John Lydon on why his marriage has persevered

Public Image Ltd. and Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon discusses the key to longevity with his longtime partner and wife Nora Forster.

Video Transcript

- How long have you and Nora been together? It's been almost 40 years, hasn't it?

JOHN LYDON: Yeah.

- How--

JOHN LYDON: Well, since-- yes, it's-- yeah, yeah, '79, say--

- We see--

JOHN LYDON: --since '78.

- We see so many rock-and-roll marriages and, you know, celebrity marriages that barely last even five years. I mean, what-- I imagine there might have been some people that didn't think you guys were going to last when you first met. Like, what's your secret?

JOHN LYDON: Well, good luck to people that are flippant about their relationships and responsibility towards their fellow human beings. But people like me and Nora, we spend the time and-- and take the efforts to understand each other, and-- and that then becomes our life's work in progress. And it's-- for my way of living, that-- that's how I want it to be.

- Were there--

JOHN LYDON: I-- I don't take commitments lightly. I don't treat my fellow human beings as-- as tools of my trade. And so there you go. I'm a-- I'm a loyalist at heart.

- Were there a lot of people when you guys first got together that didn't think it would last?

JOHN LYDON: Well, I mean, look, I started in-- in the wonderful world of rock-and-roll, and there-- it was-- quite frankly, sex was thrown at you left, right, and center. But no, it wasn't for me. I-- I don't like that flippancy. I-- I grew up having childhood illnesses that somehow left me feeling that there was something wrong with me, and I had to come to grips with that very-- very, very quickly once I was thrown onto a stage and into the public limelight. So I was-- I was aware of people that were attracted to me. Weren't because they knew anything at all about me, it was the fame and fortune. And those kind of people I don't want around me.

- Yeah.

JOHN LYDON: That's not me being moralistic because morals, to me, are-- are a thing comes from religious intonations, and I'm definitely not religious. It's a sense of values, and I have to feel that a person respects me for who and what I actually really am. And I hope that that's the way it's seen vice versa. I'm like this with friends. I'm like this with my own family members. It's-- but once I make a commitment, it's forever, and then completely forgiving.

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