Sex Pistols’ John Lydon Accused in Racial Attack on Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke

Kele Okereke Bloc Party racist attack

John Lydon Sex Pistols racist attack Johnny RottenJohn Lydon‘s anger management issues are well-reported, but is he racist as well? That’s what Bloc Party lead singer Kele Okereke alleges after a physical altercation with the Sex Pistols frontman at this weekend’s Summercase festival in Barcelona. Okereke says he was simply approaching Lydon as a fan when members of Lydon and his entourage hurled racial abuse at him and physically attacked him. Members of Foals and Kaiser Chiefs witnessed the brawl and “intervened on the Bloc Party singer’s behalf,” they confirmed to The Guardian. They could not confirm, however, the racist abuse Okereke says occurred. Okereke says, in an official statement,

“It’s not an issue of the physical assault, even though it was an unprovoked attack. It is the fact that race was brought into the matter so readily. Someone as respected and as intelligent as Lydon should know better than to bring race into the equation or socialize with and encourage those who hold such narrow-minded attitudes. I am disappointed that someone I held with such high regard turns out to be such a bigot.”

In his official response, Lydon calls Okereke a “liar” who is seeking “publicity”:

“We are in the middle of a wonderful tour, after 30 years we are achieving a true unity in our audience. They are multi varied, all ages, all races, creeds, and colors. When you are at a festival with bands who are jealous fools, lies and confusion usually follow. If they need publicity so badly this is the allegation universe they run into.”

“I feel very sorry for a man that needs to lie about what was a perfect evening. After the show John Rotten and management remained behind to sign autographs, which we did for 4 solid hours without incident and had a great time talking to other Spanish bands, this seems to have sparked jealousy in certain bands.”

But he went on to admit that there had been an incident: “The trouble was brought to us, resulting in those causing the trouble being physically removed by festival security.”

“Grow up and learn to be a true man.”

“When you have achieved as much as I have, come back and talk to me.”

“It’s a shame that the wonderful world of the media is riddled with nonsense like this.”

Meanwhile, Johnny Rotten, Lydon’s Sex Pistols alter ego, is said to have been the inspiration for Heath Ledger‘s performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight. Hmmm, a sadistic psychopath villain. Can’t imagine why anyone would think such a thing about John Lydon.

McFly have been denied their eighth No. 1 hit by Dizzee Rascal and Calvin Harris, whose “Dance Wiv Me” spends a third week atop the chart. (McFly singles usually debut pretty high and plummet the next week. We’ll see if “One for the Radio” follows the same pattern.) New singles by Madonna and The Ting Tings also enter the top 10 this week.

1. Dizzee Rascal and Calvin Harris – Dance Wiv Me
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Dizzee Rascal - Dance Wiv Me (feat. Calvin Harris & Chrome) - Single - Dance Wiv Me (feat. Calvin Harris & Chrome) [Radio Version]Download Dizzee Rascal and Calvin Harris’ “Dance Wiv Me”

2. McFly – One for the Radio
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McFly - One for the Radio - Single - One for the Radio Download McFly’s “One for the Radio”

3. Kid Rock – All Summer Long
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4. Basshunter – All I Ever Wanted
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5. Jordin Sparks ft. Chris Brown – No Air
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Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown - Jordin Sparks - No Air Download Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown’s “No Air”

6. Ne-Yo – Closer
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Ne-Yo - Closer - Single - Closer Download Ne-Yo’s “Closer”

7. Madonna – Give It 2 Me
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Madonna - Hard Candy (Deluxe Version) - Give It 2 Me Download Madonna’s “Give It 2 Me”

8. Ironik – Stay With Me
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DJ Ironik - Channel U - Volume 2 - Stay With Me Download Ironik’s “Stay With Me”

9. The Ting Tings – Shut Up And Let Me Go
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The Ting Tings - Shut Up and Let Me Go - Single - Shut Up and Let Me Go Download The Ting Tings’ “Shut Up and Let Me Go”

10. Chris Brown – Forever
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Chris Brown - Forever - Single - Forever Download Chris Brown’s “Forever”

In other news:

  • Jail docket: Amy Winehouse‘s husband has been sentenced to 27 months in prison.(BBC)
  • Jade Goody‘s ex, Jack Tweed, has been convicted of assaulting a 16-year-old boy with a golf club.(Daily Mail)
  • Could Dragons’ Den help revolutionize the way records are sold? In an episode to be aired, judges offered £75,000 to indie band Hamfatter to make their first album.(The Times)
  • Princess Anne has worn the same hideous, yellow floral frock she wore to Charles and Diana‘s 1981 wedding to yet another wedding.(BBC)
  • The Madonna/Alex Rodriguez scandal takes another twist: a cameraman is allegedly trying to extort $2 million out of the couple in exchange for an alleged tape of them having sex.(NME)
  • 68-year-old John Cleese, former Monty Python member, is dating a woman exactly half his age: 34-year-old Veronica Smiley, a marketing exec for Radar Magazine.(Telegraph)
  • Sue Jones-Davies was an actress who played Judith Iscariot in Monty Python: Life of Brian. Now, she’s mayor of the Welsh town of Aberystwyth, and she’s trying to lift the town’s 30-year-old ban on screening the “blasphemous” film. “Given what’s on TV now I think it’s amazing a ban in Aberystwyth still exists,” said Ms Jones-Davies. “I think it should be lifted. I would like to think that any religion would have the generosity to see the film for what it is, which is a comedy. I was surprised at the outrage it caused at the time, but I did not expect or appreciate the impact and never thought it would turn out to be so popular.” (BBC)
  • Watching TV without a license, eh? The British government is watching you.(BBC)
  • What’s on Britain’s DVR? It depends on the region: the Scots record Heroes, Britain’s Got Talent, and Coronation Street while Londoners record The Apprentice, EastEnders, and Doctor Who.(Guardian)
  • Battlestar Galactica hottie Jamie Bamber has joined the British Law & Order as a cop. (E!)
  • Richard Kidd, writer of the children’s book The Great Goldfish Robbery, has drowned in a waterfall while on vacation in the Philippines. He was 56.(The Times)
  • Sir Salman Rushdie, who is still married to Top Chef host Padme Lakshmi, showed up to a polo match with his latest young beauty, 25-year-old Aita Ighodaro. She seems to have the intellectual heft Lakshmi lacked: she’s an Oxford-educated journalist.(Daily Mail)
  • The new Brideshead Revisited is more “overtly gay” than the 1981 miniseries; it features a gay kiss between actors Matthew Goode and Ben Whislaw, whose character, Sebastian Flyte, will be explicitly homosexual. Screenwriter Andrew Davies says, “I think it will probably upset the purists. But one thing we wanted to make clear was that Sebastian was gay and that Charles although terribly fond of him is heading in another direction sexually. [Evelyn] Waugh had a very skilful way of skating over the sordid details so we can imagine what we like about them. This ambivalence was probably the result of his own sexual ambivalence.” (Te
    egraph
    )
  • Sources tell The Sun that Top Gear hosts Richard Hammond and James May have both received £10,000 pay increases per episode.
  • Steven Moffat says the recent writers’ strike, not his new Doctor Who gig, kept him from finishing the script for Steven Spielberg‘s Tintin movie.(BBC)
  • Doctor Who‘s David Tennant and Catherine Tate have both returned to their theater roots, and What’s On Stage compares their careers.
  • Catherine Tate’s ankle injury means that she can’t strip for Under the Blue Sky. In fact, she uses her crutch in the play, which could be really arousing if you’re into that sort of thing. (News of the World)
  • Can celebs always get a great table at a top restaurant at short notice? The Guardian tested this out by phoning two high-end restaurants, The Ivy and Gordon Ramsay’s at Claridge’s, to secure tables for four for Coldplay‘s Chris Martin and Girls Aloud‘s Cheryl Cole. Chris Martin can easily get a table at both swanky eateries. However, Cheryl Cole runs into trouble at The Ivy: “‘Can’t you make an exception as she’s a celebrity? Just squeeze her on to a table by the wall or something? ‘No.’”
  • Duffy is “almost certainly” going to sing the new Bond theme, says a source close to the film.(Guardian)
  • Is Kelly Osbourne sporting an engagement ring?(The Sun)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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