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When John Lydon ignored Paul McCartney’s attempt to meet him

John Lydon


When John Lydon ignored Paul McCartney’s attempt to meet him

Paul McCartney is one of the most important songwriters of all time and certainly is someone that millions of people, especially musicians, would love to meet. But to have McCartney running after the cab you’re in, banging in the window because he wants to meet you, it’s really a surreal moment, that not everyone could cope with. That was too much for the Sex Pistols vocalist John Lydon, who got scared to see Paul and ignored him that day.


He recalled that funny story in an interview with Piers Morgan (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) in 2015. He first revealed that he actually doesn’t like to listen to The Beatles because his parents used to listen to them a lot. “Well, mom and dad played them way too much. So the prejudice was set in. (I used to think) ‘Oh, one more time of that awfulness’,” John Lydon said.

The story of when John Lydon ignored Paul McCartney’s attempt to meet him

As Lydon recalled in the conversation with Piers Morgan, when he saw that it was Paul and Linda McCartney banging on the cab’s window, he locked the door and turned his head to the other side. “Oh that was terrible. I was with my wife Nora and we were going to visit my brother in Tottenham. We had to go through past Harrods and two people come running across the street and it’s Paul and Linda McCartney.”

“They’re banging on the cab window, I put the lock down and turned my head around. I could not cope with it, it was too much. This is, you know, a famous person. I couldn’t handle it, my shyness took over. Nora was saying ‘Why don’t you let them in?’ You know when things take you sometimes by surprise ‘Bang! It’s Paul and Linda (in your face)’, John Lydon said.

Although that first encounter didn’t happen properly, they had the chance to meet each other later and as the Sex Pistols vocalist told Yorkshire Post, in 2013, Paul is a “lovely bloke”. But he noted that he can’t stand the music made by the Beatle. “I like him. He’s a really friendly bloke. I just can’t stand his music. That’s a good thing. You can separate the person from the work. My work is a little more personal, it’s not crafting songs in a pretty format. Mine need to be the real deal – and that’s hard to get along with,” John Lydon said.

He respects the Beatles and thinks they are historical

Although he doesn’t like what Paul, John, George and Ringo recorded, Lydon respects them and said that they are historical. He praised them during a session of questions and answers in 2015 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage).

“I’ve been through a lot of social changes in this country. It’s really important that you understand that it was vitally like relevant, when I was just a tiny little kid that rather listening to that endless f*cking classical stuff, all of that. They started to play Pop music but the Pop music was selected and a bit wank at first.”

“So when bands like The Beatles came in, they were doing something really f*cking important. You have to understand that when I slag them off, I’m not slagging off their historical perspective to me. They were vital for my development,” John Lydon said.

Paul McCartney liked Punk and The Sex Pistols

Paul McCartney had the chance to see the evolution of the seed that The Beatles planted in the music business. Countless new Rock and Roll subgenres appeared directly influenced by their songs and albums and of course, without The Beatles, Rock music in general wouldn’t have been the same.

McCartney actually liked Punk and he even praised the Pistols’ track “Pretty Vacant”, explaining in an interview with The Quietus in 2009 why he thought it was a great track.

“It was a great thing and something like ‘Pretty Vacant’ as a record, is really good. It was produced by Chris Thomas, who we knew – he was George Martin’s assistant and had worked on some Beatles stuff.”

“The sound of ‘Pretty Vacant’ is really good and, of course, the energy of the band is sensational. It’s not to be denied,” Paul McCartney said.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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