John Lydon scatters the ashes of fan ‘Stuart’ onstage at PIL gig in Frome.

Public Image Ltd are nearing the end of the UK leg of their tour which finishes, with yet another Sold Out show at the Engine Rooms Southampton on Saturday (30th June 2018). Then they go to Europe for more festival dates.

Something quite unusual happened at Wednesday nights gig at the Cheese and Grain in Frome though.  It appeared on social media, but I wanted to check with PiL’s publicist before repeating it.   This is what she said, partly quoting John’s minder Rambo:

Apparently a girl took her brother’s ashes to the gig (he was a big fan of John /PiL) and she managed to get hold of Rambo. He says:

“She asked if John would scatter the ashes of her brother Stuart on the stage. John was very much up for it. She cried when John said yes and obliged. I think it was after the first song. They {the ashes} went everywhere, including all over John.”

Apparently there was massive applause as you’d expect. It was a sold out, extremely hot gig.

On the Public Image Ltd (This is PiL)  Fan group on Facebook, Karen Dimond-Brewer wrote;

  I have never seen anything like it before.  Very touching and heart warming. Respect !!

Danielle Bennett  added:

Stuart, RIP I didn’t know you, but you looked beautiful, like star dust.  John Lydon did you proud.

On Twitter @RozDarkCity said:

John Lydon said afterwards Stuart ‘tasted of Gauloises’.

John Brewer said on Twitter

This was actually a very moving moment and John treated it with equal reverence and humour, shows the quality of the man, a living legend. 

And on behalf of Louder Than War, I can only echo that sentiment.  John Lydon gets a lot of flak from some quarters, but the man has a heart and soul.  This shows him in a very positive light in my opinion.

Nice one John,


With Respect and condolences to Stuart’s friends and family. 



Stuarts sister has left a comment below – which we have passed on to John and Rambo.


©  Ged Babey  for LTW


Thanks to those PiL-fans who I have quoted from social media, and to Vinnie for drawing it to my attention (GB)

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Ged Babey is 56. from Southampton, has written since 1985 for Sound Info, Due South, various fanzines and websites, contributed to Record Collector magazine and was sole author of 'Punk Throwback' fanzine -the name of which was taken from an insult hurled at him by the singer with a young band he managed for a while. Ged believes that all good music and art has a connection with punk rock.


  1. Thank you for taking this amazing act of kindness and emotion to a wider audience, it proves what a humane,sentimental people person John Lydon is

  2. I am Stuarts sister. Thank you to Mr Lydon and ‘Rambo’. I am so deeply grateful to you both. Stu was only 50 when he died, and had been a life long fan, as I am. I have been trying to find a way to contact them and give me thanks and gratitude. Mr Lydon, you are a Gent with a huge heart. My love Sandi xx

    • Sandi, sorry to hear about Stuart. He sounds like one of our people – passionate and in love with music. I can put you in touch with Lydon’s people. Will email.

  3. That is probably the most ingenious and most original ways of celebrating someone’s passing. Where better than one of your favourite bands on a stage with a crowd paying their respects. Best thing I’ve heard about in a while, fills me with a warm glow, and my respect for Mr Lydon goes up yet another notch!
    Great work John and RIP Stuart, I didn’t know you but I’m impressed with your exit from this planet!


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