconoclast (and there's nothing wrong with that, obviously). Maybe I'm just being to literal here - Inigo put "Kill Rock & Roll" in quotes so I was taking it for a quote. My error if that was not what was intended - as I said, it doesn't sound like Lydon. (On the other hand, it does sound like Malcolm McLaren - but I see nothing on google for that either.)

j
  #9  
Old 01-11-2019, 02:12 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
The Pistols were never really about any sort of revolution in the music business.
They were about selling Malcolm McLaren's clothes.
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:21 PM
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- Steve Jones and Glen Matlock were terrific musicians - .
They fired Matlock in favor of Sid Vicious. Sid was notoriously inept as a musician.
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:23 PM
Treppenwitz Treppenwitz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maserschmidt View Post
.....The Pistols gave rise to a massive DIY sensibility and possibility that had become invisible to people who otherwise might not have thought to make music....
Slight quibble here. I'm not saying they had no influence, but there were much more important influences at the time in re "DIY sensibility". To name a couple: John Peel, the DJ who championed new music basically from the 1960s up to his far too early death. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Peel_sessions. Many bands' first experience of recording was a Peel session, particularly in the late 70s.

Secondly, Scritti Politti, who famously printed, on a record cover, details of how they had made the record, enabling others who may have lacked the nous, or just thought it far too difficult, to follow suit. (Not sure how secure the links I have found are, but you can google image search <scritti politti work in progress> to get an idea.)

So: I would say contributed yes; gave rise to, no.

j
  #12  
Old 01-11-2019, 02:37 PM
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Inigo Montoya Inigo Montoya is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treppenwitz View Post
Yeah, he was a snotty little iconoclast (and there's nothing wrong with that, obviously). Maybe I'm just being to literal here - Inigo put "Kill Rock & Roll" in quotes so I was taking it for a quote. My error if that was not what was intended - as I said, it doesn't sound like Lydon. (On the other hand, it does sound like Malcolm McLaren - but I see nothing on google for that either.)

j
My bad, I believe the verb he'd used was "destroy". (Better Google hits with that)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maserschmidt View Post
ETA: And that turgid, over-engineered rock n roll is what John Lydon said he wanted to kill, to answer the original question.
This makes sense.
  #13  
Old 01-12-2019, 01:13 PM
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"The king is gone, but he's not forgotten
This is the story of a Johnny Rotten"
  #14  
Old 01-12-2019, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
They were about selling Malcolm McLaren's clothes.
This. Absolutely this. The Sex Pistols were manufactured anarchy--think The Monkees with a sneer.
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:59 PM
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Johnny Rotten was trolling the culture and had seen Richard III way too many times.
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:19 PM
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Penfeather Penfeather is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
They were about selling Malcolm McLaren's clothes.
Nah. That was a myth put about by McLaren, that he was the genius Svengali who single-handedly engineered a musical scam with a bunch of talentless herberts. For a start the Pistols were Steve Jones' band, and he talked McLaren into funding and managing them, and they had a talented starting line-up: a terrific guitarist, a writing, melodic bass player, a solid drummer, and an innovative, hugely influential singer. I mean, they weren't ELO in terms of technical acumen, but that was always the point.

Last edited by Penfeather; 01-12-2019 at 05:20 PM.
  #17  
Old 01-12-2019, 06:37 PM
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I saw Steve Jones one night in a club. It was pretty f'n good. I mean, I guess he had to make a living.
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