Richey Edwards and The Manic St. Preachers
I came to The Manic Street Preachers both early and late. I liked some of their early Glam stuff (with Richey James), didn’t care for their middle period (without Richey) and love their current stuff. The Manics formed in Wales (?) in 1986 as a quartet – James Dean Bradfield (Guitar & Vocals), Sean Moore (Drums), Nicky Wire (Bass) & Richey James (Guitar & Vocals). They broke (sort of) big w/ their first LP, Generation Terrorists, selling 250,000 copies. When interviewed about their new sound (they started as a punk outfit) Richey James carved the words 4Real into his arm to prove his sincerity. Hospitalized w/ a bunch of stitches, the cracks in Richey’s sanity were starting to show. On February 1st, 1995 Richey left his London hotel and was never seen or heard from again. He was declared presumed dead on 23 November 2008 by his family. Manic Street Preachers was put on hold for six months and disbanding the group was seriously considered, but with the blessing of Edwards’ family, the other members continued. Over the last 20 years the band have put aside a percentage of the royalties should he return – which they recently paid to his family as he was officially declared dead last year. To compress their music and careers into one LP and the death of Richey James is a disservice to the band. Check them out for yourselves. Special attention to their recent 2013 LP Rewind the Film, it’s great.