Darcy Clay

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Darcy Clay (b. Daniel Robert Bolton, 12 December 1972 – 15 March 1998) was an Auckland, New Zealand singer/songwriter, who was made famous in 1997 for his Number 5 [1] hit "Jesus I Was Evil", in which he recorded all instruments in his bedroom on a 4-track recorder. He was signed to Antenna Records, and was Antenna's first real star.

Background[edit]

Darcy lived in Birkenhead while a youth, when 14 years old he spent 9 months living in Atlanta, Georgia and he later lived in Australia for 18 months with the rest of the Boltons.

Darcy Clay's favourite bands were Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr, claiming once that if he had the chance he would have thrown away his homophobia and had "a giant gay orgy with both bands", just so he could meet them. He was an outsider musician, with his strange vocal style and being completely independent in his first releases. Making him one of New Zealand's first outsider artists and one of the most influential solo acts.

Music[edit]

Clay's entire career output consisted of two six track EPs, Jesus I Was Evil and (posthumously) a live EP Songs For Beethoven, recorded on DAT tape when he opened for Blur's 1997 New Zealand performance (including a solo performance of Candle in the Wind, the tribute to Marilyn Monroe written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin who later re-recorded it as a tribute to Princess Diana, who had died less than two months beforehand). The two EPs were reissued back to back as an album entitled Darcy Anthology, featuring a bonus CD of QuickTime, all Darcy Clay music videos, interview footage and press clippings created before his death in 1998.

His music has been described as "country-fried punk rock" - his Jesus I Was Evil EP featured a cover of Dolly Parton's Jolene, amongst other somewhat country-flavoured rock songs.

Awards[edit]

Awards Year Category Work Result
RIANZ[2] 1998 Single of the Year "Jesus I Was Evil" Nominated
Most Promising Male Vocalist Won

Death[edit]

Darcy Clay committed suicide at his girlfriend's Grey Lynn area house on 15 March 1998.[3] At the time of his suicide Clay was scheduled to perform on 9 April 1998 at the Levi's Life Festival, a suicide prevention and awareness event.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NZ Charts". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2013-01-19. 
  2. ^ "NZMAs". nzmusicawards.co.nz. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  3. ^ "Musician dies", Dominion (Wellington, New Zealand), 16 March 1998: 3 
  4. ^ Fyfe, Anna (17 March 1998), "Anti-suicide festival star takes own life", Dominion (Wellington, New Zealand): 7 

Darcy Clay profile at audioculture.co.nz