Clitheroe artist’s portrait of guitar ace Steve Cropper

Graphic artist Stu Rutter with his picture of Steve Cropper (s).
Graphic artist Stu Rutter with his picture of Steve Cropper (s).
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Superfan Stu Rutter has used his art talents to create a picture of American guitar ace Steve Cropper... and the legendary musician loves it.

Stu, of Salthill Road, Clitheroe, is a big fan of Cropper, who co-wrote and played on the late Otis Redding’s “Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay” and played with Booker T. and the M.Gs, providing the memorable guitar licks for classic instrumental hits including “Green Onions” and “Time is Tight.”

Stu caught up with Cropper when he appeared in Clitheroe playing with British 1960s band The Animals at The Grand and asked if he would like a portrait of himself. Inspired by a photo of Cropper, the former Clitheroe Royal Grammar School student set to work with 7B pencil and charcoal to create a drawing that captures the musician’s characterful face and twinkling eyes. He emailed a copy to Cropper to see if it made the grade, and Cropper replied: “I love it.”

Stu (51), a self-employed graphic artist after 25 years in the printing industry, will now parcel up the portrait and send it to Cropper’s home in Nashville, Tennessee.

For years Stu has been a follower of 1960s R n’ B and Stax soul music, and first met Cropper in 2008 when he was playing with The Animals in Wolverhampton. Since then, their paths have crossed at other gigs, and Stu was surprised when he was having a quiet drink in the Swan and Royal and Cropper ambled in. Stu said: “He joined me at the bar and we had a good old catch-up.

“It was quite surreal for me, drinking, having a general chat, talking about life families and such with this giant of musical history.”

Later, Stu brought a portrait of his partner Karen to show to Cropper, who liked Stu’s style and said he would like one of himself.

To see more of Stu’s work or to get in touch if you would like to commission him, visit his website at or call him on 0799061829.