Vacancy in the UK: Johnny Rotten is now an American citizen, because of Obama

When Public Image Ltd. head out on a North American tour that ignores Boston later this year, there will unexpectedly be an American citizen fronting the reunited post-punk band. That man would be the very-familiar John Lydon, a.k.a Johnny Rotten, the former Sex Pistol who famously once sang about anarchy in his native United Kingdom.

In a pretty fascinating new interview with Vice’s Noisey, Lydon talks about his decision to become a US citizen, and has President Barack Obama to thank.

Here’s a snippet:

I understand you recently became an American citizen.
Yeah, two years back. And I’m very, very glad. I’ll tell you what amazes me, though. Talking to American journalists, I’ve not heard, “Well done” or anything like it! It’s just this negative wall, and I want to know what that means. Because let’s face it: I’m no friend of any government in the world, but if the American government accepted me—of all the people in the world that could cause trouble for you—aren’t you happy for me?

Of course, but it is surprising. As an American travelling to the UK or Europe—especially during the Bush years—I got the distinct impression that no sane, politically minded Briton or European would want to align themselves with the U.S.
Oh, I would’ve never done it during the Bush years. The way America presented itself abroad—as greedy, egotistical, violent monsters—was horrible. And cowardly ones, too—always hiding behind missiles and far-fetched weaponology. But the reality is a little different now. America has the potential to be a nation that actually cares for its afflicted and wounded and ill and disenfranchised. That’s what Obamacare has brought into the agenda. So it was Obama that changed my mind. No matter how insanely the Republicans yak on about it, I don’t see how they can take that back. And you know what? I can vote now.

Will you?
Yeah, I will. And I’ll vote properly. I’ll vote for anyone who will not dismantle all those goods that people need. I don’t mind spending my tax on my fellow human beings.

The extended discussion is a good read and highly-recommended.

Check out the full run of PiL dates below, and listen to their recent single “Double Trouble” before scanning the listings, via Pitchfork.

Public Image Ltd. Live Dates:
09-18 Glasgow, Scotland – 02 ABC
09-19 Manchester, England – Academy
09-20 Newcastle, England – Riverside
09-22 York, England – Fibbers
09-23 Coventry, England – The Copper Rooms at Warwick University
09-25 Bristol, England – 02 Academy
09-26 Buckley, Wales – Tivoli
09-27 Reading, England – Sub 89
09-29 Bexhill, England – De La Warr Pavilion
09-30 Norwich, England – UEA
10-02 London, England – 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
10-03 Frome, England – Cheese and Grain
10-04 Southampton, England – Engine Rooms
10-06 Paris, France – Le Trianon
10-07 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso
10-09 Lausanne, Switzerland – Les Docks
10-10 Venice, Italy – Rivolta
10-11 Milan, Italy – Magazzini Generali
10-13 Mannheim, Germany – Alte Seilerei
10-14 Ludwigsburg, Germany – Rockfabrik
10-15 Berlin, Germany – Columbia Theatre
10-17 Bochum, Germany – Zeche
10-18 Antwerp, Belgium – Trix
10-31 New Orleans, LA – Voodoo Music + Arts Experience Festival
11-01 Memphis, TN – New Daisy Theatre
11-03 Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre
11-05 Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room
11-06 St. Petersburg, FL – The State Theatre
11-07 Orlando, FL – The Plaza Live
11-10 Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
11-11 Philadelphia, PA – The Trocadero Theatre
11-12 Pittsburgh, PA – The Altar Bar
11-14 Montreal, Québec – La Tulipe
11-15 Toronto, Ontario – The Opera House
11-16 New York, NY – Best Buy Theatre
11-18 Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall
11-20 Denver, CO – Gothic Theatre
11-22 Vancouver, British Columbia – Vogue Theatre
11-23 Seattle, WA – The Showbox
11-25 Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl
11-27 San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
11-28 Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades
11-29 Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre