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Johnny's "still" Rotten to Neil "not so" Young @ TIFF

Johnny Rotten (John Lydon), the frontman for the late 70s original Punkers, The Sex Pistols. His facial expressions are a photographers bounty. The connection with Neil Young is interesting since Young suggested "its better to burn out, then it is to rust" when he included the reference to Johnny Rotten. (The King is gone, but not forgotten, is this the story of Johnny Rotten).

by Rick Madonik, Staff Photographer

This year's installment of TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) is winding up, but my days of endless hours waiting in line to get to the photo pool area of a red carpet, or running from hotel room to hotel room to hotel room for my 30, sometimes allotted, second photo-op, are done. After eight straight days of TIFF, I'm TIFFified, TIFF'd OUT and just plain old TIFF'd.

I'll openly admit its not one of my favorite annual events, but it does have its moments.

My experience, this year at least, seem to gather a theme. Considering it is a film festival, and one of the most important in the world (at least for the industry and celebrity magazines), music seem to be the current I got caught up in. The fact I had seen 3 of the 4 artists I shot, as a paying fan and not in the photo pit for the customary 3 song limit), was an added bonus.

I jumped from Bono and The Edge, whom I just saw weeks ago at Rogers Centre when they played the rescheduled dates from last year's interrupted 360 tour - it was my virgin U2 show always kicking myself for not having gone in 86 when I had a golden opportunity, to Johnny Rotten (Sex Pistols) to Pearl Jam to a songwriter I, personally, feel is a musical god, our very own Neil Young.

Always aloof with the media, Neil Young waves to fans as he slides along the red carpet not bothering to stop for the customary pics for assembled photogs. 

Multi talented music producer/musician Daniel Lanois stops on the red carpet after we asked if he could get Neil to come back to pose for some pictures after he blew past us. Lanois promised to try.

 Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder heads into the screening of Neil Young Journeys. Vedder would later perform in his band's 2nd concert at the ACC later that night. The night before Young joined the grunge rockers on stage for a 25 minute set. Pearl jam long ago credited Neil Young as being the grandfather of Grunge music.

Rm_pearl jam01_800
Perhaps one of the worst pictures I've ever taken. HAHAHAHA! Sometimes it is what it is, especially when the photo shoot wasn't preapproved and the alternative was 6 men sitting around a boardroom table in the Prime MInister's Suite of a hotel. I got 30 seconds to put them at the end of the table before the interview. 

 Associated Press TV reporter waits his turn for Pearl Jam interview. My own 30 seconds with the band was sandwiched between a People magazine shoot/interview and APTV interviews.

Rm_U2_01U2 frontmam Bono meets with fans lined up outside Roy Thomson Hall for the screening of the documentary about the famous Irish rockband.

Lydon not-too-long-ago spent a considerable amount of money to fix his teeth. His stage name, Johnny Rotten, came from the fact his teeth were in such bad shape.

There continues to be parts of the old "punker" in Johnny Rotten these days. Certaintly more subdued, as age is prone to do, but his rebel ways continue as the interview room smells like an ashtray after numerous back-to-back sessions and continual smoking by the musician.


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