Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Photos of Tokyo Skyline

The other day I went to Apple HQ in Japan. It is on the 40th floor of the Mori Building skyscraper in Roppongi.

I love going there because you can almost get a 360 view of Tokyo.

I remember when I first came to Tokyo about 35 years ago.....

I worked in Shinjuku at the 55 floor Mitsui building (it's in that grouping of big buildings in the middle there)...

From that building too, you could see every direction from the center of Tokyo... 

I thought two things: 1) Japan has lots of earthquakes but they build the high skyscrapers. And 2) Tokyo is the only city in the world where you can see buildings all the way to the horizon no matter which direction you look at it.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

1978 Los Angeles Punk: Black Flag & the Rotters.

Just a quick post. Hope it inspires you....

40 years ago, I played in a one-hit wonder late 1970s L.A. punk band called The Rotters. We had a smash hit called, "Sit on My Face Stevie Nix." 

I had a dream back then. We were a lighting smash success within a few months and on radio stations and charts all over America and Europe. 

One night, my band played at a new club in Hollywood called Madame Wongs with another band. We all were expecting a packed crowd of 300+. 

My band opened. When we hit the stage, we were dumbfounded to see a crowd of only about eight people. Eight! 

We played a flat and disappointing set. 

After us, the next band played in front of the same eight people... That band was fucking awesome! They were electric and exciting! Their power made the small crowd (including me) go simply crazy. 

After the show I asked the guitarist how they do it. My band was flat "because" of the disappointing size of the crowd; their band was explosive. The guitarist forcefully blurted out to me, "It doesn't matter if there's three people in the crowd or three hundred people - we always kick ass!" 

They did indeed. 

That was 1978 (79?) The guitarist's name was Greg. The band? Maybe you've heard of them! Their name was Black Flag. 

The point of it all? Live your dream. It doesn't matter if there is only one person who sees what you do or 10,000 people: Do it for yourself and build a legend. 

Sometimes, it doesn't matter what other people think now. It only matters what you think. 

In my case, I remember what Jack White from the White Stripes told me. He said he was a "Big Fan" of the Rotters and even bought our record when he was 13. He said: "It is better to have punked and lost, than to have never punked at all!"

James Dean said, "Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."


Anyway, I made a movie. It premiere's at Raindance Film Festival in London on Sept. 25, 2017. You can get tickets here: 

Here's the trailer:

Here's our webpage:


About Mike in Tokyo Rogers: Mike has been a professional music/TV/radio/anime-related program producer in Japan since the eighties. He began in the music business in 1978 as lead vocalist with the legendary Los Angeles Punk Band, “The Rotters” (Sit on My Face Stevie Nix.). As a university student, he was assistant to the legendary Rodney Bingenheimer (Rodney on the ROQ – KROQ Los Angeles from 1980 ~ 1981.) So Mike has met Blondie, Phil Spector, The Go Gos, the Dickies, The Germs, Black Flag, the Vibrators, Slaughter and the Dogs, The Angry Samoans, the Ramones.) Mike was the first and only foreigner in Japanese history to become the General Manager of a major Japanese broadcasting station (TV Tokyo owned InterFM). Has produced a few smash hit programs (some real losers, too!) and several of Tokyo’s highest rated and most famous radio programs. A recent hit program was “The TV Show” (Set Program with “Ninja Slayer”) which, between April – Oct. 2015, garnered over 10 million viewers.  He is currently producing and hosting “WTF?” the hugely popular Sunday live show on InterFM 89.7. And his life’s dream is his just completed full-length motion picture, “Ghostroads – A Japanese Rock and Roll Ghost Story” which will world premiere at the prestigious Raindance Film Festival in London on Sept. 25, 2017.

… Oh, and he likes to write about himself in the third person!)

Ghostroads – A Japanese Rock and Roll Ghost Story Japanese Trailer:

Ghostroads – A Japanese Rock and Roll Ghost Story Foreign trailer:

3) These are short - and true. You'll laugh. please read: 

Rock N Roll Music and the Proof of the Existence of God!

Belinda Carlisle Naked, The Ramones, Rodney Bingenheimer and Me - Another True Story

David Bowie, Blondie, the Beach Boys, Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and me! A True Story!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cool & Strange Music Countdown Oct. 15, 2017! Nutley Brass, Louisa Baker, Bubble, Cambodian Space Project!

Welcome back to another episode of Cool & Strange Music for October 15, 2017!

Once again, it's time for our monthly dose of Cool & Strange Music. Today I have a real variety of stuff for you... From Nutley, New Jersey to Cambodia to the Super-Cool and the outright bizarre.

First up is an act from Nutley New Jersey. Yes, there is a town in New Jersey named "Nutley" and the band's name is the Nutley Brass (Band). Folks, I can find no information whatsoever about these geniuses excepting they covered a bunch of Misfits and Ramones songs. Here they are doing their version of the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated." They also do a hilarious cover of "Beat on the Brat."

#4) Nutley Brass Band - I Wanna Be Sedated:

Next up is Bubbles from the classic comedy show "Trailer Park Boys." What is Trailer Park Boys? Here's what Wikipedia says: "Trailer Park Boys is a Canadian mockumentary television series created and directed by Mike Clattenburg. The show focuses on the misadventures of a group of trailer park residents, some of whom are ex-convicts, living in the fictional Sunnyvale Trailer Park in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia...A few years later, actors who portrayed Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles purchased the rights to the show from the original producers, and created their own internet streaming network called "Swearnet."

Get it? 

No? OK. Well, you will. Trailer Park Boys was one of the very few things on TV over the last twenty years worth watching (and that ain't saying much.) But to give you an idea of the hilarious comedy these guys were doing, check this as Jim Leahy from the Trailer Park Boys talks with his best friend, Bim Jeam:

SPECIAL: Liquor Stories - The Pilot Episode  

So, from that classic TV show, The Trailer Park Boys, here is Bubbles doing his rendition of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World." Watch this carefully! Bubbles is amberdextrious?! Is this a video trick. He can play left or right handed?!

#3) Bubbles - The Man Who Sold the World 

Next up is a girl I met in London, England at the world famous Raindance Film Festival. Her name is Louisa Maria Baker and she is a singer-songwriter. Louisa has done an awesome cover of the Green Day classic, "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)." This impresses me as I think it takes a LOT of guts to cover such a famous song. It takes rare talent to make that song your own.  She's done it with flying colors here!

Oh, Louisa has a Facebook page too. Go Like it:

#2) Louisa Maria Baker - Good Riddance (Time of your life):  
And at #1 fresh off their successful debut American tour, is our favorite band from.... Cambodia! It's the Cambodian Space Project! Taa-daa! And this is their 3rd or 4th time on the countdown! The Word magazine says: “They sound as if they’ve just landed on Planet Rock from Mars and have taken a speed course in every conceivable variety of the music.” 
Yep! And, of course, the Cambodian Space Project have a Facebook page. You know what to do:


Well, that’s it for today! Hope you have a great rest of the week and hope you stay Cool and Strange! 

See more Cool & Strange Music countdowns here: 

Last week's Cool & Strange Music Countdown July 27, 2017! Harp Twins, Tearaways, Blaas of Glory, Jive Bunny!

And if you like new music and alternative artists check out the weekly Top 3 here:

About Mike in Tokyo Rogers: 

Mike has been a professional music/TV/radio/anime-related program producer in Japan since the eighties. He began in the music business in 1977 as lead vocalist with the legendary Los Angeles Punk Band, “The Rotters” (Sit on My Face Stevie Nix.). As a university student, he was assistant to the legendary Rodney Bingenheimer (Rodney on the ROQ – KROQ Los Angeles from 1980 ~ 1981.) 

Mike was the first and only foreigner in Japanese history to become the General Manager of a major Japanese broadcasting station (TV Tokyo owned InterFM). Has produced a few smash hit programs (some real losers, too!) and several of Tokyo’s highest rated and most famous radio programs. A recent hit program was “The TV Show” (Set Program with “Ninja Slayer”) which, between April – Oct. 2015, garnered over 10 million viewers. He is currently producing and hosting “WTF?” the hugely popular Sunday live show on InterFM 89.7. 

And his life’s dream is his just completed full-length motion picture, “Ghostroads – A Japanese Rock and Roll Ghost Story”which will be released by a major Japanese motion picture company and is in theaters all across Japan from Autumn 2017. (See trailer here: … 

Oh, and Mike likes to write about himself in the third person!)

Ghostroads - A Japanese Rock n Roll Ghost Story Trailer... Coming to a theater near you soon! HP:

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Become a Yakuza! Japan's #1 Online Yakuza Fashion Boutique! なんちゃってヤクザファッション専門店!

Folks! I have my nominee for "Best Website of the Year!" It is called "Birth Japan" ( and it is a Yakuza Gangster Fashion and accessories site on Rakuten. Rakuten is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among the world’s largest by sales. So, Rakuten is a name you can trust! (Insert diabolical laughter here.)

Don't believe me? Go to check this awesome webpage out RIGHT NOW!

Birth Japan seems to be run by some (former?) Yakuza. On their website they say they've gone straight and so you can trust them too. Honest!

My best friend, "Ken" (not his real name), showed me the Birth Japan website yesterday and I loved it!!! "Ken"also told me that he had finally found his dream; his calling in life. He said he wants to become a Yakuza! 

Wow! That's cool! Me too! I'm totally serious here folks. "Ken Nishikawa" (not his real name) has found the website of the year. I haven't had this much fun and been excited about a website like this since the early days of the internet. I'm being dead serious here ("Dead" in a "figuratively speaking" manner, of course) you will just LOVE the Birth Japan webpage!

I want to become a Yakuza too! And you can in an instant with Birth Japan! They even say so on their webpage!. And when you go to their webpage, they've got gun shots and cool suspenseful background music too - so you can feel like you ARE doing something illegal when you visit their pages!

Don't move! Hands up!

(Above) It says something like, "If you are a good person, you can become a bad person instantly. If you are already a bad person, you can become a really bad person in seconds!" (with Birth Japan!) 

What are we waiting for? I'm in!

The above is a cool link from their webpage. It says that "Everything here (at this click) is only ¥1 yen but there is a, er, 'catch,' or a 'condition.'" Gee, I wonder what that 'catch' or 'conditions' could be? 

Well, I trust these guys, so I'm going to click it... If I suddenly am "disappeared" then you'll all know what happened.

If anything, "Birth Japan" is a name you can trust when it comes to buying stuff from and looking like a Yakuza. The above shot is announcing their big 10th Anniversary Sale! It's the 10th Anniversary of the boss of Birth Japan being released from prison! You can also sign up for their mail magazine that is full of outlaw stories from the boss (before he went straight!)

This is really hilarious. These guys have a sense of humor! I love that photo of the boss at the top right!

Keep your eyes open when visiting the site, there are discount coupons and all sorts of stuff flying by the screen at all times. It really does remind me of the fun sites from the early days of he internet. I really do dig Birth Japan!

Check it! You can order a wide variety of fashions for Yakuza as well as accessories like sunglasses, chains, belts, shoes, boots, buckles, lucky charms, dog tags, etc. You name it. They got it. 

And, if you buy it, WHAMMO! You become instant Yakuza bad guy! How cool is that?

Check it! Luxury for you and your favorite gangster and gangsterette!

Talk about Customer Service! What's this? Another sale? Yep! You can get a 5% discount on all deliveries to your friends who are currently in prison and a 5% discount for your friends who have been released from prison within the last 3 months. ABSOLUTELY NO C.O.D.!

Hey, and if you know what's good for you, you'll go and "Like" the Birth Japan Facebook page! (

There's a few hours of fun and cool stuff on the Birth Japan site. Here is their "Image Video." How cool!
不良ファッションブランド「BLOOD MONEY TOKYO」イメージCM その2

Check out the Birth Japan website. It's fabulous! "Birth Japan" 
Tell them "Ken Nishikawa" (not his real name) sent you!


NOTES: Some folks reading this might think I am joking. And I am, a little bit. But I think the guys running Birth Japan might be genius. They could be onto something big here. Imagine of the Anime community found out about this? Birth Japan could become very wealthy.

Also, I have written about the Yakuza before and have no real complaints about them. They have always been polite and had manners.... They are much better than the government who, through coercion, extorts money from us at gunpoint and bombs kids in foreign countries. The Yakuza also follow a code of ethics.... The government? Ethics? Never in the same room or in the same sentence.

Read this: Yakuza: Japanese Modern-Day Cowboys  

Friday, October 6, 2017

Confessions of a Sandwich Sign Man

I was hoping my parents never found out about this... But I can't live like this anymore; I can't live with hiding who I really am. I am coming out now for the entire world to see. 

I will admit it; I was a sandwich sign man.

In front of the Vue Theater at Raindance Film Festival Sept. 21, 2017, London, England. (Photo by Vertic Arts Gallery)

Sure, you've seen us before. You know, you consider all of us losers, those near homeless guys who stand on the street sandwiched between two cardboard signs selling this or that... 

We are thought of as the deepest depths of a loser class; a job with a pay minimum lower than the minimum paying job. The lowest of the low. The worst of the worst.

But that was my job; sandwich sign man, and I am damned proud of it and this is my story.

I did it my way.

By some miracle of God (or most probably a clerical error) a film I made with friends was selected by one of the most famous film festivals in the world; the Raindance Film Festival in London. Sure, you've heard of it. Who hasn't?

The festival ran from Sept. 20 ~ Oct. 1, 2017, at a venue called The Vue Theater in Leicester Square (the British spell things in a strange way, so let's just call it "Lester Square.")

I kissed the wife, kid and dog, goodbye then packed my bags and was on a jet airliner, on my way to England, the land of many giants of world history: Churchill, Cromwell, and Eric Idle. 

I arrived at the theater hoping to promote my film by pasting posters all over the place. I had been in a punk band in the late seventies so I was used to ripping down other bands posters and putting up my own. I figured I'd do the same thing at Raindance.

But, it wasn't 1977 anymore. The theater had those new-fangled electronic posters on the walls; they didn't use paper posters anymore. Paper posters were verboten.

Gee! I had arrived a few days early to promote and then was told I can't promote as I had planned... Dejected, I hung around the festival and tried to get free food and drinks.

While I was floating around the venue, I made several good new friends. They were there for the festival with their films too. I asked them how they were promoting and they all told me that they weren't. Not at all. I thought this was odd. It wasn't what I was told by my movie sensei, Stephen David Brooks director and filmmaker (whose most recent work, Flytrap, has won a dozen awards at some famous film festivals such as Chelsea in New York!) 

Let me rewind here a second. When I found out we had been selected for Raindance, I called "Stephen sensei" and asked him what I should do. Since Stephen has won more awards than my mom has Tupperware, and has been to many festivals, I figured he'd have a tip or two. He did! He was the one who told me to take posters to hang in the theater. He was the one who gave me all the good advice for little promotional goodies to bring. He was the one who told me, "It is the filmmakers' duty to get butts into seats to view the films." 

I didn't realize that. I thought the film festival would fill the seats! But no! It was the duty of the filmmakers to sell tickets!

Anyway, while I stood around in London at the theater, wondering what to do for promotion, some of my new friends told me shocking news: they had been to some film screenings and, in a theater that seats 200 people, there would only be three to eight people in paid attendance!!!!

What?! Only three people? Only eight people?! I was shocked... Well, no... Not so much shocked, but scared!

My life flashed in front of my face. I thought about my wife. She's a smart woman. What would she say if I had spent three years of my life making a movie, spent $2000 going 6000 kilometers to the other side of the earth only to have it viewed by four people (including me?) 

By the way, the number four also means "death" in Japanese. I could see my death. If only three people came to see my film after all this rigamarole I'd have to kill myself by hanging from the London Tower! (Say! That's a good promotional idea!)

So, with that, I decided that's what my mission was: I had decided to sell out our screenings or, if I couldn't, to at least give it the good old samurai try. 

I think that is the attitude of a professional.

I decided that since we couldn't hang posters, I'd take my biggest poster and make a sandwich sign. Then I'd stand in front of the theater wearing the sign every day. 

I went to an art shop and bought the supplies for making the sandwich sign. I then went home and constructed it with more loving care than mom making Christmas dinner. The next morning, I went back to the theater with my sign and put it on and I stood there; in the heat and the sun... 

I hadn't decided how long I was going to stand there in my sandwich sign, but across the way, I noticed another guy hawking tickets for a discount ticket store. This guy was standing there like a statue with the tickets in one hand held way above his head. I tried that for a while with my small sign, but after just a few minutes, my arm was exhausted. This guy across the way was doing it for hours on end and he barely moved. I began calling him, "Ironman."

My legs hurt after a little while, so I began fidgeting around; I also had to take a break every two hours. Not Ironman, though. He took no breaks that I saw. Ironman stood like Nelson's statue at Trafalgar Square; tall and stoic. Nelson, as you might know is the famous British admiral who is known for winning the Battle of Trafalgar Square... (snicker!)

From that day on, Ironman was my inspiration. Because of him, I would stand in front of the theater with my sign for four and a half or five hours every day. Ironman, on the other hand, was out there for at least 8 or 9 hours. He was a real pro. A real inspiration to all of us who had to stand there advertising the old fashioned way; the way of real men.

With Ironman (not his real name). Sept. 23, 2017

There were several things I learned from being a sandwich sign man; first off, we are faceless and considered a curiosity by most passersby. Think about it, no one looks at our faces, they see some guy standing there with a sign. It's like the view of a time machine into a better time in the past. So I wondered why other filmmakers are so self-conscious and embarrassed that they refuse to promote their own films in this way? Nobody really cares what we do. Nobody watches us as much as we like to think they do.

There really is nothing to be embarrassed about.

Also, people think sandwich sign man is an expert of the local geography and knows where everything is located. I was approached by literally dozens of people every day asking for directions. Of course, when the beautiful girls all approached, I tried to help but, yeah, I was basically useless... I didn't even know my way back to the subway station.

With beauty queen and dancer/filmmaker Tim Lo. 

With Kosia Sawicka. See? I told you all the hot women wanted to know sandwich sign man! (Photo by Hendrik Frentrup.)

I was, though, a curiosity to the other people at the film festival. Some said sandwich sign man inspired them, some laughed; others ridiculed me (really). One time two young filmmakers walked past me, pointed at me, and one said, "That's what we should be doing. I wonder how much that costs?"

Being an old punk from the late 1970s early days of punk, I thought, "It doesn't cost anything. It's free. Have you guys never heard of D.I.Y.?" Even Joe Strummer of the Clash never forgot his D.I.Y. roots and often made the pin badges and items for the band by hand - even after they were really famous.

On the day that I was informed that the World Premiere of my movie, "Ghostroads - a Japanese Rock n Roll Ghost Story" was sold out. I felt redeemed. 

Ours was one of the few that sold out. In fact, both our regular screenings were doing so well (thanks to sandwich man?) that a third screening was added. I was told that the third screening being added was only the sixth time that's happened in the 25 year history of the Raindance Film Festival.

Maybe Sandwich sign man is an embarrassing job. Maybe it is low class... But there also is an old saying, "He who laughs last, laughs best." When I found out we sold out opening night, I had a hearty laugh.

Sandwich sign man caught on video Sept 22, 2017

A lot of people think sandwich sign man is a pretty easy job, but it isn't what it seems. It is quite difficult to stand outside in one place for several hours. A sandwich sign man has a sort of unspoken agreement with the public so beautiful women are often approaching us and asking for directions. Our sandwich sign is a sort of mark or sign of trust: It says, I'm here. I'm me. Go to the restaurant I'm advertising or "Go see the movie that I am hawking"... 

It also shows the mark of someone who just might not be what he seems.

Thanks, Raindance Film Festival. I can truly say that I have done something that very few people will ever experience in their entire lives: I was a sandwich sign man in London's Leicester Square.... And it was a fab experience I will never forget.

Ghostroads - a Japanese Rock n Roll Ghost Story (trailer): (


I Interviewed Johnny Rotten - the True Story.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

I Interviewed Johnny Rotten - the True Story.

"The saying goes ‘you should never meet your heroes’ because inevitably this person you’ve built up to be larger than life in your mind is going to let you down, and reality is going to punch you square across the jaw." - Cass Anderson

I just spent almost two weeks in London at the world famous "Raindance Film Festival." I was there promoting our movie, "Ghostroads - a Japanese Rock n Roll Ghost Story (Trailer here). Raindance is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the entire world and the film festival with the most Street Cred. I had the time of my life there. I will write about the wonderful experiences I had there, but for now, I want to write about one of the biggest disappointments in my life at that festival; meeting and interviewing one of the heroes of my youth, John Lydon (AKA: Johnny Rotten formerly singer of the Sex Pistols).

L>R: Mike Rogers interviewing Tabbert Fiiler (Director of "The Public Image is Rotten") and Johnny Lydon (Formerly Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols)

Our film did very well at Raindance. The World Premiere there was sold out! I was thankful. I guess we did so well that I made such a good impression on the festival staff and management that on the last Friday of the event, one of the organizers asked me to host the Question and Answer period for the movie about the history of the Post-Punk band, Public Image (AKA: P.I.L.) entitled, "The Public Image is Rotten." She added that John Lydon would be there for the interview. 

When I was 19 ~ 20, the Sex Pistols changed my life. If it weren't for the Sex Pistols, I'd have never made my own punk band or gotten into radio and the mass media as my job. I idolized them. To this very day, I even collect original Sex Pistols items, some of them costing me hundreds of dollars.

If it weren't for the Sex Pistols, I may have never come to Japan nor made the movie.

The day when I saw in the newspapers that Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious had died, I cried. For me, that was the end of punk at the time (little would I imagine that Green Day would take punk to the Top 40). The Sex Pistols changed my life. They were heroes to me in my youth.

So when I was asked to host the Q&A with the director, Tabbert Fiiler, of the film, "The Public Image is Rotten" and John Lydon, of course, I jumped at the chance. It was a dream come true.

The day of the interview, I spent 4 or 5 hours preparing for what was scheduled to be only a 15-minute post-screening interview.

When 7 pm, the appointed time arrived, I was in the designated meeting place with the staff of the festival. One by one, members and staff with Public Image arrived at the theater. I had studied them so I knew their names and what they looked like, so when they arrived, I quickly introduced myself and became friendly with the band (Scott, the bassist, and Lu, the guitarist, are cool guys)... The other folks, management and entourage (read: paid friends?) Not so much... The others seemed aloof... Or, probably they'd already started partying and drinking before they arrived?

Probably? No way. They had been drinking... Some of them more than drinking!

John Lydon was very late to the pre-party, of course. We all anxiously awaited the arrival of the king. The movie was scheduled to start at 8:15 pm, and he was scheduled for publicity photos, press and a brief meeting with me beforehand to fix the interview questions. 

Finally, more than an hour late, John Lydon arrived. Most of the riff-raff (like me) could not really get close to him as he was surrounded by his handlers and related members. As someone who doesn't follow rules, I jumped the barrier, and went closeby Lydon and tried to introduce myself (I wanted to do a professional interview) but couldn't really get close at first. John was soon rushed off to a to take promo photos on the red carpet.

I was allowed into the photo area and, since time was short, and I wanted a good interview, I forced myself closeby as I just wanted to ask him if there were any questions he wanted asking, or if there were any questions he wanted to avoid... Pretty standard stuff to ask for an interview. But, it was nearly impossible to get near him.

Finally, when I did get close to Lydon, I introduced myself as the host of the event that night and asked the question, he blurted out some one-word grunting sound and then ignored me. 

The members of P.I.L. had asked me to ask John whether they all wanted to sit in the front of the theater or the back of the theater (I should have been suspicious when the band asked me to ask him instead of asking themselves). After he mumbled something incoherent, he stumbled off. I then asked his wife, Nora, if they wanted to sit in the front or the back of the theater. She smiled at me and her reply, also, was merely a grunt. 

How charming. How intelligent. But, it's OK, I live in Japan, I speak Grunt Language too. No problem.

I told Scott and Lu, the P.I.L. band members, about this grunting reply from John and Nora and they both laughed and said, "Welcome to the club."

I assumed that Nora's grunting meant "near the front of the theater" and told the theater staff.

Me and Tony the event director/manager. This guy was great the entire festival. Polite, smart and professional all the way. Later he'd tell me all sorts of wild stories about how many big stars were total children and assholes. I figure he'll be assassinated before they make a movie about his GREAT and unbelievable stories. Thanks Tony. You are tops!

Just before the film started, the theater director, named Tony (not his real name) walked up to Lydon and said, "Hi, I think we need to get down to the theater in about 5 minutes. Is that OK with you?"

To that, for some inexplicable reason, Lydon sneered at him and scowled like my paraplegic 3rd-grade sister and pointed and said, "I don't like you. I'm not talking to you. If you want to talk to me, you have to talk to my manager."

John Lydon's manager, a questionably slimy guy named John Rambo (who seemed more an Amway or used car salesman than a professional artist manager), was standing right there besides Lydon and, as if nothing was amiss, repeated exactly what Tony had said to Lydon and back and forth. It was like a Monty Python episode: Three guys having a conversation and the guy in the middle saying exactly the same thing the village idiot and the professional (Tony) were saying; astounding behavior for a 61-year-old man... Typical behavior for a spoiled, bratty 6 or 7-year-old at grammar school.

This absurd nonsense went on for a few minutes; Tony asking the questions he needs to ask as a professional and manager; John Lydon acting like a child, and his dim-wit manager, John Rambo (whose name isn't Rambo, but he insists everyone call him that), talking between them as if this was normal behavior for a 61-year-old man.

John Rambo, being an ass kisser, and a useless manager who could never say to Lydon something like, "What the hell? Knock it off and stop acting like a little kid. Goddammit!" 

He couldn't say that like a professional manager would.

I realized that John Lydon is completely surrounded by "Yes Men" and ass kissers. It was a depressing realization, actually. I reckon everyone around him (I mean the ones who aren't stoned) realize that he is scatological, often incoherent, and hypocritical. He has surrounded himself with people who will never tell him when he is wrong or saying something extremely stupid. 

He says stupid stuff with regularity (at least he did that night.) 

Finally, an hour late, we went to the screening and watched the film, "The Public Image is Rotten" which was a film that continued the ass-kissing and glossed over all the problems of the Sex Pistols as well as John Lydon's own ideological as well as illogical inconsistencies and, well, self-serving rationalization and excuses.

I do have to add here that I can't blame Lydon for wanting respect. I get it totally. I have the same desire in Japan where I live and work. One must walk a mile in a man's shoes before judging him and I totally understand wanting respect and status. I desire the same, so I can't fault him for that. 

But I can fault him for being unprofessional, drunk, and incoherent at his own film premiere in the UK. It is the premiere; the first. One only gets one chance at a first impression. So I think blowing it is not acceptable and a source of regret.

L>R: Mike Rogers in interview with Fiiler, Lydon, Edmunds, First of P.I.L.

During the screening, a bunch of the people surrounding him were doing some sort of chemicals by alighting something on aluminum foil (I don't know if John was doing that or not, but he was really drunk at the least.) The stoners were shouting nonsense during the screening like, "Johnny be good" or some other crap. 

After the film, we had the interview and Lydon was talking mostly nonsense... But it seems he thinks it is some sort of genius philosophy, but it was just nonsense..... He continually jumped up and yelled, "Don't be a robot!" "Don't follow the system or the rules." 

Yet he praised the collective of the government-run health insurance scheme.

Right, John... Don't be a robot; don't follow the rules, but join the government-run system just like all the other sheep and slaves?

I rolled my eyes. Is this guy so messed up he doesn't realize the hypocrisy of what he just spouted out?

Many people in the audience were taking videos on their cameras but, after Lydon began talking for a minute or two, many of them stopped and dropped their cameras down. He was spouting incoherent nonsense. It really was very sad.

I tried my best to control the interview for the allotted 15 minute time-slot (but, as a robot too, I tried to follow the schedule for the convenience of the audience - as opposed to Johnny who was an hour late and the screening was an hour late, and people had to get home as it was after 11 pm... But we shouldn't follow the rules yet we should be joining the collective???)

At one point, when Lydon was rambling about something or another, the floor director of the event signaled to me to cut it off, so I interrupted Lydon and went to a question to the audience. At that point, his manager, Rambo said to me, "Oh no, now you've done it... You've interrupted him!"

If looks could kill, Rambo would be dead as I shot him a look like, "Shut the F-up! I'm doing him a favor by interrupting his stupid crap!"

There were a few questions from the audience with Lydon giving his self-serving answers (just like the film) but the interview was drunk rambling. 

At the end of the interview, as time was short and late, I said, "We have time for one more question..." To which John's manager said to me, "No. No one kicks John out of a place!"

Oh really? 

Lowly underpaid bouncers wouldn't even allow John into his own after-party as he was so stumbling drunk. Even the famous UK newspaper, the Sun, wrote about it: ROTTEN LUCK Sex Pistols star Johnny Rotten got barred from his own party — after security refused him entry for being too drunk (

Photo from the UK newspaper, The Sun, claiming, "Johnny Rotten looked pretty glum after not being allowed into his own party." (

Finally, Lydon stood in front of the entire audience, waved his arms wide and said something like, "I want you all to know that I love you all and want you to come down here to the front and take photos with me."

Of course, the only people who could get close to Lydon were his team and invited fans, so that statement was bullshit too. 

If he really wanted to meet the regular fans, he'd have shaken their hands as they came into the theater. But he didn't. It was all bullshit.

I did that for my movie; I met and shook hands with everyone who came to the film. I also gave them guitar picks or badges and said, "Thanks."....But, then again, I am working class riff-raff and not royalty.

A few people from the audience came down to the front, but they couldn't get really close to Lydon. He was surrounded by his posse.... Most of the audience sat in bewildered silence. I grabbed the mic and said, "It's OK, folks, it's late so if you want to go home now, please do."

The king and savior of the working classes had spoken; all animals were equal but some were more equal than others.

After the interview was over, P.I.L. members were really apologetic to me for Lydon's behavior (I figured he delivered what everyone expected so I wasn't mad) and they invited me to the after-party. I agreed to go.... But after all the nonsense and standing in the rain, I went home. 

The Sun article is not exactly true that he wasn't allowed into his own party. He was after fifteen or twenty minutes of arguments and being rejected several times.... But it was packed and the members of P.I.L. and I left immediately and they asked me to go drinking with them someplace else. We went to several clubs but they were all packed. After walking a long time, I said "Goodbye" and I went home.

Like they say, "you should never meet your heroes’ because inevitably this person you’ve built up to be larger than life in your mind is going to let you down."

Here's a video of the interview. He insulted me before and during this interview...It was cool. He was a total asshole... Did any of us expect any less?

But... It was sad...


The Spirit of Ecstasy

Do you have something that motivates you? I mean, besides money or a family and kids? Do you have something that has captured your imaginat...