By the time I got to London, new sounds were taking over from punk and post-punk. A group of twenty-somethings calling themselves the ‘Blitz Kids’ had infiltrated a number of London clubs. These clubs were soon attracting crowds of kids dressed as pirates, spacemen and processed meats. The actual music was ordinary, and sounded like it belonged on the soundtrack to some sleazy sci-fi flick. I spent an afternoon with Duran Duran, but they were only interested in snorting eye shadow and smoking lace underwear.
I spent some time in Manchester in 83/84. Johnny Marr found out that I was in town and asked me to come along to a recording session. Of course, I had to take some of my mother’s baked goodies for the band, although Morrissey complained that the biscuits were shaped like animals and refused to eat them.
Morrissey has the reputation of being a bit of a grump, but during those sessions he proved to be a practical joker. One morning, Mike Joyce woke to find his feet stapled to a pig. Another day, the moody singer poured warthog semen into Andy Rourke’s beer.
I was still in Manchester when the whole ‘baggy’ movement started. In fact, Shaun Ryder and I came up with the name for the movement. It had nothing to do with ‘baggy’ clothes, but referred to the ‘baggies’ we used to keep our drugs in. Pills and powders were plentiful, and there was so much of them that we could afford to remain stoned for most of the day. This was fun until it came time to do anything sensible, and we discovered that we were unable to do anything but make a low farting rumble.
In the early 90s, I worked with My Bloody Valentine, and was handsomely paid to impersonate one of Kevin’s guitars. It was some time before he realised that his guitar was a balding middle-aged man.
During the Britpop furore, I had both Noel and Damon calling me up for scone recipes. They seemed to think it was a ‘bake-off’ situation, and were equally determined to win any prize cheesecake. I invited both bands to my house for a simple baking session, but we’d only been at it for ten minutes before the Oasis mob began stuffing great wads of flour into their nostrils.
As the century drew to a close, I found myself in New York, putting together an instrumental album with Moby, featuring the sounds of various foods. The album was never officially released, but remains a ‘must have’ underground hit, if only for the 20-min opening track “A is for Artichoke”, which was a dancefloor favourite across Europe in 1999.
The new century has been quiet for me so far. There has been little demand for my mother’s cakes and biscuits, and my own skills seem to have become redundant.
I am, however, putting together my own musical group, in which we play rock ‘n’ roll standards on toy instruments.
We’re keeping details of the project under wraps for the time being, although I can tell you that Annie Lennox, Adam Ant and Midge Ure have contributed.
The band is tentatively called Madeleine’s Goitre.
Kevin Shields did not realise that one of his guitars
was a middle-aged man.