Kele Okereke, of the English indie band Bloc Party, claimed he was attacked over the weekend by members of Johnny Rotten’s entourage backstage at the Summercase Festival in Barcelona.
In a statement, Okereke says he approached Rotten (real name: John Lydon) and asked about the possibility of a reunion for Public Image Ltd.–the band Rotten formed after the break up of the Sex Pistols in the late 1970s.
Rotten then became “intimidating and aggressive while his entourage responded with a racist tirade, including the statement, ‘Your problem is your black attitude.'” Rotten went on to punch Okereke in the face.
Kaiser Chiefs’ Ricky Wilson and Foals’ Yannis Philippakis, who came to Okereke’s aid, were also attacked. “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,” Okereke says.
Rotten denies the attack ever took place. “I feel very sorry for a man who needs to lie about what was a perfect evening,” Rotten says. “It’s a shame that the wonderful world of the media is riddled with nonsense like this.”
Rotten chalks up Okereke’s accusations to jealousy, adding, “When you have achieved as much as I have, come back and talk to me.”