Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Jul 13th 2007 5:00PM by Gaylord Fields
The Manics, consisting of Edwards, bassist Nicky Wire, singer-guitarist James Dean Bradfield and drummer Sean Moore, formed in their hometown of Blackwood, Wales, in the late '80s. Edwards, who wrote the band's lyrics with Wire, was mainly responsible for the quartet's glam-influenced hard-rock image as well as its leftist rhetorical bent and outrageous statements. After releasing two moderately popular and modestly critiqued albums in the early '90s, both heavy on the dramatics and the polemics, and as influenced by Guns N' Roses as the Sex Pistols and the Clash, the Manics finally realized their full potential with their third release.
On the stark, oftentimes chilling 1994 album 'The Holy Bible,' Edwards' themes looked inward at his fragile mental state -- he was an admitted anorexic and was also known to be a heavy drinker and a self-mutilator. The record was a critical favorite but a sales disappointment. The lack of acceptance of such a personal statement must have been a crushing blow to the Manics, especially to the emotionally delicate Edwards. Nonetheless, though many of Edwards' mates were concerned about his state of mind, none could have guessed at what actually would transpire.
On February 1, 1995, shortly before the band was to embark on a promotional tour of the U.S., Edwards checked out of his London hotel room, crossed the border to Wales and stopped at his Cardiff home. What else can be ascertained about the next few days after he went missing is that he withdrew a small sum of cash from a bank and was spotted in the Welsh city of Newport by eyewitnesses. Two weeks later, his car was found abandoned at a bridge outside Bristol, England. Richey James Edwards, however, was never seen or heard from again. That is, unless you believe scattered accounts of sightings that place him, like Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison, living incognito in far-flung worldwide locales.
After a year or so without any contact from their comrade, the Manic Street Preachers carried on without their charismatic guitarist, as a trio. In 1996, the remaining members released their best and most successful musical statement to date, 'Everything Must Go,' employing lyrics left behind by Edwards on several songs. Yet as far as his whereabouts are concerned, though Edwards' abrupt disappearance and his well-documented mental problems may point to a suicide, without a body no conclusion truly can be ascertained. Where do his former bandmates stand? The fact that they hold one-fourth of their royalties in an account for Edwards to claim clearly indicates they hope he is, say, somewhere in India sharing a Kingfisher beer with the Lizard King and the King of Rock & Roll.