"People know I only do things that I want to or that I believe in and I have to do it my way.” That’s former Sex Pistol John Lydon speaking to the Guardian earlier this week. And no, he wasn’t talking about another Pistols reunion, or appearing in a new reality show, or beating up Bloc Party. He was talking about butter—specifically, a commercial for Britain’s Country Life Butter. Delicious. Surpisingly, Country Life even has the honor of taking Lyndon’s commercial virginity.
In the ad, which premiered Wednesday night during the Pride of Britain Awards, we first see Mr. Rotten smirking at a number of silly British things—royal parades, country sheep. Then the evidently chubby Lydon appears again, clad in his tartan flannel bath robe, to chow down on some hot buttery action. “It’s not about Great Britain. It’s about great butter!” our helpful narrator tells us. Oh, O.K., ’cause we thought it was about a great big paycheck.
Yes, we know—it’s a little juvenile to complain about Johnny Rotten selling out. Yet the irony of a punk-rock godfather and working-class provocateur growing old by shilling for British dairy is pretty overwhelming, particularly when Daily Crest, Countrys Life’s boss, has threatened major layoffs and the closing of its Nottingham factory.