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Monday, 21 October, 2002, 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK
Former Sex Pistol joins Radio 2
John Lydon, formerly known as Johnny Rotten
John Lydon: "I couldn't sing a note"
Sex Pistols front man John Lydon - also known as Johnny Rotten - is to become a presenter for BBC Radio 2.

The singer, who in the late 1970s caused tabloid outrage for his work with the punk pioneers, is to present a programme about one of his musical heroes, US shock-rocker Alice Cooper.


I know the words to every Alice Cooper song

John Lydon
BBC Radio 2 has undergone a remarkable transition in recent years, tuning its musical policy to the tastes of fans brought up on 60s and 70s music - and becoming the UK's most listened-to radio station in the process.

John Lydon is not even the first Sex Pistol to appear on the station, with the Sex Pistols' original bass player Glen Matlock hosting a two-part series on The Stranglers last year.

'Miming'

On Sunday's BBC TV special Great Britons, Lydon - who was himself voted the 87th Greatest Briton - said the first concert he went to was Cliff Richard's.

He has also pointed out that Alice Cooper was one of his formative musical influences.

"I know the words to every Alice Cooper song. The fact is, if you can call what I have a musical career, it all started with me miming to I'm Eighteen on a jukebox," he said.

Sex Pistols
In 1977 the Pistols signed to A&M in front of Buckingham Palace
Lydon's miming to the Alice Cooper track proved to be his audition for the band, he recalled.

"Malcolm McLaren asked me if I wanted to be in a band. I thought he must be joking.

"A group of us were in a pub, and when it closed, they asked me if I could mime or sing to a few songs.

"I could mime fine, but of course I couldn't sing a note. The only song on the jukebox I could cope with was I'm Eighteen.

"So I just gyrated like a belly dancer, and Malcolm thought, 'Yes, he's the one'. I got the job, and I've not looked back," said Lydon.

Lydon also credits Cooper with encouraging the Sex Pistols to have their own sound.

"I didn't want to imitate a genre that I thought was so excellent. You can be influenced by people that excel, but you should never copy.

"And that's why I made sure that the Pistols had a different approach."

Billion Dollar Baby: The Alice Cooper Story will be broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on 2 November at 2000 GMT

See also:

27 May 02 | Entertainment
26 Jul 02 | Entertainment
28 Feb 02 | Entertainment
19 Dec 01 | Entertainment
21 Sep 01 | Entertainment
16 Aug 00 | Americas
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