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Rogues Gallery: James Dean Bradfield - RAW, 18th August 1993

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Title: Rogues Gallery: James Dean Bradfield
Publication: RAW
Date: Wednesday 18th August 1993
Writer: Howard Johnson
Photos: Tony Mottram

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Full name and nickname

My real name is James Dean Bradfield. It's my dad's fault; it was either that or Clint Eastwood Bradfield. I've had tons or nicknames, including Beaker, Prof, Bof, Terence McCann, He-Man and Radar.

Date and place of birth

21 December 1969 in Wales. It's the same birthday as Ian Brown from The Stone Roses, and it's the day when Malcolm X was killed.

Current home

I still live with my parents back in Wales. Until about six months ago the bunk beds were still up in the room that I’ve shared with Sean (Moore, Manics’ drummer) since I was ten. He's my cousin, and when his parents split up he came to live with us. Going home really brings me back down to earth!

Previous bands

I’ve only ever been in one band.

Favourite drink

Whiskey and coke. I love smooth, Irish whiskeys and Jameson’s is the best. That's my only elitism, Otherwise, I'm not a snob.

Three words to describe yourself

I don’t know.

When you were a child, what career did you want for your adult life?

I wanted to be in the S.A.S. after the Falkland's War. I really got into the heroism of it when I was in the fourth or fifth form at school. It's weird, because it was at the same time l bought a Billy Bragg album, and that was the total antithesis of that feeling. I was in two minds as to what I believed. I liked the independence of the S.A.S., that you could go out and pretend to be a tree! I grew out of that!

If your house caught fire, what possession would you save first?

Since I live with my parents, I'd save them, my guitar, and my dog Suki.

What car do you drive?

I don’t drive at all I’d rather be driven, or go by bus or train. I've got dodgy eyes, too, so I’d probably be a health hazard!

What’s the best thing about being in Manic Street Preachers?

Being mistaken for the nutter who carved his arm open, ’cos everyone's scared of him! (Manics’ guitarist Richey James took a razor blade and carved ‘4 ReaI' into his forearm in front of a Doubting Thomas or a journalist! –Ed)

What‘s the last thing you do before you go onstage?

I nag Nicky (Wire. band bassist) because he takes four pisses before he goes on. The intro's running and he's just pissing on and on. The last thing I do is pull his zipper up!

Where, when and at what age did you lose your virginity?

Too personal, because it's still too relevant to my life.

If you gave up the music business, what would you do?

I'd work for the Forestry Commission back in Wales. I'd do something really isolated that didn’t involve any handshakes!

What event in history would you like to have been at, and why?

I'd like to have been Napoleon when he came back to France after being in exile. Just by one speech, he rallied the troops to march with him and re-take Paris, gathering an army as he went along. It's the only time anyone’s done that.

Who is your favourite person in the world?

Stuart Pearce, the Nottingham Forest footballer. You'd like him to be the drummer in your band. He's a nutter who channels it all in the right direction.

And your least favourite person?

Brian Gould, the Labour politician. He was really condescending, saying that Labour had to capture the Docklands' vote. He pushed the Labour party off course. I don't like him at all!

Where‘s the most unusual place you’ve had a bonk?

In a bunk bed. I'm a very conservative person all round.

What part of your body would you most like to change?

My eyes. I used to have another nickname, Crossfire, 'cos my eyes look off in different directions. I used to think I looked like Marty Feldman.

What‘s the strangest request you‘ve hall from a fan?

They‘ve asked me to send them guitar strings and plectrums I don’t get any perverted stuff because all our fan mail is censored by our manager’s parents. They run the fan club on our behalf.

What‘s the worst thing about being in Manic Street Preachers?

People always think you've shagged loads of birds and made loads of money, neither of which is true.

What’s the worst thing you‘ve had written about you?

That I was a fat-arsed muso who was only interested in doing widdly-widdly guitar solos, and that we were a cheap Dr. Feelgood. That was really hurtful.

Would you sell your soul for Rock ’n’ Roll?

I've already sold part at my future by giving up education for Rock 'n' Roll. Education is very important. We're quite an educated band, with both Richey and Nicky having gone to university. I turned down going to Poly, so that’s definitely selling your soul.

What are your views on groupies?

If people have the security to shag 'em, that's fair enough. Groupies use people in bands as much as people in bands use groupies, unless one of the guilty parties falls in love. I don‘t condemn it at all, so long as people enjoy it and take it at face value. It’s nothing I’ve ever been confident enough to indulge in.

What do you wear in bed?


If you were a fly on the wall, whose wall would you like to be on?

Brian Clough‘s. There have been too many dodgy accusations going around about him taking backhanders. I've always respected him because he’s what you imagine it would be like if your father ran a football team. Decent, upstanding, speaking sense. It was great when he punched those fans for invading his pitch That's the way to deal with hooligans - get all their dads on the pitch to beat the shit out of them If Clough is guilty, it would be a big blow to my image of him.

Have you ever been arrested?


What do you regret most about your past?

I regret being bashful about our influences. We felt we couldn't quote bands like The Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin and The Clash because it was very untrendy. I Wish I'd just said ‘Fuck you. The bands we look up to will be proved by history.'.

Proudest moment of your life?

It will be if Wales qualify for the next World Cup. Nothing's made me that proud yet. I’ve had an unfulfilled life so far.