John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of the Sex Pistols was unmasked as one of the contestants on the US version of The Masked Singer last night. The latest episode, which aired on November 10th, saw Lydon revealed to be The Jester.
The show is built around a simple premise: famous singers perform famous songs in elaborate disguises, and the judges guess which singers are hiding behind which masks. Just before his unmasking, Lydon had covered tracks like Alice Cooper’s ‘School’s Out’, while last night’s episode saw him tackle a version of the American folk standard ‘Man of Constant Sorrow’.
In a recent interview, Lydon revealed his decisions behind his surprising appearance on The Masked Singer, explaining that he wanted to do something special for his wife: “Someone contacted my manager and we discussed it and I thought it would be really good because it meant my lovely wife, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, might get a great sense of fun out of it if she managed to guess who it was.”
“We’ve lived together for 47 years, Nora and I, so she must have some clues as to who I am and what I can get up to,” Lydon continued. During his exit, the one-time Sex Pistol frontman then went on to reflect on his time on the show, adding: “We’ve only got one life, and you must explore all the possibilities and be limited by no one for no reason.”
Elsewhere, John Lydon opened up about his time with the Sex Pistols during the height of their fame in the 1970s, describing it as being “mostly hell on Earth”. Reflecting on his legacy with the band in a new interview, Lydon — who was once regarded as a leading figure of the punk movement — described how the group’s “soppy little pop songs” heightened their notoriety at the time, hinting towards the artificiality at the heart of the UK punk explosion.
“I don’t know that there was much glory. It was mostly hell on earth,” Lydon said, describing the Sex Pistol’s rise to fame between 1975 and 1978. Make sure you check out the full clip of Lydon’s performance of ‘Schools Out’ below.