Thursday, 9 February 2012

Richey Edwards remembered

Richey Edwards was last seen on February 7th 1995 by a taxi driver, and this week marks seventeen years since the Manic Street Preachers lyricist's tragic disappearance. 


Edwards was a massively intelligent individual, perhaps too intelligent to attempt to ignore the horrors of this world. He wasn't at all skilled as a musician and his guitar playing would be turned down during gigs, sometimes he wouldn't even be plugged in: Richey wanted to be a rock star but without being able to adequately play an instrument he knew that his lyrical abilities were to hold the key. Deeply poetic and full of the most inspired lyrical references, the words he wrote for the Manics were nothing short of incredible, and on their masterpiece The Holy Bible the startling and unconventional rhythmic patterns of the words must have made it a challenge for James Dean Bradfield to sculpt into perfectly defined verses. 


For example there's the astounding 'Yes'... Listen to this track and follow the lyrics below at the same time. If this isn't musical genius of the highest order then I don't know what is. 





For sale? dumb cunt's same dumb questions
Oh virgins? listen, all virgins are liars honey
And I don't know what I'm scared of or what I even enjoy
Dulling, get money, but nothing turns out like you want it to


And in these plagued streets of pity you can buy anything
For $200 anyone can conceive a God on video
He's a boy, you want a girl so tear off his cock
Tie his hair in bunches, fuck him, call him Rita if you want


I eat and I dress and I wash and I still can say thank you
Puking - shaking - sinking I still stand for old ladies
Can't shout, can't scream, hurt myself to get pain out


I 'T' them, 24:7, all year long
Purgatory's circle, drowning here, someone will always say yes
Funny place for the social, for the insects to start caring
Just an ambulance at the bottom of a cliff


In these plagued streets of pity you can buy anything
For $200 anyone can conceive a God on video
He's a boy, you want a girl so tear off his cock
Tie his hair in bunches, fuck him, call him Rita if you want, if you want


I eat and I dress and I wash and I can still say thank you
Puking - shaking - sinking I still stand for old ladies
Can't shout, can't scream, I hurt myself to get pain out


Power produces desire, the weak have none
There's no lust in this coma even for a fifty
Solitude, solitude, the 11th commandment


The only certain thing that is left about me
There is no part of my body that has not been used
Pity or pain, to show displeasure's shame
Everyone I've loved or hated always seems to leave


And in these plagued streets of pity you can buy anything
For $200 anyone can conceive a God on video
He's a boy, you want a girl so tear off his cock
Tie his hair in bunches, fuck him, call him Rita if you want, if you want


Power produces desire, the weak have none
There's no lust in this coma even for a fifty
Solitude, solitude, the 11th commandment


Don't hurt, just obey, lie down, do as they say
May as well be heaven this hell, smells the same
These sunless afternoons I can't find myself



Since his disappearance the band soldiered on without him, creating a different version of themselves that filled the void Richey left with big rock anthems and epic balladry that continues to amaze and thrill many people, but without Richey's lyrics they were never going to be same band they were before 1995. When the group felt the time was right they revisited lyric books left to them by Edwards before his disappearance, and in 2009 released an album based on these lyrics entitled 'Journal For Plague Lovers', an album which proved the effect Richey's lyrics had on the band's musical direction. As the band put it themselves the presence of Richey's words make them "feel like a four piece again". 


In legal terms Richey Edwards was legally declared dead in 2008 but his body has never been found. Some presume he jumped from the Severn Bridge to his death, others think he may still be out there somewhere. Whatever happened to Richey, his legacy as a rock icon and poetic genius will never be forgotten by all those who have ever been touched by his incredible lyrics.....


A book on his life 'A Version Of Reason' by Rob Jovanovic is a fascinating and compelling read, and so is this website:  The Last Of Richey Edwards?

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