Former Sex Pistol John Lydon Enters Eurovision with New PiL Song “Hawaii”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Public Image Ltd. (PiL) have been selected for the 67th annual Eurovision Song Contest airing on February 3. The band will represent Ireland with their new single “Hawaii.”

The song—the band’s first new music since their 10th album What the World Needs Now in 2015—is a love letter to Lydon’s wife. Nora Forster, Lydon’s wife of nearly 45 years, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2018.

A deeply personal track for Lydon, “Hawaii” is sobering reflection of the couple’s life together. The song is punctuated by one of their most special memories, a trip they once took together—Some begin again / We’re here / You and me … Remember me / I remember you / Hawaii. Written by Lydon, “Hawaii” professes the power of love through the good and the most traumatic of times.

“It is dedicated to everyone going through tough times on the journey of life, with the person they care for the most,” said Lydon of the song in a statement. “It’s also a message of hope that ultimately love conquers all.”

“Hawaii” Single Artwork by John Lydon

Forster, mother of The Slits singer Ari Up (Ariane Forster)—who died in 2010 at the age of 48 from breast cancer—modeled and acted before settling into music promotion right before the London punk explosion by the mid-1970s.

An heiress of the German publishing company behind Der Spiegel, Forster first met Lydon in the mid-’70s at the late designer Vivienne Westwood and Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren’s punk meeting post, and clothing boutique, Sex. Lydon and Forster were married in 1979, just a year after he formed PiL, following the demise of The Sex Pistols.

In 2021, Lydon released his book I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right. In 2022, PiL, which consists of Lydon along with guitarist Lu Edmonds, bassist Scott Firth, and drummer Bruce Smith, embarked on a U.K. and European tour, the band’s first since 2018.

PiL are also set to release a new album in 2023.

Photo: Courtesy of Prime PR Group, Inc.

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