Beth's Reviews > Anger is an Energy: My Life Uncensored

Anger is an Energy by John Lydon
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really liked it

For as much as I enjoyed this book, it took me forever to finish it! Too many other things on my mind, apparently.

This 2015 autobiography is a follow-up to his 1994 autobiography. Although some of the stories are the same, he expands quite a bit on his time in the Sex Pistols and especially on his time with Public Image Ltd. (ongoing). I was struck by his genuine sadness about Sid Vicious' death. He obviously abhors addiction but still is saddened by the loss of someone he describes as a sweet person. He is not as kind to Nancy Spungen.

I enjoyed learning a little more about his personal relationships, including the love of his life, Nora. Who knew that Johnny Rotten could be so besotted and so devoted? Nora's daughter, Ariane (AKA Ari Up from the Slits) had twin sons who moved in with John and Nora...so he also ended up with two feral grandchildren to raise. Ariane died of cancer in 2010, and John was at her side and singing with her in the hospital.

He wrote more about his influences, including the Kinks, Bowie, and believe it or not, disco. I especially enjoyed his story about how Simon Le Bon got him into a Hard Rock Café in Las Vegas by saying, "Don't you know who he is?" Lydon wrote, "Bloody hell, it takes Duran Duran to get Johnny Rotten into a building!" He loves "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Girls on Film." The Pistols were a big influence on Duran Duran, so it was nice to see that he respects their work, too.

Fun bit of trivia: he was offered a part in the movie "Critters," which was a B-movie ripoff of "Gremlins." He turned it down.

For the entire book, I kept hearing Rotten/Lydon's voice in my head. It is written very much in his voice and I could imagine him saying all of these things. He is a genuinely unique and fascinating person. I don't agree with everything he says, but it was sure fun to read his opinions. He truly is one of a kind and a true rock icon.

I loved this quote from him: "...if you get a chance to get a crack in the door, kick it open a little bit further, so someone can follow in behind. Make the world a better place, not a worse place."

He's not really Rotten at all. Well, maybe a wee bit.
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Reading Progress

July 10, 2016 – Started Reading
July 10, 2016 – Shelved
July 31, 2016 – Finished Reading

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