John Lydon Interview by Ettrick Scott
Photo © Paul Heartfield

An abridged version of the interview below appeared in Newcastle’s Sunday Sun back in July. The author of the piece, Ettrick Scott, wanted to get the whole interview out to as wide an audience as possible so asked us if we’d like to run the piece in full. Needless to say we are delighted to do so. Our thanks go out to thanks to NCJMedia for sanctioning our reproducing the interview here, as well as to Ettrick for sending it to us. Although we recently ran an interview with John Lydon, written by Ged Babey, I’m sure you’ll agree you can’t get too much of the man!

My first attempt at phoning John Lydon in LA resulted in what was probably the most surreal moment of my music-writing career to date: a dodgy line meant that I could hear John just fine, but he couldn’t hear me at all, so I was treated to around thirty seconds of him shouting “Hello?…hello?..hello?…hello”¦hello!”, which sounded like he had decided to start the interview by breaking into an impromptu acapella performance of PiL’s eponymous debut single”¦

Thankfully, a second call a few moments later connected properly, and what follows is the full and unedited transcript of our hour-plus conversation, even the boring bit where we’re just saying hello to each other”¦

ES: Hi John, it’s Ettrick Scott from the Sunday Sun in Newcastle here. 

JL: Hello Geordie boy, how are ya?

ES: Yeah, pretty good. Yourself?

JL: Fine. Was that you who just tried to ring before?

ES: Yeah, sorry, I’m not sure what happened there. 

JL: No, it was me, I picked the phone up too quickly, so I apologise.

ES: That’s quite all right. Should we start then?

JL: Yeah, but I’ve got one recommendation: talk as loud as you can. 

ES:  No problem”¦ I’ve been listening to the song One Drop loads over the last couple of days, and there’s a line in it that really resonates with me: “We are the ageless / We are teenagers.” Are you saying that the sense of discovery you’ve got as a teenager has never really left you?

 JL: Yeah, that’s right; I’m as innocent as the day I was born! Listen, the worst thing anyone can say to another human being is “act your age”. That is an appalling thing to have to listen to.  I don’t act and I have no concept of age. You’re as young or as old as you believe yourself to be. 

ES:  Yeah, so it’s all about discovery and constantly looking forward”¦.

JL:  Yeah, look, I’m only fifty years young. Old to me will be when a hit a hundred. That’s the timescale I’m working on. And all them other concepts of what youth is and what age is, they’re all wrong. There are just people who are stupid and people who are not. The revolution shouldn’t end at twenty-one. It’s just carrying on until I get the proper conclusion. I’m in life for the long haul, me, and I truly believe, because I don’t have any religious faith, that heaven is on this earth, so I intend to live for as long as possible. And every time I go back to England, which is twice a year, I’m shocked to see people who start to stoop when they hit forty, and they perfect that grey pallor and that lack of interest in life, and that’s a terrible thing, why would you want to do that to yourself?  They’re sad sacks, you know; you see men and they’re sad-sacked by their nagging wives! And poor old beauty queens, you know, tormented by”¦(cackles)”¦ their limp dick hubbies! And none of this is helpful”¦

ES: I think it’s coz once you’ve decided you’re going to be old then that’s what you’re gonna be, isn’t it?

JL:  Then that’s what’s going to happen. And that’s the system, you know? Making you ineffectual. But I like to know what the problems in life are and I like to sharpen my tools. And the more experience I gain, the sharper they become. 

ES: The other track I’ve been listening to a lot is The Room That I’m In, and that’s really been giving me the chills, especially the bit where you laugh in it, because it doesn’t seem like a very funny song, if you know what I mean. 

JL: It’s about bad depression, drug addiction, council flat living; Things that I have done all at once in my childhood! And I’ve never forgotten the community that I come from and the people that I know, and I see people in that condition still, and some of them are very young. I needed to sort it out in my own head. If you want to help people in these conditions then then you really have to get the correct way of seeing in order to understand the plight and the dilemma. Too many people forget the problems they went through when they were young and therefore are of no use in helping other people that are following the same plight. So I’ve analysed a very grim situation there, but there’s a sense of hope in it, because what I discovered when I went through a really serious depression a long, long time ago, was that heaven is on this earth, and no matter what you’re problem you’re in and how bad it is, it is in itself, also in heaven. Life’s the only real thing you’ve got and don’t throw it away. Don’t add to the agenda. There are enough enemies out there who would love to see every single one of us lead a thoroughly bad existence, but don’t help them.

John Lydon Interview by Ettrick Scott
Photo © Paul Heartfield

ES: That song’s almost poetry set to music; was that always the intention with it?

JL: No, it was the oddest thing. It was a piece of music that Lu (Edmonds, PiL guitarist) was working on. He condensed it into something”¦(cackles.)”¦pretty near tuneless! And then laughingly goes “There you go, John see what you can do with that.” And that’s what I did with it. Lu doesn’t mess about with electronica much, but when he does, he goes all the way. It’s the way we work with each other, to constantly come up with surprises to tease and tempt, and I thought it was a really, really excellent backdrop. But I don’t mean it to be cheesy poetry; I mean it to be exactly what it is, where you talk through your pain when you’re in isolation and you’re trying to kick the habit or get yourself out of a depression, that’s what you do. It’s almost despondent the way that you talk to yourself. So that’s an accurate portrayal. Other people might like to bounce off the walls, but you know, I’m one of those that sits down and gets very concerned. 

ES: This year, you’ve really got behind Record Store Day in the UK. I’m wondering what you think it is about vinyl that makes it so great, because it just refuses to die. 

JL: Well, record companies tried to eliminate it because they said the manufacturing process was too expensive. Bullshit; they just found a cheaper way of cutting down on the quality in other directions, such as CDs, for instance. With CDs we were promised that they would be the full sound signal, but then we quickly found out that the record companies had found a way of cutting the sound signal way down and upping the price. And so we got cheated on that. Nowadays, you’re down to internet downloads, which can be very low quality indeed. So what I’m doing here when I refer to vinyl is bringing it back to when things were the full sound signal. Now, people who don’t remember that, well I’m just saying “Hello, but there were better days back there for some reasons.” There were some good things, and to allow an industry to teach you contempt for a better way is really, really negligible on your own part. And some young person who’s never heard vinyl; get out there and give it a listen and you will be in awe.

ES: Yeah, I was talking to my girlfriend about this the other day. In the 1980s, her boyfriend convinced her to get shot of her vinyl because CDs were the way forward, and she’s been kicking herself ever since”¦

JL: Yeah, it’s a terrible thing. I remember my parents when I was young, they were convinced by the National Health to remove all their teeth and dentures were put in. They were the key to the future. My god, I had to watch my parents grow old as gum-less wonders! Everybody in that age group in the community looked like they were into the art of gurning! So don’t ever be fooled by the alleged next best thing. 

ES: Yeah, there’s that thing where MP3s are so compressed.

JL: Yeah. But y’know, look, there’s people who like that and that’s fine. But for me, I’d like to see all the alternatives out there. I’m proud to say that I love vinyl. For me, the idea of a diamond-tipped needle scratching through a plastic disc is fantastic. I’ve never know sounds to be duplicated or bettered than that, apart from say maybe live. And so, for me, that’s it, and I like big-arsed speakers that move air, and possibly blow your curtains open. That’s my way. The only thing that I’ve ever spent any money on, apart from everyone else and PiL, is a decent record player. It’s full signal in the studio these days and then somehow reduced to a squeaky representation when it becomes sellable, and that’s wrong. So here I am, PiL, I’m launching a new bloody label and I’m backing vinyl; I’m going all the wrong way! I’m PiL, this is PiL, and we believe in full sound quality. I want bass that vibrates your vagina and testicles. (cackles)  Are you gonna have trouble printing that?

John Lydon Interview by Ettrick Scott
Photo © Paul Heartfield

ES: No, it should be fine”¦

JL: Good on you, sir! We’re on the same page”¦

ES: So, can you see a time where record companies exist only to publish their back catalogues and not sign any new artists?

I think that’s already happening. I had the horrible and unusual dilemma of having to outwait two long-term contracts, which kept me basically out of music. But they weren’t interested in developing me, or showing any interest whatsoever, other than cheap replicas of PiL.  What they were interested in was reissuing back catalogue, and it became obvious that they were being run and dictated to by the accounts department. Never let an accountant run anything! 

ES: Yeah, that’s a pretty good rule, isn’t it?

JL: It really is. They’re there for advice when you need it, but don’t let them dictate the text book, because it’s the end of creativity once mathematics come into it. 

ES: A lot of people seem to have rigid ideas about what punk rock is. It’s almost like they’ve got a rule book for it”¦

JL: It’s absurd. I mean, hello, this is Mister Rotten telling you there are no rules, and from day one that was my full-on point of view. I can’t believe what some people have turned the concept of punk into. They’ve almost institutionalised it. 

ES: Yeah, I’ve got a book called Britain’s Burning that covers the punk scene from 79-84. If you look at the pictures, what strikes you is that everybody looks the same, whereas if you look at pictures from 1976, everybody looked different. 

JL: Variety was our world, we applied it to everything. What we were doing at the start was rebelling against institutionalised behaviour. The wonderful concept of punk rock when it first started was an enormous expanse of variety. All shapes, sizes, musical backgrounds. Why would you wanna limit that to some duffer in a leather jacket screaming at a hundred miles an hour? You know, it’s a little bloody on the easy side.And you know, half of these punks, they haven’t earned the right, haven’t earned the wings. We’re given such nonsenses as Green Day as being acceptable, and it’s not.  They fodderised the entire thing. The only true punk message I see when I look around now is PiL. PiL is proper punk, the do it yourself ethos. And look where that’s got me! You know, nothing but financial problems and all sorts of illnesses and all kinds of things, but so what? I wake up happy with myself each morning knowing that I haven’t lied to anyone. 

ES: So was there record company interest in a new album or was self-financing the only route?

JL: No, no, we had to wait until the contacts expired. And unfortunately of course, there’s still something called an outstanding debt. So rather than go back into that Catch 22 scenario, we decided to set up our own label and we earned the money to do that by touring almost continuously for two years. It paid off in dividends for us, because we became as a band very, very close to each other, very tight as friends, and the making of a new record was”¦I wouldn’t say easy, but it was something that we were all very much looking forward to. There’s no animosity between us. We have the ethos of \’don’t lie’; if you need to lie then there’s no point in doing it. And I’ve learnt that lesson over the years. You know, I’ve had to work with many people who just lie as if it was a career move. And a lot of them punk books too, people who set themselves up as experts in those situations, I find they don’t know what they’re talking about. They get it so wrong and it’s usually people who weren’t there from the start, rewriting history to give themselves a better place in it. 

ES: Tell me about it. Funnily enough, I was reading one last night. It was talking about No Fun, and it said it was a Ramones song”¦

JL:  Well, I think that might have been a typo error. What they were saying is “No Ramones song is fun!” (cackles)

ES: When PiL were dormant, did you feel frustrated that you didn’t have an outlet for your creativity?

JL:  Yeah, terrible. It’s the kind of thing that could drive you insane. And I know many people who have record contracts and just about all of them have nothing but horror stories to tell me, some far worse than whatever I had to go through, so god bless them all. In a clearer way, from my point of view, I understand why some of them end up alcoholics and junkies, and it’s because you’re continuously frustrated that you can’t create any longer, because you’re constantly bombarded with pressure, where pressure shouldn’t come. The original idea of companies like Virgin is that they would remove that pressure and make making music a wonderful fun thing, and for me, when Richard Branson left, that was it, it was done, over.

ES: So, do you do anything non-musical in terms of creativity? 

JL: I got involved with TV work, and then live internet radio over here, a company called eYada, discussing politics and philosophy with American intellectuals. 

ES: Ah right. I had no idea about that.

JL: Yeah I know, it seems to be one of those world’s best-kept secrets! It had a very big following in America and I loved it, because it really meant I could get to grips with what the problems were inside peoples’ heads. And it’s quite amazing that the alleged intelligentsia are actually the problem makers. You know, they come at a thing already with an assumption. Never assume; you make an ass out of you and me! 

John Lydon Interview by Ettrick Scott
Photo © Paul Heartfield

ES: I was reading the other day that when you played Tel-Aviv in 2010, you were getting hatemail sent to your website.

JL: It came from people, again, who hadn’t bothered to study my case history, should we put it that way? To assume that I would be there to support the Israeli government is an incredible conceit and deceit on people.  I play to the human race, I support no government and no politics, ever. Never have, never will. I am rebel number one, it has always been the case. And for a bunch of very silly seventeen year-olds to come up with the concept that I was supporting the racist Israeli government was truly annoying. One of the things that I did in Tel-Aviv that we truly loved as a band was united the Arabs and Jews in that crowd, and there were many. When you can get six thousand Jews to sing “Allah, Allah”, from a PiL song called four enclosed walls, I think you’re doing a lot more for world peace than running around the streets waving flags and sending hatemail. It was a truly amazing thing and an amazing night. Just to be in Israel alone was a major achievement. Now if that’s gonna get me some nasty Arabs who wanna like unabomb me, well I’ve got news for you; I’ve already been through that. Me and my wife were booked on the Lockerbie disaster plane. We missed the flight. To this day, I bear no hate or resentment, because that isn’t my cause. I believe all people are equal, all over the world, from all races, creeds and colours. I come from a very mixed background; what we knew as the working class of Arsenal-land. You know, we just got on with it. On songs on the album like Lollipop Rock, that’s referring to that mixed cultural background. In that, there’s Greek, Turk, Moroccan, Sri-Lankan, Jamaican, English, Irish and half a dozen other races; Italian, German. They were all in that area of North London and there’s the music that I would be brought up listening to. You know, no prejudice is acceptable. I’m anti-war, I’m anti killing or hatred of any kind. As I’ve expressed now for thirty solid years, Ghandi is both my political and philosophical hero, because the most amazing concept ever was passive resistance. If you don’t like the system that’s manipulating you, don’t contribute to it. Planting bombs doesn’t solve it. Plot an economic downfall. It’s a slow process, but for me, if you have to kill another human being, you don’t have a cause any longer. I know that’s a problem both IRA and UDA have with me. Very difficult to play that part of the world”¦

ES: Yeah, you didn’t play there for a long time.

JL: Yeah, I seem to have offended both sides at the same time. I don’t know many who could do that! But it needs to be said, that murder is not an answer. 

ES: What did you make of the riots in the UK last year?

JL:  Terrible, because of the deaths and because of how rioting always gets out of hand, but at the same time that’s a very natural reaction to the suppression, ignorance and intolerance of government that is completely indifferent to the plight of its youth. For me, if you don’t invest in education you’ve destroyed the future of your nation. Education should be free, as indeed should National Health; you want to maintain a healthy, intelligent population, it surely makes for a better world. And how do you pay for all this? Well, I’ll tell you. You start taxing religions, an idea America is finding very difficult with me at the moment. The trouble in America is that religion preaches the moral high ground, but it doesn’t mind its tax-free business, does it? And they collect vast amounts of money, vast, wehter Evangelist or Roman Catholic or Muslim or anything at all .It’s all about hiding money, and that’s an awful lot of money that could be well spent on a smarter population.

ES: Yeah, I’m surprised they haven’t looked into it in this country because they’re taxing everything else”¦

JL: Nobody’s ever come up with it, nobody wants to even mention it. And in America, it’s like I’m committing the cardinal sin by declaring the obvious. Hello? John’s been very good at that for thirty-five years!

ES: Can you ever see a day when you live in the UK again?

JL: On and off, yeah. I mean, I spent all of last year there, or most of it. No problems at all. With me, it’s not where I am geographically, it’s the further I am away from police harassment I can possibly be that’s the best place for me, and I obviously drew the attention of the British police for many a year. And it got to the point where it was unbearable and I gelt completely unprotected because you had a media situation there that was very, very quick to savage me and not offer the slightest bit of help for the predicament I was in. In other words, they supported the shit-stem, and we can see why, can’t we, Rupert Murdoch? I hope he doesn’t own your paper!

ES: I’m not sure that he does, actually”¦

JL: Well, let’s test the waters then. And then we had what I call the blessed trilogy, this unification between the owner of a press empire, the police force and those that be in the parliament. And all three of them were conspiring and what’s being done about that? I mean, obviously, issues are being raised that are worthy to be answered, but as long as the situation remains that all three of them institutions investigate themselves, I think we know what the conclusions going to be. And hello, with that in my and aware of that problem, yeah, we ARE the ageless, we ARE teenagers. 

ES: Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see what the final outcome of the Levenson inquiry is.

JL: (sighs)..Should I write it now for you?

ES: Yeah, you might as well”¦It’ll be: something needs to be done but nothing will change.

JL: No. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. And that’s because the system itself is corrupt. And I’m not patting myself on the back for knowing all this. I want to expand this into all areas so that young people, old people and all those in between start thinking about who’s manipulating them and for what. That’s why I loved the Wall Street Movement, by the way. It was completely non-violent. The media would have loved to turn it into a riot and a fiasco, but it was never going to be that way. It was always about adopting ”“ and very coherently, I thought ”“ the message of passive resistance. Wall Street: Here is the problem. And for all our different, diverse reasons, all these different groups from many different walks of life came together and knew that that’s where the problem begins. That’s a great intellectual step forward.

ES: Yeah, The Saint Paul’s protest here was just chipped away at by endless negative publicity in the press. “Look at these dirty hippies camping out” sort of thing”¦

JL: But look at who owns the publicity. Half the time, the powers that be are a headless chicken, and it’s the journalists themselves, through lack of any intellectual foresight or wisdom, that can’t see past the end of their own nose”¦so here’s a very pleasant album with all of that in mind. I learned from a very early age; don’t have morals. Morals have religious connotations and are therefore corrupt. Have values but don’t ever feel the need to step into another man’s space. Avoid the seven deadly sins and do what thou wilt, as long as it isn’t belonging to someone else. There’s no need for thievery, none at all. It’s a far better way of looking at the world. 

ES: It seems like every time there’s a significant milestone in the Royal Family over here, it’s accompanied by an internet campaign to get God Save The Queen to number one. I’m just wondering what you make of all that?

JL: Ah, that’s nothing to do me with me, it truly is bollocks. Let it be known, never mind THAT bollocks! It’s very strange that they decide to do that hopping on the back of a new PiL release. Odd, truly. They’ve almost put myself in competition with myself. But it’s a fake thing. Whenever did my first band ever, ever shout for a number one? We never did anything for chart positions. It isn’t about that. So, in a weird way, they’re trying to commercialise a band that went beyond those boundaries, and this is the trouble with large record company thinking; they’re not actually thinking. They’re trying very unsubtly to corrupt what is really pure, and in many ways, innocent. And I can tell you that as a Sex Pistol. So, me and the label that’s putting that out at the moment, we do not see eye to eye, and never, ever will. 

John Lydon Interview by Ettrick Scott
Photo © Paul Heartfield

ES: I’ve just been rereading No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs.  It’s eighteen years now since that came out. Have you ever had plans to follow it up at all?

JL: Too busy, quite frankly. Nowhere near the second half of my life, that was just to set the board game clear. There’s an awful lot has happened in between to add to the agenda of that book, but I’m in no mad-dog rush to do that right now, because I’m  continuously evolving at the moment and I have done for the last three years. I’ve put every single ounce of energy I have into PiL, and getting this correct, making sure that our point is clearly and firmly understood. So, no time for a book yet, but that will come later. 

ES: It’s an unusual autobiography, in that you allowed other voices in there. 

JL: Yeah, you have to. It’s all the part of the way I live. As I’ve said, many diverse viewpoints, very important, very important. It’s like wings, you need two to fly. The book actually deals with that, that concept of \’all to the left, all to the right’ and looking across the great divide. Well, why are we divided? Why are we so easily led into political traps and give up thinking and adhere to doctrines and so rigidly believe in them? And yet they prove always to be full of deceit. Never trust a politician. Never, ever. Not one of them. Some are better than others, and given the options in America, I’m definitely an Obama man, but that doesn’t mean I fully trust anything from either side. The entire political system needs to be taken down and replaced, and keep money out of it, keep big business out of it. I grew up believing that being a politician was a vocation, much like a school teacher. You know, there are people born that have a natural nursing, caring ability in their psyche, and that’s where those jobs should be filled, by those people. 

ES: Yeah, I see that with my daughter, because she’s like that and she wants to go into politics, and I’m thinking \’You’re in for a shock here’.  

JL: Yeah, she’ll have a hard time of it, but good on her. Give her all the support you can to take the system on. She’ll be needing friends, and she’s got one in me. I’m definitely on the lookout for friends who want to change the way it all operates. The revolution doesn’t end just because you’ve had a hit record.

ES: I was just wondering what the last new music you heard that got you really excited was, John?

My own album. You have to understand how difficult it is to go it alone like this. Setting up our own website and record label, doing it all alone. And obviously, fending off the taxman! But to do it all above board, and very legally. So I’ve had no time at all to pay attention to other peoples’ music, which is a shame, because listening to music is my great joy in life. It’s my only real hobby. But sadly, at the moment, as they say, my dance card is full, and I’m not looking forward to the waltz”¦

ES: When PiL became more dance-orientated after the first couple of albums, and more successful in the US and other here, chart-wise, did it divide a lot of the earlier fans?

 JL: Oh, there’s been an awful lot of stupidity said here, and the charge began with the record companies resenting my independence. When I put the first two PiL albums together, they bitterly resented that. But then I wanted to change the musical format again and again and again, because that’s what John does, you know; I don’t believe in finding a comfort zone and sticking with it. So every time I altered the game plan, according to them, out would come the negativity. So when you receive no back up or support from your record label, it leaves you wide open to the savage pens, you know? And there’s a cottage industry of scribes that can’t wait to stick the knife in. It doesn’t matter who or what or for what reason, it’s just  the need to be vindictive, and that leads to this schism of thoughts.  But it’s an unfortunate one. You won’t understand the work I’ve been involved with if you just take one little piece of the jigsaw. It’s all of the pieces put together that paint a proper picture. 

ES: Yeah, but it’s the way that record companies work isn’t it? You know: \’That’s sold really well so let’s have another one that’s exactly the same’. 

JL: Yeah, and the major magazines at the time were very, very, very wicked. But it’s record companies who pay for the adverts, therefore, those music magazines, that was their bread and butter, so basically \’screw the band, support the label, we’ll go along with this’. Though to be more accurate, I’ve never made or turned PiL into a dance-orientated band; we do everything. We evolve and involve our own musical creations, which of course later were picked up by the dance crowd, which led into wonderful things like Rave, things that I really love. There’s an awful lot of labelling and misunderstanding of what I do, but basically, bottom line, I’ve never done anything to hurt anyone, my whole life, and I’ve never stolen an idea or a penny from anybody. That’s my value system, and if I’m un-liked for that, that’s a strange world indeed.

ES: And musically-speaking, you’ve never done anything to please anybody else or to kow-tow.

JL: In the emotions I’m expressing and the song subjects I deal with, it has to be an accurate portrayal from inside my own skull, and I’m not looking for an easy format or happy-go-lucky genre to hop onto to do that. It’s a more difficult path to follow, but it is appreciated and there are people out there, particularly in other bands, who fully understand and comprehend what it is that we’re doing, and that surely bodes well for the future of music. But there will always be the jealous”¦god bless \’em! If they didn’t have that deadly sin they wouldn’t have anything to talk about! I’ve found myself in working situations over the years where I’ve literally been working with a couple of the seven deadly sins and it wasn’t enjoyable at all. Naming no names”¦

ES: I’m just wondering, John. Much as I’ve really enjoyed this chat, I don’t really enjoy phoners, they’re really impersonal..

JL: No, I don’t like them.

ES: Would you be up for a doing a face-to-face when you’re in Newcastle?

JL: Yeah. Oh yeah, I’ll be there.

ES: I just find them really disjointed; do you know what I mean?

JL: Well, after every gig, I’m out there, talking to the audience. I’ll sign anything for anyone who has the decency to turn up and wait to meet me. Sometimes, that’s almost better than the gig itself, that one-on-one. I like that. Of course, you have to be very wary, because there’s always snipers in the crowd, but generally speaking, it’s a really healthy situation to share your experience with your audience, and I don’t know it any other way.

ES: Do you still get the odd idiot spitting now and again, or has that died down?

 JL: Ah, they can’t help it, they just can’t help it! Some people get so carried away with the excitement of it all that they stop thinking. That was never acceptable in the first place, I don’t care what the Daily Mirror told them.

ES: Yeah, I was trying to explain it to my daughter a while back and she just thought I was winding her up, she couldn’t get her head round it at all.

 JL: Yeah, I know.But I haven’t noticed that at all at a gig now for over two years. It is a thing that’s luckily gone now forever. It was there once upon a time, but it isn’t no more”¦Alright sir, I’ve got to move on!

ES: John, it’s been a real pleasure talking to you.

JL: Good on yer! Let’s hope the Geordie audience is as vibrant as ever. It always has been.

ES: I’m sure it’ll be full-on, I’m really looking forward to it”¦

JL: A fantastic place to play, Newcastle. Always felt at home there. My kind of people.

ES: Okay, cheers John.

JL: May the road rise with you and may your enemy always be behind you.

ES: Yeah, you too, John. Cheers”¦

All words by Ettrick Scott and all photo’s © Paul Heartfield. This is Ettrick’s first post for Louder Than War. More of Ettrick’s work can be found at

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