Monday, 1 December 2008
RIP: Richey James Edwards 1967-1995
Hmmm...this is quickly turning into an rockstar obituary blog.
And while it looks like I'm reporting 13-year-old news (hear it first on Wireless Cranium!) there's a twist to this one.
Richey Edwards, rhythm guitarist, lyricist and founding member of Welsh band Manic Street Preachers, disappeared on 1st February 1995. It's almost 14 years on, and no body has been found. On 23rd November 2008 he became officially "presumed dead". Hence, this obituary.
Richey embodied the spirit of early Manics. They released 3 albums in his lifetime: the patchy and overlong (but brilliant in parts) debut Generation terrorists (1992), underrated follow-up Gold against the soul (1993) and dark tortured masterwork The holy bible (1994). While he was a pretty poor rhythm guitarist by all accounts (James Dean Bradfield made up for it with his stellar lead guitar work), it was his dark, tortured lyrics which he became known for.
Richey was also quite a troubled young man, into self-mutilation and the like. In hindsight, it's no surprise that he became a member of the not-so-exclusive 27 club. Like Elvis, there have been many Richey sightings over the years. But I think we can safely say that if he is alive, he doesn't want people to know about it.
It's been a long time, but rest in peace Richey, wherever you are.
Here's one of the Manics' darkest songs (about anorexia) from The holy bible.
MP3: Manic Street Preachers - 4st 7lb [Link removed]
P.S. Apparently the Manics' 9th studio album, Journal for plague lovers, will contain many lyrics from the late Richey. It will also be produced by Steve Albini.
Update: Song links removed.