John Joseph Lydon was born in Finsbury Park, London, England, on January 31, 1956, into a poor, working-class family of Irish descent. His parents were John Christopher and Eileen Lydon. At age seven, Lydon contracted spinal meningitis and spent half a year slipping in and out of comas; when he finally recovered, most of his memory had been erased, and he was left with minor damage that eventually popped up in elements of his stage persona.
Lydon, tutored by his mother, had to learn everything again from scratch. Despite this, Lydon had to grow up fast, there was no time to be mollycoddled. As the eldest child, he had responsibilities. His father was a working man, and unfortunately, his mother became even more ill than John himself.