John Lydon: The Art of the Frontman


“I still get nervous. When I first started I thought it was just me. I’d watch other bands and think: “What confidence these singers have got!” Gradually you learn it’s normal. What you don’t learn is how to deal with it. I read books by actors on stage fright. I learned that nerves are an important gift. That’s what you need to get your adrenaline.”

“Laurence Olivier was one of the fellas I studied. People used to say: “Johnny Rotten, where did you get that image from?” I said: “Him as Henry V!” I wasn’t joking. It wasn’t based on the characters he portrayed as Henry V or Richard III, but how he dealt with stage fright. Alec Guinness was another one. It didn’t quite solve the nerves, but it taught me that they’re useful once you’re on stage.”

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