Rocker reveals harassment led to him leaving UK
Michael Baggs

06:52 6th July 2012

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Sex Pistols star John Lydon (Johnny Rotten) has revealed how his home was once raided when police mistook an Italian flag for an IRA banner.

The star revealed that the police harassment he experienced in the eighties was what led him to quitting the UK to live in America.

"The police harrassment became unbearable," said the punk legend - as reported by the Belfast Telegraph. "I used to have these wooden slat blinds. They break, so up went an Italian flag.

"But somebody thought that meant it was an IRA house, so.. police raid!"

The rock icon appeared last night on Question Time, facing a political grilling from David Dimbleby alongside MP Louise Mensch and former Home Secretary Alan Johnson.

Below: Johnny Rotten and more bizarre musician adverts

  • It''s hard to miss this advert at the moment as it''s plastered all over London at the moment. Rihanna teamed up with photographer Terry Richardson for a Coco Vita ad. Having previously worked with them in 2011, Rihanna is no stranger to the coconut water and juices.

  • Justin Bieber advertised a new collection of OPI nail polishes in 2010 - the aptly named 'One Less Lonely Girl' collection. It ended up selling over one million bottles but we can't hate it too much; the collection was to raise awareness of a non-profit organisation named 'Pencils of Promise.'

  • Does Gary Glitter''s promotion of Heinz Lentil soup make you hungry for lunch? Possibly one of the strangest collaborations ever, interested people can check out the full advertisement on YouTube. ''Weird'' isn''t the half of it...

  • One of the most widespread rock and roll advertising campaigns, Iggy Pop got his wrinkly-rocker abs out to promote Swiftcover car insurance. Of course, the 30 million pound campaign had to be pulled from the airwaves after it was discovered that Iggy actually wouldn''t be able to buy Swiftcover, as the company didn''t insure musicians. Oops.

  • When rapper 50 Cent teamed up with GlacĂ©au to endorse their vitamin water, it was one of the biggest deals in hip-hop history. 50 Cent walked away with an estimated $100million, pushing his net worth towards half a billion dollars. Not bad for someone who's real name is Curtis Jackson.

  • Way back when, Jamiroquai headed over to Japan to promote a line of Sony mini disc players. In the days before MP3 players and iPods, Jamiroquai endorsed the Walkmen players and joined a wide range of Western celebrities to feature in weird Japanese advertisements.

  • Ringo actually means ''apple'' in Japanese, so this line of Ringo juice was a no-brainer. The Beatle promoted the Japanese apple juice, named Ringo Sutta. The full advert is, again, on YouTube.

  • Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres actually created and endorsed his own line of baby clothes, after he was shopping for friends' newborns and was unable to find any cool clothes. Tico says about the line, "There is one shirt... on one side is 'SUCK' and the other is 'Milk'!" Inspired.

  • Inspired by the already existing Nelly song, Pimp Juice is an energy drink co-owned by the rapper. It''''s marketed as ''Hip-Hop''s #1 Energy Drink'', despite being the subject of some controversy when a number of groups tried to boycott the drink, saying that it promoted a negative stereotype of the African-American lifestyle. The company still managed to sell over one million cans of Pimp Juice in the first three months of operations.

  • That''s right. Aerosmith''s Joe Perry put his name on a hot sauce. Boneyard Brew apparently has a ''mystical flavour'' that will keep ''your tastebuds rollin'' all night long.'' We''re mostly disappointed that they didn''t use more puns. Surely using Boneyard Brew will mean you''re Livin'' on the Edge?

  • Snoop Dogg undoubtedly has the best campaign name ever, promoting Norton Anti-Virus's campaign against cybercrime with the slogan 'Hack is Wack.' In 2010, the rapper put his name to a contest where participants had to make a two minute rap about the evils of cybercrime and upload it. Sounds like a great idea... fo' shizzle.

  • After Alice Cooper's 80s hit 'School's Out', it was only a matter of time before he put his name to, er, school stationery? The ad shows the long-haired rocker poking fun at himself as his daughter asks, "I thought you said school was out forever." "No, the song goes 'school's out for summer'," he corrects her. Cute.

  • Never one to shy away from cries that he's selling out, Bob Dylan starred in one of the weirdest celebrity endorsements - a Victoria's Secret ad. The thirty second clip shows Bob lurking around Italy and casting moody glances at a lingerie-clad model. With angel wings. Definitely one of the strangest so far.

  • Another Japanese classic, Stevie Wonder stars in an ad for a canned coffee product called Kirin Fire Coffee. There's really nothing much we can say about this one, but feel free to check it out yourself.

  • Johnny Rotten, known for anarchy and punk rock, chose to star in this advertising campaign for Country Life butter. Awkward and embarrassing to watch, the adverts prompted bemusement from everyone who watched them. Still, it's worth noting that the adverts, which showed Johnny in tweeds and the countryside, helped lift sales of the brand by 85%. Having watched it a few times, we still can't work out why.

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