David Hepworth's new book 1971 - Never a dull moment - chronicles the year that changed rock music forever. But how much do you know about what happened in that fateful 12 months?
On 1 February 1995, Richey Edwards, guitarist of the Manic Street Preachers, vanished from his London hotel room. His car was later discovered near the Severn Bridge, a notorious suicide spot. Withdrawn Traces, written with the co-operation of Richey’s sister Rachel and with access to his personal archive, brings us closer to the truth than ever before. This extract describes the day Richey went missing.
There were 25 of us in the band and entourage. We were like a family. We lived in each other’s pockets, travelling on the same private jet, staying on the same floor of the same hotel, eating dinner together backstage before the show, sightseeing, partying. The ‘band party’ travelled as a unit. It consisted of David himself, eight musicians, security, administrative staff, wardrobe and make-up, and me. Meanwhile, the ‘road crew’ went on ahead, to build the stage. Inevitably, cliques formed. We British guys tended to hang out together and that often included David. We were like a bunch of homesick ex-pats: we would grumble about the lack of marmalade at the hotel, or catch up with the English cricket results. Most of us prefer not to be reminded of our karaoke performances, but I will never forget David and I belting out a version of the Madness hit ‘Our House’, the pair of us overcome by nostalgia for dear old England even though – or perhaps because – we were a long way from our London roots.