The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

News

John Lydon: 'I Feared Richard Branson Wanted To Murder Me'
Ben Hewitt , March 18th, 2010 07:36

PiL frontman feared that Virgin's entrepreneur present of a balloon trip was a plot to kill him

John Lydon feared that a balloon trip brought for him by Richard Branson as a Christmas present was a plot to murder him.

Speaking to Quietus editor John Doran, the PiL singer said he had misinterpreted the offer from the Virgin entrepreneur to be his balloon co-pilot.

When asked about his relationship with Branson, he said: "Richard used to be alright but he used to be a bit wary of me, there was always a distance and there still is to this day. Which is very odd and there it is. Can’t change that.

"Nora knows his wife Joan very well. They used to know each other very, very well. But it doesn’t change much. I don’t know what Richard is. All that going for titles and... He’s quite a fun bloke but it’s always on his level. I think the biggest mistake I ever made with Richard was he sent me a Christmas present once and it was... and now I look back on it I’m amazed I was so stupid. It was a gift for two to fly to Norway and go on a balloon holiday a hot air balloon. And in my dumbness at the time I thought ‘Oh, is he trying to freeze me to death in a hot air balloon over Norway?’ [laughs] I didn’t foresee what that was all leading to and it was all really about. I should have been more generous in accepting it. Instead I ignored it, which was foolish. Isn’t it funny how these silly little things can affect everything."

Lydon also said he regretted his paranoia over the incident, confessing: "But there you go, it was my lack of good faith in his act of generosity and I think that affected our relationship as friends. Not that we were before but I think we might have had a possibility after."

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.