John Lydon: ‘Being angry saved my life!’ (Q352 Preview)

John Lydon: ‘Being angry saved my life!’ (Q352 Preview)

352-lydonspreadJohn Lydon has told Q how anger helped him survive a serious childhood illness.

The subject of this month’s Q Maverick interview in our new issue – out now in print and on digital – explains how he contracted spinal meningitis aged seven and after spending six months in a coma, medics treating him encouraged his parents to keep him angry so he didn’t become depressed or numbed by his experiences.

“They could have mollycoddled me,” he tells Q’s Tom Doyle. “It stands really solidly firm with me – no self-pity. Unacceptable.”

While the rage helped him when auditioning for a certain punk band, the former Sex Pistol says the illness wrecked his infancy.

“I really had no childhood because of that,” he explains. “Something was stolen from me. But the blessing of that is I can sit down and play Lego with four-year-olds now and be just as intrigued as they are. The juxtapositions of colours and shapes utterly thrill me.”

Get the new issue of Q now for the full Maverick interview with the Public Image Limited leader.


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