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Features

Syd Barrett – Remember When You Were Young, You Shone Like the Sun

Sun 13’s Banjo looks at the life and troubled times of the Pink Floyd founder

April 6th saw the 50th anniversary of one of rock’s strangest and saddest chapters, when Syd Barrett was officially declared to be no longer a member of Pink Floyd, the band he had captained since their birth and the vehicle he used to give voice to his unique artistic vision.

Barrett formed Floyd with Roger WatersNick Mason and Rick Wright, moving them from R & B beginnings to their own psychedelic style. The Barrett-penned Arnold Layne was enough to get the band signed to EMI in 1967 and his See Emily Play gave them their first top ten hit.

Of their debut album Piper at the Gates of Dawn’s 11 tracks, 8 were solely credited to Barrett, while a further two tracks had him as co-writer. Barrett was Pink Floyd‘s chief songwriter, the man who gave them their direction and the reason they first found success.

But by the time Floyd’s second album, A Saucerful of Secrets, was released, it contained only one Barrett composition and his time in the band was almost at an end. The reasons for this are captivating, unsettling and, ultimately, very sad.

Barrett was creatively unique and a lot of the psychedelic movement’s bands owed a great deal to his vision. But he was also mentally quite fragile. As is the case with much of Barrett’s story, there are a lot of tales that have since become legendary, but many of the people close to him have contrasting accounts of his behavior and his mental well being.

What is certain is that Barrett developed a taste for the drugs that were fueling much of the psychedelic movement, drugs such as weed, mandrax and, most notably, LSD. Despite his prodigious drug intake though, it seems likely that these days there would be clearer diagnosis of Barrett‘s mental health, perhaps even one that was not recognised in the late 60s.  There would also be more help available, but back then this was sadly not the case.

My Morning Jacket: The Waterfall II – “A best-of without being just that”

Barrett’s family denied that he had suffered from any form of mental illness, but did allow that he had once spent time in a ‘home for lost souls’. Bandmate Roger Waters however believed that Barrett was ‘without a doubt’ suffering from schizophrenia. The huge amounts of LSD he was taking at the time may well have been a contributory factor, but David Gilmour stated ‘his nervous breakdown would have happened anyway. But I’ll say the psychedelic experience might well have acted as a catalyst’.

Whatever the cause, his behavior became increasingly strange and erratic.  Barrett reportedly went missing over a long weekend and came back irrevocably changed. Rick Wright believes that this was as a result of a massive overdose of LSD, as the change in him was so sudden. Following his return, Barrett was unable to recognise some of his friends and experienced hallucinations, confused speech and mood swings.

His performance on stage inevitably suffered. Sometimes he would play one chord for the entire evening, detune his guitar so that the strings went slack or he would simply not participate in the concert and refuse to play. This behavior extended to other promotional duties; during an interview on American TV, Barrett refused to answer any questions, fixing the interviewer with a dead eyed stare and total silence. Nick Mason commented that Barrett ‘wasn’t into moving his lips that day’.

As a result, David Gilmour was asked to join the band as a second guitarist, filling in when Barrett was unwilling or unable to perform. Sometimes, Barrett was simply not able to function as a live musician, to the extent of being unable to even hold a plectrum.

“The tyranny of collecting” – why I gave away my entire record collection

His performance on stage inevitably suffered. Sometimes he would play one chord for the entire evening, detune his guitar so that the strings went slack or he would simply not participate in the concert and refuse to play. This behavior extended to other promotional duties; during an interview on American TV, Barrett refused to answer any questions, fixing the interviewer with a dead eyed stare and total silence. Nick Mason commented that Barrett ‘wasn’t into moving his lips that day’.

As a result, David Gilmour was asked to join the band as a second guitarist, filling in when Barrett was unwilling or unable to perform. Sometimes, Barrett was simply not able to function as a live musician, to the extent of being unable to even hold a plectrum.

He soon tired of living in London and so gave away most of his possessions, including his guitars and master tapes, sold the rights to his solo records and returned to Cambridge. Obviously going through some sort of breakdown, he walked the 50 miles to his sister’s home and turned up unannounced on her doorstep in what would appear to be a very clear cry for help. His sister Rosemary remembered ‘he had some huge blisters on his feet that took a while to heal

Once here, he stopped calling himself Syd and reverted to his birth name of Roger.  He took up gardening and returned to painting, his retreat from music and fame earning him a reputation for being a recluse.  He survived on royalties from sales of the Pink Floyd songs he wrote, bolstered by the compilations the band released. David Gilmour was later to say that he ‘made sure that the money got to him’.

He had occasional contact with members of his old band. Roger Waters remembered bumping into him in Harrods where Barrett, on sighting his old friend, dropped the sweets he was buying and fled from the store. Waters, not wanting to add to his old friend’s distress any further, made no further attempts to contact Barrett.

One other meeting has since become the stuff of legend. Barrett somehow gained admission to the studio where Pink Floyd were recording Wish You Were Here and stood at the back of the room. The rest of the band failed to recognise him due to the fact that he had become quite overweight and had shaved off all his hair, including his eyebrows. This was the last time any member of Pink Floyd saw Syd Barrett.

Floyd were criticised by some quarters for the way they handle the situation, but with the band being so young it is hard to see what else they could have done, or how else they could have handled Barrett.

A few years later, Joy Division found themselves riddled with guilt after the death of Ian Curtis but, with the benefit of hindsight,  realised that they were ‘just kids’ and that they did not have the life skills, the knowledge or the experience to help their friend.  It is easy to see comparisons with Pink Floyd and the way they coped with Barrett‘s problems.

Following years away from fame and the music business, Barrett died of pancreatic cancer in 2006. His death certificate listed his occupation as ‘retired musician’

Syd Barrett’s influence cast a long shadow over British music for many years, whether in psychedelic music that he helped define or the articulate literacy of his lyrics, many people have found inspiration in his work. He was a one-off and an individual who had a creative drive and vision matched by few of his peers.

Although the band he helped become famous went on to huge success, they owe their journey to the crazy diamond that was Syd Barrett.

Despite their differences and awkwardness with each other over the years, it is perhaps Pink Floyd’s tribute to him,Shine on You Crazy Diamond, that sums him up best:  ‘Come on you raver, you seer of visions, come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/69jyJl6Lyo80nQae0X312i

Categories
Interviews

Peter Hook Interview: “I’ve managed to take Joy Division all round the world”

Banjo chats to to Joy Division and New Order’s bass viking about self belief, starting again and the absence of a happy ending.

Categories
Interviews

Dave Haslam Interview: “There is a redemptive power in music”

Following the release of Dave Haslam’s autobiography Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor Banjo chatted with him about moving from post punk to dance, losing the safety net and playing The Smiths at Cream.

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Features

“The tyranny of collecting” – why I gave away my entire record collection

Those of us who have spent many years building up on our record collection may never dream of giving it all away, but that is exactly what our man Banjo did.

Categories
Features

Eric’s – a personal journey through Liverpool’s original punk club

Punk has become many things in the 40 years since it went overground.

It has become acceptable, stripped by time and familiarity of the ability to shock.  It has become common place – punk fashion and influence can be seen pretty much everywhere.  It has become an exercise in nostalgia; punk bands still play gigs to the same crowds who saw them decades ago, cosy gigs reliving a collective youth.

And it has become commodified, a trend that in truth started worryingly early.  These days, Ramones and Joy Division t-shirts can be snapped up in Primark, extravagantly dyed hair, ripped jeans and multiple earrings are mainstream and raise not a single eyebrow.

But it was not always like this.  Oh no – once upon a time, Punk was a dangerous, exciting thing to be involved with. Questions were asked about it in the Houses of Parliament and just looking like a punk could get you chased, beaten and worse.

In those far off days, this shocking new phenomenon was news!  Music papers particularly couldn’t get enough of it, devoting almost whole issues to its rise. But, John Peel aside, it was almost impossible for young teens to actually hear the music itself.

Thank God then for Roger Eagle being, not for the first time in his life, in the right place at the right time. And, more importantly, with the right attitude.

Following on from creating successful and influential nights at the Twisted Wheel in Manchester and the Stadium in Liverpool, Roger, along with Pete Fulwell and Ken Testi, opened Eric’s in 1976, just in time for punk to spread out from London to Manchester and then to the provinces.

The first band to appear at Eric’s were The Stranglers, followed a week later by The Runaways and then The Sex Pistols. Eric’s had clearly tapped into a rich vein of exciting new music with punk beginning to explode. Not that it was ever a punk club per se, also featuring gigs from such diverse artists as Steve Hillage, Van der Graaf Generator, B.B. King and many reggae artists such as Prince Far I and Inner Circle.

The first run of gigs at Eric's
The first run of gigs at Eric’s

Roger Eagle was one of the rare breed of people who were more interested in the art of what they were doing rather than the finances, so the more popular gigs by the likes of The Clash and The Damned funded gigs by artists less likely to pull in a large number of paying guests, but Roger would rather spend time and money showcasing wonderful music for a smaller audience than have it ignored.

His legendary enthusiasm for music and for turning other people on to bands he loved was undoubtedly one of Eric’s best assets.

This writer’s own calling to Eric’s came whilst still a fresh-out-of -school 16 year old, starting what would be my final summer holiday, marooned between the childish world of school and the more grown-up world of college. 

Towards the end of my school life, a schoolmate had moved away, only about 5 miles down the road, but enough at that age to make it difficult to maintain a friendship where seeing each other every day was normal and effort free.

We have, in fact, remained friends to this day. We got into punk together that year, neither of us knowing the full seismic effect this would have on the rest of our lives.

On the second week of this summer break, this friend phoned with an invitation to join him and some others in going to a punk club in Liverpool to see Magazine play a matinee show. To my eternal regret, after hearing all the shock horror stories in the press, I bottled out and stayed at home, wracked with jealousy.

When I found out the day had passed without major incident, we plans to go the following week to see Rich Kids, the band  Glen Matlock formed after leaving The Sex Pistols. So when the next Saturday came around, I pocketed my £2.50 pocket money and headed off to a brave new world.

Graffiti was quite big with punks at the time, not the arty tags or Banksy murals we see now, but crude Magic Marker scrawlings of band names and slogans. We all set pen to the train shelter while waiting for the train into town.

Terrible really, and the kind of thing I hate to see these days, but it seemed to be somehow important then; part of the Destroy culture that punk embodied, a lack of respect for your elders and surroundings. We thought we had a point to prove; to go against the grain, be disruptive, sign your contempt for the world and your surroundings as boldly as you can.

There was an interview with John Lydon’s wife Nora, many years later, where she recalled in 1976 being advised not to have these punks in her house, not because they would steal or break anything but because they were likely to write on her walls in paint and pen.

Arriving at Eric’s, we found we had to first become members before being allowed entry (something about it being a members only club gave it extra freedoms within the law, such as staying open late).

At first this extra expense was dismaying, taking my last 50p as it did, but looking back, 50p for a year’s membership of Eric’s must be classed as something of a bargain.

I paid this and the £1.00 entry fee and went down the Eric’s staircase for the first time. Memories of this portentous event are scarce, but it was like nothing we’d seen before.

Previous experiences of music played at anything above front room levels of volume had been local discos, and Eric’s was nothing like that. Dark, damp and with dirty red walls, walking down those stairs was walking into another world.

Proper bands played here, proper punks came here and we were entering their world. This was a big deal, although how big a deal was not immediately apparent.

As this was a matinee gig for under 18s the bar served only soft drinks, so we bought Cokes. This was a masterstroke of Eric’s – adding a matinee show meant that bands could be booked for two shows in Liverpool and then another night at Manchester’s Factory venue which in turn, made it more financially viable for bands  to make the trip North.

Away from those practical considerations, it meant that a generation of kids, ideally aged in 1977 for the shockwaves and upheaval of punk, could be part of things in a way that otherwise would have been beyond our means, schemes and wildest dreams.

It is impossible to overemphasise the impact this had on a bunch of 16 year olds from the sticks. Being a punk in a small town was to be in a small minority and made walking its streets and corridors a dangerous prospect, but Eric’s gave young outsiders a place to belong, maybe for the first time.

In return, the Eric’s owners, movers and shakers seemed genuinely fond of the young crowd and what they brought to the club.  Big in Japan dedicated their only proper release to “the Eric’s matinee crowd” and their singer, Jayne Casey, still tells the tale of when Iggy Pop played Eric’s on his birthday.

The matinee crowd, myself included, burst into a spontaneous version of Happy Birthday to You in a way that a grown-up crowd would most definitely not have done. Not expecting this reaction, Iggy grinned from ear to ear, his rock star persona punctured by this young gesture.

Iggy Pop at Liverpool Eric’s: Shock was part of the currency of the early punks and, in Iggy, they had inspiration of sorts

Memory is not perhaps 100% reliable here, but there were a plethora soon-to-be famous faces working on the bar or on the door.  Ian Broudie certainly used to be on the door a fair bit, and there are blurry recollections of Mac, Julian Cope and Pete Wylie’s talents being employed in some capacity or other.

I seem to remember Pete Burns DJing occasionally. I always strongly suspected that he brought records down from his day job at Probe Records, played them in the club and then took them back and sold them, along with a nice crackly coating of sweat and beer.

The bar area was the first room you walked in to as you came down the stairs, with a dark seated area with the legendary Eric’s jukebox to the right and the stage area through a doorway in front.

After collecting our Cokes, we took our place stage left, me marvelling at the fact that I was in a punk club for the first time in my life.

Everyone looked punkier than us, so mental notes were made to make a few changes to wardrobe in future. The long hair had already gone, chopped off a few days after hearing God Save The Queen for the first time.

After standing around for a while, the support band came on. I had no idea who they were and had never heard them before; few people had then. The lead singer walked to the mic and said, “Hello. we’re Joy Division.”

So the first live punk band we saw at Eric’s turned out to be Joy Division!  Sometimes fate just seems to treat you well. Obviously this gig was now a long time ago and we had no idea just how immense Joy Division would turn out to be, but I can clearly remember the bass lines of Transmission and She’s Lost Control and can recall them playing Ice Age and They Walked in Line.

We were instantly hooked. From now on Joy Division were our band and we saw them every time they played a matinee show, as well as gigs in Preston and Leeds. We saw them go from support band to headline act, although the first headline show I saw them play was to less than 20 people.

After they finished their set, we waited for Rich Kids to take to the stage. We were about to see a Sex Pistol and were beside ourselves with excitement. Again, time has dimmed my memory of the gig somewhat, but loud punk music (or Power Pop as the Rich Kids were briefly classed) had well and truly got us and this was without question the most exciting day of our young lives.

Following the gig, the band came out of the dressing room and hung around the bar, chatting and signing autographs.

At the tender age of 16 and in one single afternoon, we had been to a punk club, seen Joy Division and got an autograph from a Sex Pistol. How could we not fall in love with this wonderful place?!

My second trip to Eric’s was to see The Clash on their Tommy Gun tour, ably supported by The Specials, in one of the best and most overcrowded gigs we ever attended. Eric’s had delivered again and our fate had been sealed.

For the next two years or so we would be back every Saturday. I even once, through a special mixture of sulking and badgering,  forced my poor suffering parents to cut a holiday in London short so I could be back in my beloved Eric’s to watch Joy Division again.

It doesn’t happen often in life that we are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, but when it happened  I am eternally glad that I made the most of it and have so many memories of my time at this legendary club.

Banjo

Categories
Interviews

Stephen Morris interview: “We didn’t want to be Joy Division anymore, but we didn’t know anything else”

With New Order drum maestro Stephen Morris’ autobiography now published, Banjo catches up with the post punk legend.

Categories
Interviews

Wayne Hussey Interview: ” still get a big kick out of making records and writing songs. When it kicks into place there’s nothing quite like it”

Wayne Hussey

Wayne Hussey can be said to be something of a well travelled soul, both musically and geographically speaking.  Moving to Liverpool in the late 70s, he was involved with the scene that sprung up around the famous Eric’s club and joined ex-Penetration singer Pauline Murray in The Invisible Girls, later being snapped up by Pete Burns and Dead or Alive

From here he joined the Sisters of Mercy and moved to Leeds.  When The Sisters fell apart, he formed The Mission, where success took him to London.  Later in life, love took him to Brazil, where he now lives with his wife. 

It is fair to say that The Mission has been his most enduring and successful band, still active over thirty years later. 

The band rode the crest of a wave as, for want of a better term, goth started to flourish and became a huge live draw, headlining Reading Festival twice and selling out Wembley, tearing around the world on a diet of Blue Nun wine.    

While The Sisters have become what is politely referred to as a ‘Heritage Act’, whereby they tour old material to a nostalgic audience, effectively becoming their own tribute act, The Mission seem to have reached a perfect balance whereby they cease operations almost completely between albums and tours, coming together again when their muse strikes. 

Outside of The Mission, Hussey has released solo albums and collaborations, testament to his creative drive and desire to continue making music. 

Ahead of The Mission’s latest Liverpool gig at the O2 Academy on May 19, Getintothis caught up with Wayne, to discuss life, love and Liverpool.

Hussey has an immediately recognizable voice.  Anyone who was even vaguely into the 80’s goth scene will have come across The Mission and, more than likely, seen them live.  His voice has an almost jovial quality to it and, unusually for an interview situation, he asks almost as many questions as he receives, turning the whole thing into more of a chat than any kind of formal question and answer session. 

He also has an infectious laugh that peppers our conversation, which adds further to the good-natured atmosphere.  It is also easy to tell that Wayne has done many interviews over the years, and chooses his words well, not being afraid of pausing to search for the right word or phrase to best express himself. 

As Wayne was a Liverpool resident for some years, this is naturally where our conversation starts. 

It’s been a while since we played there actually.  We have been busy, but considering that I lived in Liverpool for six years, it’s always nice to go back.  I think it must be getting on for ten years actually

Do you still feel any connection with Liverpool, given that you spent some of your formative musical years there? 

“I have very, very fond memories of living in Liverpool.  I moved there when I was just turned 19 and left 83/84, so I was there for five or six years.  I remember it just being sunny all the time, but I know that’s not right because I’ve been to Liverpool since [Laughs]”

No, I can assure you it isn’t sunny all the time.

No, but that’s how I remember it.  It must have had something to do with the drugs at the time I guess [laughs].  I lived in the Tuebrook area, but moved to Sefton Park, as you did then when you were in that kind of crowd

What are your main memories of that time? 

Well, obviously I used to go to Eric’s.  It was kind of the epicenter for our generation of musicians.  When I saw our generation of musicians, I mean the alternative musicians, not the ones who would play the nightclubs and clubs but the more…..punk musicians I suppose. 

Not that I ever considered myself to be punk.  But I saw a lot of bands at Eric’s, I was even in bands myself who supported big bands there.  It was a good time. 

And I’m still obviously a big Liverpool supporter.  When I was a kid, football was my big passion, but then in 1972 I saw T Rex and Bowie, so that changed the course of my life” 

So how did punk affect you when it first broke? 

Well I was still in Bristol am I saw The Damned supporting T Rex on 76, I saw The Clash, Television supported by Blondie before I moved to Liverpool.  And then once I got there I met some people who told me about Eric’s and I saw a lot of gigs there. 

We supported The Pretenders, the original Ultravox, Joy Division supported the band I was in

So that would be [late 70s Liverpool band] Ded Byrds then? 

Yeah, that was Ded Byrds.  Bloody hell, you’ve done your research [laughs]

Well I saw Ded Byrds there a few times, I saw your gig with Ultravox.  In fact, I have your autographs somewhere

Bloody hell [laughs] You must have been the first person to ask for my autograph. 

I think there were too many egos in that band.  When we supported The Pretenders, Seymour Stein was at the show, as he’d just signed them for America, and he saw us and loved us, so we signed to Sire, we were about to go on tour with The Ramones, then we just had a fight and split up

That must have been really frustrating!  

Well, I don’t know.  You never know what course you would have taken if things had been different, maybe the Ded Byrds would have been around and we’d be playing The Masonic [laughs]

After all these years of playing music, what’s in it for you these days?  “Well, I love music.  I love listening to it, I love sitting down with a guitar and trying to play along to somebody else’s record and seeing if I can play it. 

And if I can’t then I just take what I’ve worked out and write my own song [laughs]. 

From the time I first started playing guitar I could never play anybody else’s song, so I listened to records and tried to assimilate what I could and end up writing my own song. 

Which has actually stood me in pretty good stead I think, and I still get a big kick out of making records and writing songs.  When it kicks into place there’s nothing quite like it

I remember Billy Duffy [Guitarist from the Cult] saying that punk stopped him from listening to a lot of older rock music, and that when his punk conscience let him, he discovered that he really liked a lot of it.  Was there a similar thing for you at any time? 

Not really, because I was into a lot of music before punk came along, so I was into Bowie and T Rex from the tail end of 71/72, and then Roxy Music.  So I was kind of one of those weird kids at school who moved from pop music into rock. 

I got into Black Sabath and Pink Floyd – Pink Floyd were actually the first band I ever saw live.  Pink Floyd cost me a quid [laughs]”. 

Bloody hell, it cost me a quid to see Ded Byrds. 

“[laughs]  Billy was a few years younger than me, but what punk did for me was it made me realise that anybody could get up and play, it wasn’t about being a virtuoso, it was about having energy and good ideas.  And an attitude as well. 

Although I have to say the a lot of the punk music at the time, particularly the English side of it, was a little too non-musical for my tastes.  I preferred more the New York end of things, Talking Heads, Television, that kind of vibe. 

For an 18/19 year old, it seemed a bit more musical to me.  So I never had that, but I do think that when punk came along there was a degree of de-learning. 

By then I’d been playing for three or four years, so I was already of a certain proficiency on the guitar and I think I had to kind of, not dumb it down, but to approach it differently, and to de-learn. 

With punk you had to throw the rule book out of the window” 

Which is what made the music that came after it so interesting I think

“Yeah, absolutely.  Without punk there wouldn’t be 95% of the bands that are around today

What records are you listening to these days? 

Well I don’t go out and actively look for new things to listen to, but I read reviews and if there’s something that sounds interesting I’ll search it out.  Or if someone recommends something I’ll have a listen. 

But someone said that when they look at my Facebook page, I’m always recommending bands!  They said you recommend Tame Impale, you recommend The XX, Laura Marling, or The Smoke Fairies.  I said I suppose so, but I considered that I just went backwards into more and more older music. 

But I still like to hear new things and I think there is a lot of good music out there, I’m just not particularly exposed to it out in Brazil”

So why did you settle in Brazil? 

“Well my wife’s an actress, so she needs to be there for her work, where I can pretty much do mine anywhere in the world.  I do miss the interaction I have to say, when there’s a group of you in the studio playing, I do miss that”

So you kind of write by email these days? 

“Well throughout the band’s history I’ve kind of written the songs and then taken them to the group.  It kind of gives me license to say that this is how it goes.  Sometimes I go in with very strong ideas and sometimes with almost no idea at all and we bash it around until we find something we like

I wrote an article on your fans and the lengths they would go to follow you around and go to your gigs and they still do to this day.  You have the most dedicated fans I think I’ve ever known, what do you put that down to? 

I don’t know really, to be honest with you.  I’d like to attribute it to some kind of integrity that the band have, but I don’t think we’ve got more integrity than anybody else. 

I think there are a whole load of bands from the 80s who benefitted from the fact that the fans were young at that time and have stayed with them.

I’m not sure that the same thing applies to 90s bands.  I think that, whether we like it or not, nostalgia is a big seller and I think that people come to shows not just for the visceral moment of being there, but also they come to relive something, to remember something” 

But at the same time, you’ve never really rested on your laurels, you’ve always created new music and moved it forward

Well there is that, but I would say that’s been more detrimental to us really.  There are some bands that haven’t made records for years and they still command a very loyal audience. 

There are bands that make the same record over and over again and are huge.

I think with us, my boredom threshold is very low, so I like to make records that challenge me as well as challenge the audience

So what’s next for The Mission? 

Well we do these shows, then we have some more in November playing with Alice Cooper and then after that we’re going to take a break.  I think we’ve been back together since 2011 and I’m just starting to feel a little bit bored with the rock band format. 

And I think that with the last album we did I kind of tied up a lot of loose ends in my own little mind and I think it’s just time to do something else. 

That’s not to say that we won’t get back to it at some point, but I think it’s time we all had a little break from it and did something else.  And I know that Craig, Simon and Mike need it too.  So we’ll finish the shows this year and take a little time out.  Also, I’m writing my autobiography” 

Well that should be a good read

Well we’ll see [laughs].  It depends on what I decide to keep in or edit out.  But I’m having fun writing it that’s for sure.  It’s amazing how you can remember one thing and it opens up a load of other memories. 

And it’s quite interesting, even when I’m talking with Craig and Simon, and we’re talking about a particular incident we all remember it completely differently.  So this will be my take, my memory of things

Well, one last question Wayne.  How easy is it to get Blue Nun these days? 

I haven’t drunk Blue Nun in years! Somebody brought a bottle to a show two or three years ago, and we opened it and tried it and, aw God man, how did we ever drink that stuff [laughs]. 

I’m on the red these days

And with that we say our goodbyes.  Wayne Hussey has come a long way since the Ded Byrds, and even a long way from his time in The Sisters

From Liverpool to Brazil and from cheap white to a (presumably) more classy red.  He sounds like that rarest of creatures, a musician who is at peace with his past, is enjoying his present and has an eye on his future. 

We wish him well and we’ll see him from the mosh pit soon.

Banjo