John Joseph Lydon (born 31 January 1956 in London, England), also known as Johnny Rotten, is a British rock musician and lyricist, best known as the lead vocalist of the punk rock group Sex Pistols during the 1970s and 2000s, and also as the vocalist of post punk group Public Image Ltd in the 1980s and 1990s.
Lydon became notorious in the media during the 1970s as a figurehead of the punk movement, and for his stance against the music establishment, class system and the British monarchy. He has since become a television personality, appearing on television shows in both the UK and elsewhere.
John Lydon was born in London to Irish Catholic immigrants, his father from Tuam, County Galway, and his mother from Shanagarry,County Cork. He grew up on a council estate in Finsbury Park, North London with three younger brothers. At the age of seven, he contracted spinal meningitis, putting him in and out of comas for half a year and erasing most of his memory. The disease left him with a permanent curve in his spine. It also damaged his eyesight, resulting in his characteristic stare. He attended St. William of York School in Islington, North London, where his friends included David Crowe, Tony Purcell and John Gray. David Crowe went on to become involved with Public Image. John Gray became a school teacher and Tony Purcell went on to become a pioneer of the Internet industry in Scotland.