Johnny Rotten, Henry Rollins & Marky Ramone walk into a panel… (anarchy ensued)
As we mentioned, Punk, a four-part documentary series from John Varvatos and Iggy Pop, premieres on EPIX on March 11. The series, which features interviews with Johnny Rotten, Marky Ramone, Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, Duff McKagan, Wayne Kramer, Jello Biafra, Flea, Dave Grohl, and Harley Flanagan, among others, was screened at SIR Studios in West Hollywood, CA on Monday (3/4) night, followed by a panel discussion with some of the contributors. There, things got... heated. John Lydon had a lot to say to Marky Ramone and Henry Rollins, while other panelists, including John Varvatos, Duff McKagan, and L7's Donita Sparks, looked on.
From Rolling Stone:
First, things got heated between Lydon and Rollins. “Henry, we ain’t never met before, have we?” Lydon said, as seen in a clip. “You’ve said silly things but excellently good things, too.”
“And you called Black Flag a bunch of suburban rich kids and we wanted to tear your ears off,” Rollins said.
“Yes, I did, but I didn’t like the fucking music,” Lydon said. “It was boring.”
And then Lydon went on to assert that a big difference between the Pistols and Black Flag was that Lydon sang clearer. “Don’t talk Black Flag, Pink Flag, White Flag,” he said.
Later, in the panel, Lydon and Marky Ramone came to blows, reviving a rivalry that has lasted decades. After the drummer spoke to how the Ramones blazed a trail for punk in New York and took that to London, Lydon said that he was “not even an original Ramone.” “But I did the Blank Generation album with Richard Hell, and you took his image,” Ramone replied. “All you guys took Richard Hell’s image. That’s all you did.”
“And Sid Vicious was the star,” Ramone said, prompting Lydon to smile and stick his tongue out. “That’s right, he was,” Lydon replied. “He was the star for asshole fake idiots like you. Enjoy your drugs and fuckin’ have a happy death.”
Lydon then continued his attack on the drummer. “Punk music for me was positive, proof positive, that we could change our lifes by music, meaning what we said, attack the political systems,” he said. “This daft cunt is into fucking drugs.”
“You talk the talk, but you didn’t do the walk, just like the MC5,” Ramone said. Lydon then stood up and danced around, “Hello, Johnny Rotten never did the walk?” Then as Ramone continued, Lydon looked at him and said, “Look at you, you look like a heavy-metal fucking reject.”
“Sit the fuck down,” Ramone said.
“This is fucking punk rock right here,” L7’s Sparks then offered. “Unpolished, unrehearsed, off the fucking rails.”
Harley Flanagan posted on Facebook about the event, writing, "last night I almost saw a Ramone get in a fight with a Sex pistol on a panel while Rollins sat there with Duff GnR giggling like two little kids looking like OMG what do we do, I gave Johnny Rotten a kiss and said 'Even though your a Trump supporter I fucking Love You, Thank you for the music it changed my life'!!!! I saw so many old friends, peers and people I have loved and respected through the years and I made new friends I could never have imagined making. What a great hilarious insane unscryptable night!!! So glad to have been a part of it. Punk Lives!!!"
Watch video clips from the panel below.