Johnny Rotten In 'Racist Attack' On Bloc Party Frontmanby Contributor | 21 July 2008
Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon has been accused of an unprovoked racist attack on Bloc Party's Kele Okereke, it has emerged.
The incident occurred on Saturday evening backstage at the Summercase festival in Barcelona and left Kele with severe facial bruising, cuts to his face and body, and a split lip.
The attack was witnessed by a number of British bands, including Kaiser Chiefs, Foals and Mystery Jets, and occurred when Kele, a Sex Pistols fan approached Lydon to ask if he would consider reforming his post-Sex Pistols band Public Image Ltd.
Lydon - better known as Johnny Rotten - is reported to have become aggressive and intimidating while his entourage replied to Kele's query with a racist tirade including the statement: "Your problem is your black attitude."
Three members of Lydon's crew - who have been described by witnesses as "acting like a gang of racist thugs" - then punched Kele in the face and head as well as attacking Kaiser Chiefs' Ricky Wilson and Foals' Yannis Philippakis when they came to Kele's aid.
The incident was reported to Spanish police and Kele also reported the attack to police in the UK following his return from Spain.
"It's not an issue of the physical assault, even though it was an unprovoked attack, it is the fact that race was brought into the matter so readily," Kele commented.
"Someone as respected and as intelligent as Lydon should know better than to bring race into the equation, or socialise with and encourage those who hold such narrow-minded attitudes.
"I am disappointed that someone I held with such high regard turns out to be such a bigot."