Sometimes the loudest sound is the one not present. For a Band to carry on and leave a mix of tribute and hope on the stage for the member now is a beautiful and mysterious effort.
Richey Edwards loved a good mystery and the writer and rhythm guitarist for the Preachers would ultimately become one himself.
The Preachers still feel they are a two guitar band, one is just not present.James Dean Bradford Vocalist and Lead guitarist and the rest of the band have carried on with a new album release “The Ultra Vivid Lament”.
In 2021 To this day the band acknowledges their fourth member by paying his family 25% of all earnings and have for the last 25 years.
Onstage as well on stage right is an open microphone where Richey would be.. Striking the heartstrings of memory and possibly just waiting for the day he might walk back into the band.
This is a second extension of Love for Richey as when he first was brought into the group he couldn’t play the guitar but they allowed him to pretend he could as the guitar was not turned on. Fake it til you make it a success.
He did in time become a solid rhythm man. The current status is “Death in Absentia” for the unknown whereabouts of Edwards.
Manic Street Preachers Suicide Alley
The band identified and promoted an image and theology borrowed from Glam, Punk, and Edwards was the instigator for the gender bending no rules approach.
As a well self educated spokesman for the group he was fearless in the public eye. Privately he dealt with depression and severe mood swings and was soon to be known in the world view as one who suffered from self harm and did have a degree of nihilistic attitude.
He may have been the focal point of the group but In my recent study I must say that Bradford was an equal genius .
Bradford was and is able to include incredible guitar work in the ever changing contexts of Punk , Pop, and straight up Rock. A Brilliant Lead player and singer. Truly underrated .
Getting the Manic street preachers sounds on guitar
February 1992 saw the bands debut record “Generation Terrorists” followed by “Gold against the Soul” in 1993 and Thirdly “The Holy Bible” in 1994.
The band worked as hard then as the later decades leading to present day efforts. There was one big issue, In February of 1995 as they were leaving to tour the United States well, Richey just disappeared .
He was reportedly seen by Cab drivers , fans, and even purchasing a new passport sporting a shaved head after leaving his legal passport behind. His vehicle was found abandoned near a bridge where many before had taken a dive to end their lives. From all accounts he had been making gestures of gifts to friends and was in hindsight behaving calmly in a manner that precedes a planned death. However he was not the suicidal type and referred to the act as the “S Word” as he did not wish to speak the very word fully.
He was tormented by the Death of Kurt Cobain and was not able to comprehend the reasoning behind it . Did he go the way of Syd Barrett, choosing to become someone else in dissolution with the Music Industry? Was he Pulling the Jim Morrison card or possibly just faking his death? There are no clear answers
From Despair To Where – The Life and Disappearance of Richey Edwards
Richey’s proclamations in the third album Lyrically deal with subjects including prostitution, American consumerism, British imperialism, freedom of speech, the Holocaust, self-starvation, serial killers, the death penalty, political revolution, childhood, fascism and suicide.
He was truly preaching his views and had insisted everything contained in that album be perfect. His final Testimony? Quite possibly. The style of music had expanded into hard rock, British punk, post-punk, new wave, industrial, art rock and gothic rock.
Manic Street Preachers – Faster (Glastonbury 1994)
The Manic Street Preachers made a massive impact with him and without him and one should not allow the mystery to overtake the music of his time and all the work the band did ongoing. I hear elements that may have well influenced so many bands to come such as Foo Fighters and others.
The Manics are a Mighty band , not caged to any style but their own. Always pressing forward while still looking over at the empty spot where that Microphone awaits the missing man who helped catapult them to the world. Perhaps waiting on the band to again be Guitar times Two.