“How else would I describe a song like “Bodies” without using swear words to capture the rage and passion and pain of both sides of the abortion issue? I wanted to capture the whole scene of the operating table and a baby being dragged out with a coat hanger and the blood and the rage. So rather than being literal in that way I just thought those words absolutely summed it up. It’s because I’m uneducated.”John Lydon (397)

Pretty Vacant

“I can invent characters. “Pretty Vacant”, that’s an invention of a song. I’m inventing a character that’s trying to explain himself. It’s from a yobbo point of view. I’m not a yobbo but I can be.”John Lydon (218)
“”Pretty Vacant” was a generalization. I suppose I was imagining myself as a Slade character, Noddy Holder – serious. That’s how I viewed the song: we’re so pretty.”John Lydon (218)


“I wrote that with John, and the story behind the song is it was written quite early. I went to a rehearsal, at a place called the Roundhouse, which is a place in London, in Camden. We were rehearsing there for a bit – the rehearsal room was downstairs. I met up with John, and Steve and Paul didn’t turn up. So, me and John went over to the pub to have a drink, and he said, “Have you seen Malcolm?” “Yeah.” “What’s he got to say for himself?” “Oh, he has an idea that we write a song.” “What about?” “He had a title – ‘Submission.'” “What? All about domination and all that sort of stuff? I’m not having that.” So we sat down, and I can’t remember which one said, “What about a submarine mission?” So, we traded line for line, and wrote the song there and then. Then, I went home that night and worked out the music. The next time we rehearsed, I said, “Look, we have this idea. It goes like this…” And it went like that, and that was it really. The song is basically about taking the Mickey out of Malcolm McLaren.”Glen Matlock (1215)