When the Sex Pistols split in January 1978 John quickly moved onto Public Image Limited (PiL). McLaren tried to legally prevent him using the name “Rotten” (which he later won back) – but regardless – this was a new beginning. Lydon’s unique vocal style and perceptive lyrics remained, however, PiL were nothing like the Sex Pistols.
PiL went onto blend a variety of different musical styles; there were no rules. The change of direction would frustrate many Sex Pistols fans, but equally open up a variety of people to more eclectic tastes. PiL continued in one form or another through three decades, releasing numerous albums, and scoring some unlikely hits along the way. Always chameleons, bar Lydon, the line-up would constantly change; as would the style and content of the music.
Outside of PiL John has released several solo collaborations; most notably the groundbreaking rock/rap crossover ‘World Destruction’ with Africa Bambaataa in 1984, and the pioneering ‘Open Up’ with dance duo Leftfield in 1993.