Speaking at the launch of his book ‘Mr Rotten’s Scrapbook’, he told BANG Showbiz: “I never liked the moniker punk, it was given to us by Caroline Coon (journalist and artist), who called me the King of Punk, but when I found out what the world meant, like, somebody’s bottom boy in an American prison, I was none too thrilled with the concept.”
John also said he felt the look typically adopted by punks - a leather jacket, torn clothes adorned with safety pins and dyed hair, often in a Mohican style - was outdated and helped pigeonhole them, in direct contrast to what the records he has made aim for.
He added: “It was a laugh, and you let that category jog along, but I make music to break down categories to eliminate the need to package and box each other in that contemptible way. Every man is different in his own way, and that is the wonder of nature. We are an incredible species.
“If I wanted to adopt a uniform I’d join the army.”
‘Mr Rotten’s Scrapbook’ is limited to 750 copies, and is available now from www.johnlydon.com.