Today, Dec 22, if he’s still alive, Richey Edwards would be 51 years old. While yesterday, Dec 21, 24 years ago, was Edwards’ last concert ever.
The enigmatic Richard James Edwards started his involvement with Manic Street Preachers as the driver and the roadie. Despite his little musical talent—he couldn’t really play guitar, frequently mimed it during early live performances—his main contribution to the band was in their lyrics, design, overall music direction.
Edwards suffered severe bouts of depression in his adult life. He also self-harmed, mainly through stubbing cigarettes on his body, and cutting himself. “I’m not a person who can scream and shout so this is my only outlet. It’s all done very logically.”
He checked into a psychiatric hospital after the release of the third album—the last for Edwards—The Holy Bible, missing out on some of the promotional work for the album and forcing the band to appear as a three piece in some gigs.
The video here, “You Love Us”, taken from Top of the Pop, Feb 1992. This song was the last song Edwards & co. performed at the London Astoria in 1994. The concert ended with the band infamously smashing their equipment and damaging the lighting system, prompted by Edwards’ violent destruction of his guitar towards the end of the song.
Edwards was formally announced to be disappeared on Feb 1, 1995, on the day when he and the band’s frontman, James Dean Bradfield, were due to fly to the United States on a promotional tour.
Happy birthday, Richey Edwards! Stay beautiful!