Former Sex Pistols lead singer John Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten, is competing against 5 other acts to represent Ireland in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. On February 3rd Lydon will perform with his band Public Image Ltd (PiL) on a special Eurovision edition of “The Late Late Show.” The show will air via Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTÉ. A public vote, national, and international juries will decide the winner.
PiL’s involvement in Eurovision is strange, considering Lydon’s opinions on the annual contest. “It’s absolutely awful, the songs,” Lydon told Metro. “The whole thing of it is disgusting to me. I’m a songwriter, I perform live, and these shows just come across as so dreadfully phony to me.”
Lydon was born in 1956 in London, England to Irish parents. In 1975, he joined the short-lived but heavily influential punk band Sex Pistols where he gained the moniker Johnny Rotten. He formed PiL after the Sex Pistols broke up in January 1978. The band has since earned 4 UK Top 20 singles and 4 UK Top 20 albums.
PiL will perform the song “Hawaii” for the Eurovision Contest, which is described as “the most personal piece of songwriting” Lydon has ever written. The song was released earlier this week, and is a “love letter” to his wife of almost 5 decades, Nora. Nora is unfortunately living with Alzheimer’s, which is heavily referenced in the lyrics.
“It is dedicated to everyone going through tough times on the journey of life, with the person they care for the most,” Lydon said about the song. “It’s also a message of hope that ultimately love conquers all.” We certainly hope that deep level of vulnerability pays off for them.
Irish actor Rory Cowan (“Mrs Brown’s Boys”) offered support of “Hawaii.”
Check out “Hawaii” for yourself below: