Thalia Hall Chicago
Monday 10/22/18

As the story goes- Old punks hold grudges.
But they get out of bed (as Martin Atkins would say), and if you’re John Lydon of Public Image Ltd, you show up in a long overcoat looking the worse for wear, and you don’t care.
Nice touches that this photographer notices:
John Lydon has affixed a safety pin to his reading glasses to keep them workable. (So Punk like).
John Lydon also has a large garbage can in front of the drum riser for impromptu spitting: all the more needed when you consider over half the songs he sings requires lots and lots of yelling to get his point across.
John Lydon also has his trusty bottle of Pedialyte at the ready: what flavor- couldn’t tell.
John Lydon of Public Image Limited is understandably the focus of all things PIL, John being the only constant member in the revolving door of musicians that have come and gone.
But his current lineup of musicians have been with him for quite awhile now, all of them misfits in their own unique way.
You have Lu Edmonds on Guitar, Scott Firth on Bass and Synth with samples, and Bruce Smith on Drums.
A formidable bunch when considering the dexterity and might of a typical PIL song.
This current lineup of Public Image Limited continues to challenge and thrive up to the present day.
Have to say that John Lydon and his trusty lyric book ever at the ready dominates the show even without much rock n’ roll and punk fanfare, having the look and feel of a concerned citizen exploding onstage with a constant airing of grievances, making a strong impression that will stick with me for awhile: that it’s not fun getting old, and all of you should fuck off.
It’s often been said that John Lydon is a creative lightning rod, that you better keep an eye on him when he performs, because you never know if and when he’ll snap, and throw the spit bucket out to the crowd.
Although this didn’t happen, you can see the anger clearly visible on John’s face depending on the song he’s singing.
Public Image Limited is a band still worthy of your attention. A band consisting of clashing personalities and challenging street cred.
Every night is an anthem of rebellion and relish in mistakes, and take the marching band from the movie Animal House, and have them march into a dead end alley and crash into the brick wall.
As for me,  I live for unpredictable excitement when photographing and documenting live rock n’ Roll shows, and John Lydon and his band Public Image Limited are still worthy of my time and attention.
Cheers- Bobby Talamine – Music Photographer

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