Since none of the, like, five books I have out from the library have been interesting me much, I dug out my copy of John Lydon’s autobiography, Rotten, as I do every few years, to try to extract some of the good stuff from that book (an up-close history of a musical moment I find fascinating, gross-out humor, vivid portraits of the Irish in London), while skimming over the bad (wordiness, seemingly no editorial guidance whatever, cringe-inducing self-aggrandizement). I say this last with great affection for John Lydon, who I really do admire. It’s just that these men brag about themselves so much. Have you tried reading Richard Hell’s memoir, I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp? Such a great title, but yeesh. Unreadable.
So yeah, it’s not a perfect book, but I’m enjoying picking through it a little again. Last night as I read by my mushroom-shaped nightlight so as not to disturb my husband sleeping next to me, I found a line I’d underlined years ago. I mean, I must have underlined it myself because I bought the book new, but I don’t remember doing this and now I can’t think why I would have.
“At the time, what we had wasn’t a gang as much as a collection of extremely bored people.”
Ha! Did I think this was funny? Did it put me to mind of myself when I was in school? Was I trying to remind myself to do something useful—like start a band or, you know, a cultural revolution—whenever I felt bored? I’ll have to give it some thought.