Public Iceland Limited: Johnny Rotten opens Punk Museum in Reykjavik


Vanyaland is chilling in the 101 this week for Iceland Airwaves, which kicks off tonight in the capital city of Reykjavík, and where Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd. founder John Lydon, better known as Johnny Rotten, has just celebrated the opening of the Icelandic Punk Museum in the heart of downtown.

“Don’t be shy,” Lydon encouraged attendees at an outdoor press conference while he pulled on a bottle of Corona, “I’ve come all this way; my fingers are freezing off, my penis is shrunk, my toes have gone black…”

According to a press release:

“The Icelandic Punk Museum will honor the music and the spirit that has shaped musicians and bands to this day, people who dared to be different. Objects, photographs, videos, posters, etc. from those years (1978 onwards) will be on display, as well as the main masterpieces of the period will be listenable to guests.”

“This museum is interesting to me because it’s pre the hatred, pre the jealousy and the inter-band animosities that took place later; and so for that reason alone, I’m here,” Lydon told a few dozen members of the media, curious onlookers and aging punks who braved the spitting rain and raw cold.

“All museums are only for old people,” Lydon responded when asked if punk rock was for old people. “And this one ain’t dead, so wake up and breathe the pulse of life into it, just by being here.

In typical Rotten fashion, the singer wasn’t shy about letting his thoughts be known on a variety of topics, railing against the digital culture, touching on politics (he’s voted for Clinton by absentee ballot) and the current state of hip-hop.

“In America in particular, rap music went very styled once it started selling Nike sneakers for $2000 – it went commercial too fast. If you look at them now, they’re selling a $2000 pair of sneakers that are worth about 40 cents.”

The Icelandic Punk Museum is located at Bankastræti 0. Tomorrow, Lydon will perform as a part of Airwords at Iceland Airwaves in Kaldalón Hall in the Harpa venue.