Public Image, Johnny Lydon (Johnny Rotten), ‘Portrait at Piccadilly Hotel, No.II’ © Stephen Wright at Proud Galleries

Public Image, Johnny Lydon (Johnny Rotten), ‘Portrait at Piccadilly Hotel, No.II’

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© Stephen Wright
Manchester, U.K. 1986
Fuji crystal archive lustre finish photographic paper print hand signed by the photographer
Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity

This candid portrait of John Lydon (Johnny Rotten) was captured at the Piccadilly Hotel, the following day after the band’s gig at the Manchester Apollo. Stephen Wright took this picture of John Lydon during an early tour of his post-Sex Pistols band, Public Image Ltd. ‘He did a lot of scowling. He had a cold and he was putting his thumb on his nose and blowing snot onto the floor. The sad thing is that he sells butter now.’ Stephen Wright

Stephen Wright, from Reading, bought his first camera at 21 from the £40 he won on a premium bond. By 1983 he was taking live pictures of Manchester bands like The Smiths for music magazines and record companies. These days his body of work sits as part of the collections of the National Portrait Gallery, the Manchester Art Gallery and the Salford Art Gallery. All rather funny when the original film for The Smiths was processed in a bedroom-darkroom, with the chemicals kept in old drinks bottles.

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