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Punk Love

Johnny and Nora – Photo: Fin Costello/Redferns

“Nora has Alzheimer’s… I am her full-time carer and I won’t let anyone mess up with her head. For me the real person is still there. That person I love is still there every minute of every day and that is my life. It’s unfortunate that she forgets things, well, don’t we all?”

Best known as Sex Pistols punk band’s frontman Johnny Rotten, the 64-year-old John Lydon revealed to The Mirror his softer side as he spoke about his 78-year-old wife Nora Forster, a German publishing heiress, wed in 1979.

“It gets worse and worse, bits of the brain store less and less memory and then suddenly some bits completely vanish. It’s quite amazing as the alleged experts we have had to deal with at enormous expense have said that they have been very impressed that she never ever forgets me, we are constantly there with each other — in her mind — and that bit won’t go,” he said.

Nora Forster, Johnny Rotten, John Gray and Jimmy Lydon (London, May 1977) – Photo: John Gray
Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols on a plane, flying from London to Brussels (November 1977) – Photo: Bob Gruen
Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols at the Longhorn Ballroom in Dallas, Texas (January 10, 1978) – Photo: Jay Dickman
Sex Pistol John Lydon and his wife Nora putting on the style at the Savoy Hotel in 1986 – Photo: Mike Forster/Associated Newspapers
John Lydon and Nora Forster attend “The Public Image is Rotten” Premiere during 2017 Tribeca Film Festival at Spring Studios on April 21, 2017 in New York City – Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Johnny first disclosed his wife’s struggles with dementia during a radio interview in 2018. At the time, he said that she was in the “mid-stages of Alzheimer’s.” Today, he points out that Nora will never go into a care home in Los Angeles where they now live, despite the strain of her illness, which has been magnified by the ­ coronavirus pandemic.

“Why pay for professionals to work on this when I think the message is a bit of love goes a long way. I am under lockdown anyway because I am her full-time carer. I don’t need to go out and socialise with buttholes,” Johnny said.

Nora died on April 6, 2023.

John Lydon and his wife Nora Forster pose backstage during the NME Awards 2011 at Brixton Academy on February 23, 2011 in London, England – Photo: Jon Furniss/WireImage

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20 thoughts on “Punk Love Leave a comment

  1. My hart goes out John and his family to love wife we all know he loves .I have seen fist hand the devastating effects this on the hole family on one should have to be witness to this see they’re mother forget everything and the terrifying effects of not knowing who or whair you are .this shouldn’t be but hopefully John and his family will be ok and Nore from what John has told us she is his life that has tobe an love at its purest stay strong brother.


  2. I remember when they got married…
    I was 13 yrs old.. I wanted to be a sex pistol so bad..I loved looking at pictures of them they still are so beautiful together


  3. I know this sounds cliche, but i have nothing but love and my heart goes pit to ya. I have been with my wife since 99 and i would do the exact same thing for her


  4. I’ve always liked John, crazy Irish looking bastard 😂. On a more serious note. This disease took my mother. It’s horrible


  5. This is a real showing of true devotion, true love and solid partnership. Selflessness, a pure act of real humanity. Real and true, solid people are a rare specimen in todays world. My husband and I have been “psrtners in crime” (in young, innocence & fun… Kind of way…) Harm to none other than ourselves before we later became paremts 3X”s. lol
    My husband… & I shit u not… In his youth his hair like Sid’s, cherry 21 hole Dr. Marten’s , we humg on the pistols’ every word. We still listen alot. And love ot as much now, as we did then. Our kids grew up hesring Sex Pistols in the soundtrack of life. May ur feet always be nimble, always swift
    May u have a strong foundation
    When the winds of changes shift
    Cheers & eternal love


  6. Johnny is one of my favourite humans and this is a great example of why. He’s a genius provocateur, simply one of the best ever as a front man and as a songwriter and, above all, his heart has always been in the right place. Bless you, Johnny and Nora.


  7. John sad to heaJohnr about nora’s Alzheimer’s my wife’s worked in the care system for over 30 years and she tells me it’s like a photo album and each time someone removes a picture til there is nothing left.
    You know here and know what’s best for her.
    Stay strong keep the love alive with you in spirit best wishes jed666 …..


  8. How wonderfully supportive. My mum has dementia. I agree with the comment liking it to photographs being taken out of an album. It will be so comforting to her.


  9. Well done John. My mother had it.fortunately,she still knew us up until she died.she still retained her good humor.all power to you. Danny boyle.


  10. What a luv. This is beautiful, so lucky to be in love after all this time. You are both so lucky, truly.


  11. Hello John.

    I have just started the Alzheimer’s trip to Wherever. My wife of 54 years has been diagnosed with this bloody insidious disease. I admire your courage and determination to care for your lovely wife. I hope to be along side my wife until we, together reach our destination of Wherever. Sure the road may get difficult, but we took our vows together. In sickness and in health. I have been involved with music (Drums) since the age of 10. I believe that musicians have been blessed with an inner strength that comes to the fore in difficult times. I well remember The Sex Pistoles. What memories and stories you must have. I must salute you.


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