Nicky Wire

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Nicky Wire
Nicky Wire in Budapest in 2011.jpg
Nicky Wire in 2011
Background information
Birth name Nicholas Allen Jones
Also known as Nicky Wire
Born (1969-01-20) 20 January 1969 (age 45)
Origin Blackwood, Wales
Genres Alternative rock, hard rock, post-punk, punk rock, glam punk, indie rock
Occupation(s) Musician, lyricist, songwriter
Instruments Bass, vocals, guitar, piano, percussion, omnichord
Years active 1986–present
Labels Columbia
Associated acts Manic Street Preachers
Notable instruments
Fender Jazz Bass
Rickenbacker bass
Italia Maranello Bass

Nicholas Allen Jones, known as Nicky Wire, is the lyricist, bassist and occasional vocalist[1] with the Welsh alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Born Nicholas Allen Jones on 20 January 1969[2] in Blackwood,[3] Wales, Wire is the younger brother of poet and author Patrick Jones.[2] He attended Oakdale Comprehensive School with James Dean Bradfield, Sean Moore and Richey Edwards. Wire excelled at football and was captain of the Welsh national schoolboys' team aged 14. Although he was offered a trial at both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal football clubs, back and knee problems brought his football career to an end. Wire took A-levels in politics and law. He later attended Portsmouth Polytechnic, and after one year transferred to the University of Wales Swansea, starting his course a year after Edwards. He graduated with a Lower Second-Class Honours degree in Political History, which has led him to comment that he may have pursued a career in the diplomatic service or the Foreign Office.

Career[edit]

Wire is a founding member of the Manic Street Preachers and was originally rhythm guitarist, but changed to playing bass guitar after original bassist Flicker left the band.[4] He co-wrote the band's lyrics with Richey Edwards between 1989 and 1995, taking over sole responsibility following Edwards' disappearance.[5] Some of Edwards' lyrics were used on 1996's Everything Must Go album, making 1998's This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours the first album with lyrics by Wire alone. He chose the pseudonym Wire because of his "wirey frame" (he is 6'3").

Wire usually plays Gibson Thunderbird, Rickenbacker, Fender Jazz and most recently Italia Maranello basses, one of which is a custom made acoustic model made by request for the band's 2007 acoustic sessions. He often dons a dress or a skirt for the Manics' gigs[6] although he has curtailed his flamboyance somewhat since Richey Edwards' disappearance. His cross-dressing dates back to his teens, when he would go to local pubs in Blackwood wearing a dress; he has however been keen to emphasise that he is not a transvestite. He puts his attraction to glam and women's clothes at least in part down to his very close relationship to his mother.

He is famous for his outspoken attitude and has been known to cause controversy in the press. He once stated during a gig, "In this season of goodwill, let’s pray that Michael Stipe goes the same way as Freddie Mercury pretty soon."[7] However, it has since been said that the remark was misinterpreted and that it "didn't come out the way I wanted it to."[8][9] Wire has stated that the band has taken "inspiration from Queen,"[10] Mercury's band, as well as being noted fans of R.E.M.'s earlier albums.

In November 2007, he was recruited as Chair of the Advisory Board for the new commercial Xfm South Wales Radio Station.[11]

Solo career[edit]

Nicky Wire on the Manics' "Past, Present and Future" tour

On Christmas Day 2005, the Manics posted a solo track by Wire called "I Killed the Zeitgeist", available to download free for one day.[12] In early May, the rumoured first single entitled Break My Heart Slowly from his début solo album premièred on 6music with Phill Jupitus.

Wire played an intimate solo gig at the Hay Festival on 5 June 2006.[13] The set list consisted of material from his forthcoming album. Also included was a short acoustic rendition of "Condemned to Rock 'N' Roll" from the Manic Street Preachers' début album Generation Terrorists. Speaking to NME.COM before the gig, Wire confirmed that he was currently working on a solo album and he'd already written 25 songs. On the following day, Wire released the free track "Daydreamer Eyes" on his new web site. He released the single "The Shining Path" as an exclusive iTunes only download on 17 July. His début solo album, entitled I Killed the Zeitgeist was released on 25 September, with a single — "Break My Heart Slowly" — released on 18 September.

Personal life[edit]

Wire married his childhood sweetheart, Rachel, on 25 September 1993. He missed the band's appearance on Top of the Pops to promote Roses in the Hospital because of the honeymoon and was replaced on the day by a Manics roadie wearing a Minnie Mouse mask. The couple live in the Newport suburb of Allt-yr-yn with daughter Clara Enola (born 2002) and son Stanley McCarthey (2007).

The family previously lived in a terrace house in the village of Wattsville, near Blackwood. Although he was annoyed when a British tabloid revealed that he lived there, printing a picture of his house with the number clearly visible,[citation needed] he later paid public tribute to his former home in the title of the track "Wattsville Blues," on the Manics' Know Your Enemy album.

Wire follows the Welsh rugby union team and Newport Gwent Dragons.[6] He is also a fan of Warrington Wolves rugby league team,[14] who are nicknamed Wire, as well as being a supporter of Tottenham Hotspur in football, for whom he turned down an offer for a trial with as a teenager.[15]

Musical equipment[edit]

Solo discography[edit]

Albums
Singles
  • "I Killed the Zeitgeist" (Free download from the official Manics website, 25 December 2005)
  • "Daydreamer Eyes" (Limited free download from official solo site, June 2006)
  • "The Shining Path" (Exclusive iTunes only download, 17 July 2006)
  • "Break My Heart Slowly" (18 September 2006) – #74

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nicky Wire". guardian.co.uk. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Nicky Wire Interview". BBC. 2007. Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 17 February 2008. 
  3. ^ "Nicky Wire: Interview in the Guardian, Saturday 4 August 2007". The Guardian (London). 4 August 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Miles Woodward: the man who could've been Richey". thisisyesterday.com. 17 June 2005. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Richey Edwards". Telegraph.co.uk. 23 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  6. ^ a b "Wire's Six Nations appeal". BBC. 1 February 2008. Retrieved 17 February 2008. 
  7. ^ "Nicky Wire Interview". BBC. 2007. Retrieved 17 February 2008. [dead link]
  8. ^ Price, Simon (30 March 2008). "R.E.M. Royal Albert Hall, London". The Independent (London). Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "“We’ve never quite walked it like we’ve talked it”". Thisisyesterday.com. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "XFM South Wales License Application" (PDF). OFCOM UK Regulator. Archived from the original on 27 June 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  12. ^ "Nicky Wire". guardian.co.uk. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  13. ^ "Manics star makes solo debut". NME. 6 June 2006. Retrieved 17 February 2008. 
  14. ^ "BBC Sport Rugby League Warrington Wolves Celebrity Fans". BBC News. 7 March 2003. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  15. ^ "Spurs fans – proof of their support". Mehstg.com. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  16. ^ a b c d Preaching to the converted maniacs.rawkster.net Retrieved:2009-12-23
  17. ^ a b c The Manic Street Preachers Gear Guide dolphinmusic.com Retrieved: 2009-12-23

External links[edit]