Startling Castling

‘Security passes were something I never felt the need to wear, particularly when coupled with Rambo [John Stevens]. The way we were viewing it was, “If our hairdos aren’t our pass, well, we’ll pass on the gig, thank you.” Rambo and I got into so much wackiness with clippers and dye. No regular mohawk for me or John, it’s not our way.

I always like a line down one side of my head, from the top to the back, but Rambo came up with some amazing wacky things on me – like the idea of “castle-ing”, so the top of my head looked like the Tower of London, with checker-board, black-and-white squares on top. All manner of squiggles and different designs – a gorgeous mass of matt colours. Rambo wanted 666 on the back of his head, and I eventually managed to do it well with some nose-hair clippers. So it all went up a notch from the local hairdresser.’


John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten)

Anger Is An Energy: My Life Uncensored (Simon & Schuster, 2014), pp.375-6


This ain’t the only shockin‘ castling I’ve dun neiva.


Johnny Rotten – Sid Vicious

Highbury Quickplay

London, 1976


Poor old Sid, he couldn’t beat anyone. He was rubbish. But I loved him because he was rubbish!

     1 e4 d5

I was already gettin‘ an Abba kind of vibe.

     2 exd5 Nf6 3 Nc3 Nxd5 4 Bc4

Good ol‘ rootsy stuff coming out.

     4…Nb6 5 Bb3 Nc6 6 Nf3 e5

6…e6? 7 d4! (Strummer−Scabies, Highbury, 1975).

    7 d3 Bg4 8 h3

Don’t judge me by my moves, judge me by the moves I choose and why I choose them and know it’s about something. It’s audacity. The moves ultimately shouldn’t matter at all, but they are great fun.



     9 Nxe5!

Johnny ain’t no backdown rotter. This boy don’t surrender. He comes out firing. No problem sacking his queen, ’cos she ain’t no human bein‘.

     9…Bxd1 10 Bxf7+ 

Bold fella.

     10…Ke7 11 Bg5+ Kd6


     12 Ne4+

Let’s kamikaze till we get there!

     12…Kxe5 13 f4+ Kd4 14 Rxd1 Qxg5

Our figurehead is not what she seems.

     15 c3+ Ke3


     16 O-O!! Qc5

There is no future.

     17 Ng3 Nd4

No future.

     18 Rf2 Ne2+

In Sidney’s scheming.

    19 Nxe2 Na4 20 Kf1 

jukes3     1-0 (20…Qc6 21 Nd4)

An insane, mental, MENTAL gig – one of the best I’ve ever played in my life. Fantastic, from start to finish.

‘Spectacular, ridiculous and weird’ (BCM).

sid and johnny 

post-mortems with Sid were never dull


Unfortunately I’ve made myself into a bit of a trendsetter over the years and it’s the one thing I hate most about what I do – having to watch the influence I’ve had. It’s not at all rewarding. Imitation is not the greatest form of flattery. Somehow it indicates to me that people doing it haven’t clearly understood. If I’m trying to be preachy in any way at all, I’m telling you: find your own path, find your own spirit, find your own moves, and your own way of meeting the Scandinavian, and share that with us. That’s how we all live and learn.


Timman – Kasparov

Eurotel, 1998



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