Make me your Homepage
left corner left corner
China Daily Website

'Beijing's beautiful' for king of punks

Updated: 2013-04-01 14:57
By Lance Crayon (

'Beijing's beautiful' for king of punks

[Photo by Wang Wei/provided to]

In 1977 Neil Young sang about Johnny Lydon back when the front man was a Sex Pistol. In the song My My, Hey Hey Young laments, "The king is gone, but he's not forgotten. Is this the story of Johnny Rotten?"

And although the moniker "Rotten" was abandoned long ago, he is still going strong at the age of 57. The "king" isn't gone; he's on tour.

On Saturday, a mix of local and international fans, along with a few Chinese rock stars such as Cui Jian, witnessed the Beijing debut of Public Image Limited (PiL), a band whose singer continues to have an indelible influence on the way music is sung, shouted and screamed.

He's just as relevant today as he was four decades ago, when he was with his first band, the Sex Pistols.

The near two-hour set, played before a packed house at Yugong Yishan, consisted of songs from PiL's catalogue, beginning with Four Enclosed Walls from the album Flowers of Romance and included songs from their most recent and ninth release, This is PiL.

Although the band played two encores, they did not venture off course or play a Sex Pistols song, as some in attendance probably would have liked.

After the show, Lydon partly explained why PiL's music is so diverse by describing himself as a "musical explorer" rather than a "musical tourist".

The band ripped through such classics as Public Image Limited, Rise and This is not a Love Song. Then again they could have played anything and nobody would have been disappointed, as the show also served as an opportunity for Chinese punk rock fans to see someone many thought would never play in China.

One Chinese PiL fan, Jian Lin, who works as a Web designer says: "I came from Tianjin to see this show. I was so excited when I heard they were coming to China, because they were my idols when I was in college. I still can't believe I am actually here watching them. This is the best show I have ever seen."

As a performer, Lydon is a class act. It's hard to say if he and his band will return, but they could if they wanted to, as they didn't wear out their welcome by dedicating songs or the entire concert to any bandwagon causes.

'Beijing's beautiful' for king of punks

'Beijing's beautiful' for king of punks

Blast from the past 

Changbaishan ski resort 

Previous Page 1 2 3 4 Next Page