Arianna Forster, aka Ari Up, front-woman for pioneering English punk band The Slits, passed away on Wednesday, October 20th, according to the website of John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd., who was also Up’s stepfather. According to Lydon’s site, Up died “after a serious illness.” She was 48 years old.
John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) singer for the Sex Pistols and Public Image was born on this day, January 31st, in 1956. My friend Rey once told me a story of how he, as a journalist, had attempted to conduct an interview with Lydon during the days of Public Image. It didn’t go so well. Each time Rey asked a question, rather than answer, Lydon would just repeat that question back to him in a mocking voice. Rey told me that he got up and left the room several times in an attempt to terminate the interview, but the publicist insisted he continue and promised that Lydon would behave from then on. Eventually he gave up and wrote the article about what an asshole John Lydon was. Because Rey is awesome. I love that story. Happy Birthday, John!
On This Date, November 14th in 1979: Public Image Ltd released their second album, Metal Box, which included the singles “Careering,” “Memories” and “Swan Lake” (aka “Death Disco”). It reached the #18 spot on the U.K. albums chart. The album is sometimes referred to as The Public Image Reel owing to its unique packaging: three 12-inch records in a film canister embossed with the group’s PiL logo. Metal Box, now obviously a near-priceless collector’s item, was later repackaged in a standard cardboard sleeve format under the title Second Edition. The London post-punk band – fronted by John Lydon (Johnny Rotten) of Sex Pistols and also including guitarist Keith Levene, bassist Jah Wobble and Martin Atkins on drums – broke up in 1993.
A Nod of Thanks to The P5 Blogspot For The Tip!