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Ghost That Stalks The Streets - Sunday Mail, 30th August 1998

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Title: Ghost That Stalks The Streets
Publication: Sunday Mail
Date: Sunday 30th August 1998

It's the end of an era for the Manic Street Preachers, a time to lay old ghosts to rest.

Their new album will be the first to do without the lyrics of guitarist Richey Edwards, who disappeared three years ago.

Since then, they've limped along on his leftovers while he has been raised to cult figure status.

The Manics are once again pitching into a round of touring to promote the album, This is My Truth, Tell Me Yours. And they know that finally saying goodbye to Richey's legacy will be tough.

After all, their name was made by the album Everything Must Go, which featured much of Richey's work. But there's no panic in the Manic camp, although they now feel it's time to dispel a few myths about the man who disappeared in 1995.

Bassist Nickey Wire, who was closest to Richey and has been treated for stress following his disappearance, has uncovered some startling truths.

"People have immortalised Richey as this depressive anorexic, who used to slash himself and they now herald him as the leader of some cult of despair.

"But when Richey sat in his flat on his own and drank a bottle of vodka, he did it because he was sad - not because he was cool.

"I have memories of Richey that I think some people would rather not know about, just because it destroys the myths.

"But we knew him. I remember him coming round to my house and playing Sega, like any normal person.

"I remember being in a bar in Portugal when he started doing the Moon Walk in front of all these people.

"He was just having a laugh like everybody else.

"I don't want to disappoint people, but I wrote most of the words to La Tristressa and Roses - all those words were mine, not Richey's," he adds.

"Now it's been long enough, so it's OK to talk about these things. But, at the start, I couldn't show the emotions.

"Playing live was difficult. I remember supporting Oasis at Maine Road and looking over to where Richey would have been standing...

"When we came off stage, I virtually had a breakdown. I was just crying hysterically for about three hours and that was the first time I'd been able to let it all out since they found his car by the Severn Bridge."

In an attempt to set the record straight, the Welsh trio have for the agreed to take part in a new 50-minute BBC documentary, as part of the station's Close Up Cuts series.

"It was hard work for us because they were all over us, even in our houses," says Nicky. "I gave them some of my private video collection of the band because we wanted this to be good.

"We wanted to get a few home truths out in the open. And get shot of daft rumours about us throwing Richey's lyrics in the river.

The band hope that this documentary will go some way to changing the martyred image some have of Richey.

They are particularly hostile to Richey fanatics.

"It has taken a long time to reach this level of calm about the situation," says Nicky, "I'm able to talk about it now.

"And there's no anger, no resentment, no bitterness, no fear. I have no complex about Richey whatsoever."

But what chance is there of the Manics drafting Kylie Minogue into their ranks?

After all, singer James Dean Bradfield made his first foray into the realms of pop by penning Some Kind of Bliss for the Aussie songbird.

"I'm not embarrassed about working with her," says James.

"I love her voice and I really get on with her, but I feel like I failed her.

"The song wasn't a big commercial success for her and that's the only thing I'm disappointed about."

So it looks like Kylie won't be in the ranks when the Manics hit the stage at the Caird Hall, Dundee, on September 18.

But Richey might well be there in spirit at least...