Q: I was just watching YouTube footage of the Sex Pistols, and there seemed to be a great deal of joy in your performances back in the seventieswhich most people wouldnít say about the Pistols. They just talk about your being pissed off.
A: Well, Iím amazed they missed that. But I donít think our fan base has missed that. Never has. You know, the judgment of outsiders is always wicked at best, isnít it? Really, the detractorsyouíve got to be looking at them as nothing but a bunch of jealous fucks.
Q: Who are the detractors at this point?
A: Oh, probably a bunch of New Yorkers claiming they invented punk.
Q: Oh, them.
A: Oh, them! You know, that poetry-reading bunch.
Q: I actually spoke to you back in 2000 at the Sundance Film Festival when The Filth and The Fury was there, and you described the drummer from the Sex Pistols, Paul Cook, as ďexcruciatingly dull.Ē You seem to have this skill for slagging on people and then getting them to work with you again.
A: You must understand, weíve done this with the press throughout our entire livescoming up with the most scathing comments we can on each other. Itís all done with a great sense of style and fun, and thereís no harm in it whatsoever. The fact that Paul is that dull is neither here nor there.
Q: He doesnít call you up and say, ďJohn, what the fuck?Ē
A: No, weíre very close. We always have been. Itís a game. All of us hate the world of gossip that just seems to surround the entertainment business, and so what you do is you put out worse gossip than anyone could ever imagine.
Q: How long have you been married?
A: Nearly 30 years. I never take any commitment lightly, and I certainly donít take my wife lightly. I never did and I never will. Thatís permanent. Thatís true love.
Q: Do you ever wish that youíd had children?
A: Yes, of course. We lost one, years ago, and complications came out of that, and so we couldnít have children, and that upset me. I mean, Iím not this callous clown walking around laughing at life all the time. Iíve had some serious, serious problems in my life. But Iíve come out with a smile. Iím not part of the self-pity whinge brigade, so please donít put a Radiohead album on.
Q:Oh, you donít like Radiohead?
A: Well, they just wallow in their own seriousness a little too much. And I think that thatís a stance, and itís an unhealthy one.
Q: How did Never Mind the Bollocks change the world?
A: I have no idea. I donít think of it like that. Thereís no grandiose opera going on in my head about it. I mean, itís an album that has had some serious influence on the music industry and the way people think. But itís not a bible, and itís not a manual, you know? Sorry! Itís all about thinking for yourself.