It happened a little over 35 years ago, but it never gets old…
In July 2nd 1979, PiL were guests on a regional English TV show for the “youth”, called Check It Out. What the band did not know before they agreed to appear in the show, was that the episode was a special about the youth culture of the last 25 years, subtitled “From Teds To Punks” and that the producers weren’t actually interested in neither PiL nor John Lydon, but Johnny Rotten.
PiL arrived at the show’s studio and pre-recorded live versions of Chant and Death Disco to be aired alongside an interview with the band, but only Chant aired.
Chris Cowey and Lyn Spencer were the presenters and the ones to conduct the interview, who initially wanted only Lydon and Wobble to be present, but PiL insisted that the whole band should be there. That explains why there were only two seats and Keith and Dudanski had to hang around and sit on the chairs’ arms and back. Cowey and Spencer start the interview by asking where did the band’s name come from and then skip to a clip of Mond Cowie from the Angelic Upstarts talking about Lydon and PiL and that they are the "worst band that have ever came about…" When they cut back to the studio, a disturbed but not upset Lydon tells them to stop, that he doesn’t talk about the past anymore and move on. Instead Cowey keeps provoking him until Lydon stands up, takes his mic off and leaves. Even after that Cowey keeps poking the rest of the band, to get back a covered in bleeps rant by Wobble that gloriously ends the interview.
This is the most complete version of that broadcast, beginning from the point they cut back to the studio after the Mond Cowie clip, until the end. Enjoy…
There’s a complete transcript of the incident over at the PiL fansite, Fodderstompf, alongside a detailed article. Check them out.