Frustrated by the lack of activity in Public Image Ltd., the group’s original bassist Jah Wobble (apparently his stage name comes from a drunken pronunciation of his real name, John Wardle) decided to go into the studio that the band was paying for anyway and record a solo album. Re-purposing some rhythm tracks from the Metal Box sessions, Wobble made a trippy, dubby concoction out of the material—a common thing to do in reggae and PiL were all reggae fanatics—released in 1980 as The Legend Lives On…Jah Wobble in Betrayal!, and a 38-minute EP called Blueberry Hill. John Lydon and Keith Levene were thoroughly pissed off and Wobble was ejected from the group.
Betrayal provides as much insight into what Wobble creatively brought to the PiL sound, as the lack of his basslines would on PiL’s next album, the skeletal sounding Flowers of Romance. Listen to “Blueberry Hill” below, a cheerfully insane cover of the Fats Domino song, buoyed by Wobble’s ebullient bassline, the same one heard on Metal Box’s “The Suit.”