“Nora Has Always Been The Greatest Example Of How To Enjoy Life…” John Lydon Interviewed

John Lydon spoke to MOJO last month about his late wife’s illness and PiL’s forthcoming new album, End Of The World.

John Lydon and Public Image Ltd 2023

by mojo |
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Public Image Ltd announced their new album End Of The World today and dedicated it to John Lydon’s wife Nora Forster, who very sadly passed away on April 5 from Alzheimer’s disease. Last month, Lydon spoke to MOJO about caring for his wife of over 40 years, PiL’s eleventh album and Hawaii, the touching love song he wrote about Nora and entered for The Eurovision Song Contest last month.

For support, advice and to donate money to help those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia please visit the Alzheimer’s Society.

Speaking from his Californian home, John Lydon is in defiant mood. “With PiL, we’re capable of going in any direction. I have no barriers and fears. We do all the emotions and are fully prepared and committed to go deep down into a tragedy as we are committed to going high up to the nth elevation of happiness, if that so be the subject of the song…”

This stance has been tested of late. Released in January, latest single Hawaii was a beauteous and touching love song written as a reaction to Nora’s Alzheimer’s disease. After Lydon declared that he wanted to sing it while representing Ireland in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, PiL competed on RTE’s The Late Late Show on February 3, but lost the vote to hygienic Dublin indie rockers Wild Youth and their song We Are One.

“It was a pleasure just to be invited,” says Lydon, immune to sour grapes. “I was slightly off-key but then again so were half the acts! But what a wonderful offer. I mean, no one’s offered me anything quite like it my whole life – apart from the MOJO award [in 2008] – and I got what I needed, which was footage I was able to show Nora, and she loved it.”

Life, inevitably, has been irrevocably altered by Nora’s diagnosis. “It’s quite the experience we’re going through,” he says. “Anything can crop up at any time and you have to be attuned to it. We know that she’s going to slowly deteriorate into something catastrophic, and then death. But she will enjoy every step of it, and I’m here to make sure of that because she’d do the same for me. It’s not all tear-jerky and sad. A lot of it is very joyful. Nora has always been the greatest example of how to enjoy life, she’s very vivacious and very open and very tender, and those things are not going away.”

“Nora would be furious if I gave it up…” Read MOJO's interview with John Lydon in full in which he discusses the fight against Alzheimer’s, End Of The World and PiL’s forthcoming tour.

End Of The World will be released on August 11 on PiL Official via Cargo UK Distribution, followed by a 38-date UK and European Tour. Pre-order the album HERE.

READ: John Lydon’s Ten Greatest Albums

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