LAST WORD: SUGGS

The Mad­ness singer shares mem­o­ries of Bowie, er­rant un­der­wear and all-nighters.

Q (UK) - - Contents -

When was the last time some­one called you Graham? Oh God, prob­a­bly my mum. She’s still like, “Suggs, Spuds, Smudge… what­ever. I gave you a per­fectly good name and it’s faintly ridicu­lous to be called that when you’re a 56- year-old man!” When did you last break the law? Well, I’m smok­ing in this ho­tel room in But­lin’s, Mine­head, right now, but I don’t know if that’s ac­tu­ally break­ing the law or not. There might be some puni­tive fine or some­thing. When did you last speak to Mor­ris­sey? Um, maybe two years ago at some awards cer­e­mony. It was very brief and he was very friendly, as much as he can be any­way. I don’t dig a lot of what he says, but I like his work. He says a lot of out­ra­geous things, but of­ten I think it’s just Mor­ris­sey be­ing Mor­ris­sey. When did you last get the fear? A few months ago when we dug up a 500kg Ger­man bomb for TV show WW2 Trea­sure Hunters] in the marshes around Mersey­side. I’m no ex­pert in tan­gled metal stuff, but I quickly recog­nised this big, bomb­shaped thing com­ing out of the ground. We’re just about to run when the di­rec­tor goes, “Can you just do a lit­tle piece to cam­era?” and I was like, “Er, not un­less we do it five kilo­me­tres away!” When did you last stay up all night? About two months ago, at ei­ther Tr­isha’s or Gerry’s in Soho. Just the very men­tion of the name Gerry’s and you know you’ve got on the wrong side of the alarm clock. When was the last time you said, “Do you know who I am?” I don’t think I’ve ever said that. But I do re­mem­ber be­ing out­side a night­club once and Billy Idol was say­ing that and ev­ery­one around him was rolling around on the floor laugh­ing. So I’ve al­ways been very wary of that sort of out­come. When did you last get mad? Two weeks ago when we were trundling around north­ern Europe in this very flash tour­bus. One night we’d had a few cold drinks too many and we started talk­ing about pol­i­tics and it all went a bit hay­wire. “Fake news this, fake news that…” Who was I ar­gu­ing with? Pretty much ev­ery­one and any­one! What was the last con­ver­sa­tion you had with David Bowie? Well, there’s the fa­mous in­ci­dent when I went with our pro­ducer Clive Langer to visit Bowie’s home in Gs­taad, Switzer­land. We just hap­pened to be driv­ing past with our fam­i­lies on hol­i­day and we turned up with all our suit­cases on the roof and there he is in the garage, the Star­man. And just as we drove in we heard this loud crunch and my suit­case came fly­ing off the roof and my un­der­wear was blow­ing around Bowie’s drive and there he was, the great man, pick­ing up my socks and vests… it wasn’t the first im­pres­sion I was hop­ing for! He was a very, very charm­ing man. I think he’s one of the last of those peo­ple who can en­gen­der that sort of enigma be­cause when you met him he wasn’t like that at all, he was ac­tu­ally very down to earth. What’s the last thing you’d do be­fore the Apoc­a­lypse? Well, in my cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, I’d prob­a­bly go for a swim in the sea, get a bag of chips then spend a cou­ple of hours at Billy But­lin’s fun­fair.

Suggs: aka “Spuds” and “Smudge” to his mum.

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