Lonely Boy really is a cool book — couldn’t put it down…
Jones places some blame on another sordid feature of his surroundings: the “local nonce,” or pedophile. “Every area has one,” he says matter-of-factly, and the more you hear about England, the more plausible that seems.
Jones was also “fiddled with,” once, by his stepfather, and struggles throughout the book—without a cc of self-pity—to bring a couple of similar childhood incidents into sharper focus. What’s clear to Jones now—after 25 years of sobriety (which actually intensified his libido), hours of therapy and TM, and simply the passage of time—is that “the consequences of what happened are still with me half a fucking century later.”
I understand completely, but although This Sort of Thing goes on the world over, what seems uniquely English is the level of systemic perversion. While the McMartin preschool case made me forever suspicious about “Pizzagate”-style moral panics, there was something to Operation Yewtree.
Hilariously, they’re practically neighbors now—Jones also fled London for L.A.—but he and Lydon never got along. However, he gives his former frontman tremendous credit for trying to “tell the truth” about Yewtree’s “star,” Jimmy Savile, in a (hastily shelved) BBC Radio 1 interview back in 1978.
“Imagine how many kids’ lives wouldn’t have got ruined,” Jones muses now, if that segment had, miraculously, made it onto the air—or someone in the control booth had had his conscience pricked.