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Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs

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Surprise: John Lydon, a.k.a. the infamous Johnny Rotten, has no patience. In his autobiography, Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs, the punk patriarch has little time for providing chronology or trivia surrounding his life or the career of his notorious band, the Sex Pistols. But while such omissions are usually disconcerting, Lydon’s cynical and often witty outlook (”Sometimes the absolute most positive thing you can be in a boring society is completely negative”) renders them irrelevant. Like many a rock memoirist, Lydon is outspoken and unsentimental toward his former cohorts. Of the Pistols he says, ”We were so bad, it was gloriously awful.” But Lydon’s venom doesn’t stop with them. He blasts away at everything from the British class system to the stodgy pop-music infrastructure. Sixteen years after the Pistols’ demise, Lydon still seems equally disgusted and amused, making Rotten a fascinating broadside from one of the most restless minds rock & roll has yet produced.