It was the funeral service for The Death of Rock and Roll and Rock Star Idolatry. Johnny Rotten moved from the Sex Pistols to Public Image Ltd. and the appearance of PIL on American Bandstand was the tombstone for the antiquated relic known as rock music.
On 17 May the group appeared on the "staid" teenage music show American Bandstand. This was because an influential producer for the show was insistent despite objections from nearly all the show's personnel and host Dick Clark, who referring to Lydon said, "What can I expect from this asshole?"
The group was not keen on appearing either, but went on.
As "Poptones" and "Careering" played, Lydon and the group broke many of the show's rules by failing to lip sync, blowing his nose at the camera, bringing disco-clad audience members to himself and the group, pulling the entire audience up on stage to destroy the division between band and fans, and banging a microphone in time to the music on Clark's podium.
When Dick Clark acted in a condescending manner to Johnny Rotten/Lydon, asking him "Are you okay?" (a conformist always tends to accuse non-conformists of being "not well" when they see them step outside the boundaries), Johnny glances down at him in contempt.
The dirge-guitar harmonics influenced bands like U2 and The Cure, while ending the punk revolution just a few years after it started with the Ramones, the Clash, and the Sex Pistols. Punk, by definition, was intended to dethrone rock gods and make fun of their pompous struttings and jivings, their self-indulgent drug scene, and the "journalists" who defended the aging geezers.
ABC, feeling the show was a "disaster", did not want to air it, but the influential producer successfully fought for it. The show became a regular part of American Bandstand's highlight reels.
When the Poison Apple disco of Peoria, IL (located approximately where the Walmart on University and Forrest Hill now stands) decided to have a funeral service for Disco Music, complete with coffin and pallbearers, my brother Jumpin' Jimmy, a popular Poison Apple DJ, played music by PIL, from their "Second Edition" metal can album to proclaim and seal the Death of Disco.
Johnny Rotten buries the Rock Star Worship Syndrome right before Dick Clark's astonished eyes.