PiL, Double Trouble

What century are we in? PiL was on that Stephen Colbert show last night. I forget what it’s called. The Tonight Show? Probably not.

I’ve gotten used to seeing Lydon on TV, chubby and stubby and how he used to be missing teeth, but isn’t anymore.

What I never get used to is how electrifying he is when he’s actually singing. This seems to be a crap song about hiring a plumber or something, which doesn’t go right because, well, who knows. The spouse didn’t do it right?

Or maybe it’s about something else entirely, but what matters is that the performance is pretty electrifying, and the sound is huge and, um, unusual for these times. Not nearly as dub as PiL was back in the day, but not punky at all.

And Lydon’s performance, intense and focused and a real performance (he delivers), brings it all home. I’m not arguing the moment is historic, memorable into the future, but it strikes me as a lovely blow against the empire. I’ll take it.

7 thoughts on “PiL, Double Trouble

  1. Two things:

    1) This song made me laugh. I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way either. It just made me laugh.

    2) The verse reminds me of that popular “That’s Not My Name” song from years ago.

  2. Great drummer, great band. Yeah, I wish I hadn’t seen ol’ Johnny doing his TV schtick, and I sure wish I’d seen the Pistols live with Glen Matlock. In the early days sure, but check out this 1996. They kick ass, and in the beginning they’re not even playing their best songs, except Bodies which is a uniquely powerful song.

  3. I had no desire to go see those Sex Pistols festival shows, but that’s a great clip and goes to what I said about the PiL clip. Johnny is a performer, and an uncompromising one. Agree with you on Bodies, too, and love to hear the band on backing vocals, like it was Roadrunner.

  4. I saw them 8/17/96 at the Aragon in Chicago (looked it up). Was a really fun, great show. In his latest book, Lydon writes about still not really being accepted as part of the band. As it always was, he was kind of on his own island with the Pistols. Said after this tour, there was no party or anything, no “let’s keep in touch.” After the last date, they just all went home. Weird.

  5. And yet they always sounded like a unified, hell, monolithic force, at least with Matlock. There is a lesson in there but I don’t know what it is. I know Johnny Thunders considered Rotten an opportunist, which he clearly is, but that has nothing to do with his talent. I never got much into PIL, it seemed liked they were trying to annoy their audience and I just said, “OK, I’m annoyed.”

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