Over the weekend at a festival in Spain John Lydon and his entourage have been accused of attacking Bloc Party's Kele Okereke with racial motives. I've never really liked Bloc Party or Kele in particular since he made up a bunch of shit about Art Brut and tried to get physical himself a couple of years back; but this is pretty shocking. His press statement below...
Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke was the victim of an unprovoked racist attack by Sex Pistol’s singer John Lydon and members of his entourage this weekend, an attack which left Okereke with severe facial bruising, cuts to his face and body, and a split lip.
The incident took place on Saturday evening backstage at the Summercase festival in Barcelona; in which Lydon and his entourage were described by one witness “as acting like a gang of racist thugs”
The Sex Pistols were socializing backstage with an array of British bands many of whom witnessed the attack. Kele, a huge fan of Lydon’s approached the singer to ask if he would ever consider reforming one of his favourite bands, Public Image Ltd. The Sex Pistols singer became intimidating and aggressive while his entourage responded with a racist tirade including the statement, “your problem is your black attitude” Kele was then set upon by 3 members of Lydon’s crew who punched him in the face and head as well as attacking people who tried to protect Kele from the assault including Yannis Philippakis from The Foals and Kaiser chiefs Ricky Wilson. The incident was broken up by festival security and was later reported to Spanish police. Kele also reported the incident to police in the UK after returning from Spain.
Kele was in Barcelona for a short weekend break before he heads off on tour to Japan. The incident was witnessed by over 50 people, which included members of the Kaiser Chiefs Mystery Jets, Neon Neon, Har Mar Superstar and The Foals.
Talking about the incident Kele said "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. 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."
That seems like half a story in many respects but Kele was able to draw on a few names there of people that aren't going to go against the legendary Sex Pistols unless they're 100% certain of what they saw. What's weird is that I'd have asked him the same question. Public Image Limited were the shit. I tell you what though, John Lydon would get parked. Brits abroad ey?
UPDATE: John Lydon has released a statement to the press this afternoon denying any racial motives and goes on to blame Kele's jealousy for the fracas...
The Sex Pistols's John Lydon has hit back at claims he was involved in an "unprovoked racist attack" on Bloc Party's singer, Kele Okereke.
Kele Okereke claimed he was assaulted by Lydon and members of his entourage who had directed a "racist tirade" at him.
Members of Foals and Kaiser Chiefs were said to have stepped in to help the Bloc Party singer.
However, the Sex Pistols frontman has put the incident down to jealousy on Okereke's part.
"I feel very sorry for a man who needs to lie about what was a perfect evening," Lydon said in a statement. "After the show John Rotten and management remained behind to sign autographs, which we did for four solid hours without incident and had a great time talking to other Spanish bands. This seems to have sparked jealousy in certain bands.
"The trouble was brought to us, resulting in those causing the trouble being physically removed by festival security."
He added: "We are in the middle of a wonderful tour, after 30 years we are achieving a true unity in our audience. They are multi-varied, all ages, all races, creeds and colours.
"When you are at a festival with bands who are jealous fools, lies and confusion usually follow. If they need publicity so badly this is the allegation universe they run into."
Lydon concluded by telling Okereke to "grow up and learn to be a true man.
"When you have achieved as much as I have, come back and talk to me," he added. "It's a shame that the wonderful world of the media is riddled with nonsense like this."
Okereke indicated that he has contacted the police both in Spain and in the UK in following the incident, though Lydon did not mention this in his statement. It is currently unclear whether any further action will be taken.