John Lydon claims to have been born on or around the 31st of January 1956. Apparently his birth certificate was destroyed, lending him some spooky mysterious appeal. In 1975, after being spotted wearing a Pink Floyd t-shirt with the phrase "I Hate" painted over it, he was asked to audition for a new band called the Sex Pistols. England in the 70's didn't have many prospects for a young man, so he joined up. Some felt he did it because he simply had nothing better to do, others believe he felt some mystical pull to revolutionize the lyrical base of the time period's musical scene.
His first audition was miserable and his first rehearsal gained him no friends. But he was strong and the Sex Pistols struck a nerve with the disenfranchised and bitter youth of Britain. The same energy that made the Sex Pistols so unique quickly tore them up and by 1978 the band was no more. Lydon lost no time in starting a new sound to build upon what the Sex Pistols had started and so was born Public Image Limited.
At first PIL didn't sound that different at all. But with every succeeding album, their sound changed and evolved. PIL was the perfect sort of band for those that insisted on defying convention and listening to something "Different". The type of people that never listen to anything played on the radio became devotees of PIL. They had a sound that was clearly different and constantly changing, but at the same time wasn't so different as to be considered garbage.
By 1993, Lydon was being accused of becoming too mainstream, as his antics and music suffered the test of time and an ever-finicky crowd. He disbands PIL, ostensibly to pursue a solo career, but instead releases an autobiography, Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs. The book turns out to be a revealing look into Lydon's early life and his time with the Sex Pistols.
In 1996, Lydon reforms the Sex Pistols and jumps on the reunion tour bandwagon claiming, "We're fat, forty and back!" The tour is aptly named "Filthy Lucre" and I'm sure it succeeded in that respect. Unfortunately, while time heals wounds it doesn't cover up old tensions. The tour was the longest in the history of the band, but doomed to repeat the same problems that caused them to break up the first time.
In 1997 he finally released his solo album, Psycho's Path, and nobody but hard core fans really seemed to like it. In 1999, he made an appearance outside the Grammies annoying and insulting the guests and the performers. Rotten to the last.