If ever there was a man who looked the whole world in the eye and said FUCK YOU!!!, it’s John Lydon. From the first few pages of the introduction, it was obvious that Lydon’s story, told in his own words, was going to be an intensely interesting read.
Lydon’s humble beginnings in North London (which he described as a “dustbin,” and “piss poor”) hard wired an attitude of rebellion into his psyche. He pointed out that he came from a rare point in British history where unquestioned subservience to national authority was not a given. This is not to say that the British had no civil disorder, but after WW2 much of this was swept under the carpet. People of Lydon’s intelligence, conviction, and imagination inevitably dragged this out of its hiding places.
Interview by Jim Hoey – Photos by Marilyn Cvitanic ——————————This interview was conducted at TriBeCaStan’s West Side studio, with helicopters rising and falling along the riverside, and the three of us, John Kruth, Jeff Greene, and myself, surrounded by the instruments of their trade, culled from a lifetime of travel and exploration. Fresh from a sold-out CD release party at Joe’s Pub for their latest offering, 5 Star Cave, the two offered insight into how they go about re-imagining folk music from around the Middle East, Northern Africa, and other parts of the world. Based out of the crossroads of NYC, they have the advantage of hearing some of the traditional music they are inspired by pumping from cabs and bodegas, yet their embrace of the strange and foreign in music goes above and beyond mere curiosity or dabbling, and passes into the realm of living scholarship. Indeed, both have gone to the countries whose music they cherish, and have played with the masters, so they’ve got the authenticity down, and when you hear them grooving along with their top-notch Folklorkestra, you don’t doubt that what you’re hearing is the real thing.