MANCHESTER AND ACID HOUSE - Creation Stories: Riots, Raves and Running A Label - Alan McGee

Creation Stories: Riots, Raves and Running A Label - Alan McGee (2013)


I ended 1988 in what became for me the best place in the world to take ecstasy: Manchester. I was aware of the acid house scene, going to Shoom in London a bit with Jeff Barrett, who was well into it. All sorts of characters were in there, everyone really friendly, asking how you were, what your name was, what you were on. But at Shoom I never went in the house room. House music just hadn’t clicked for me yet. It had clicked for Jeff Barrett. You should have seen the dancing he got up to there. It was like he was digging a road with a pneumatic drill. I’ve always wanted to ask him about that dance. It was the weirdest dance I’d ever seen. So, he got it, but me - I just went there to get the drugs. A lot of the time I’d head somewhere else to take them.

That night in December New Order were playing the G-Mex and there was an after-show party going on at the Hacienda. A night called Disorder. I’d been going to Manchester for a while. I loved the Happy Mondays. I loved ecstasy. The Happy Mondays had loads of ecstasy. It was a great arrangement. I got on with Shaun Ryder really well.

I was Eed up that night when I made a great mate for life, Debbie Turner, who completely randomly and cosmically is in a way responsible for my greatest ever success. But that came years later. We got talking that night when she came up to me and said, ‘Why are you wearing sunglasses inside?’

‘Because I’ve got cancer of the eye,’ I said.

She nearly broke down and went back to her mates. ‘I’m gutted. Alan’s got cancer of the eye.’

‘You soft cow,’ they said, ‘he’s taking the piss.’

She was a pretty Manchester girl, five years younger than me, and we became great buddies. We were lying around in the corner of the room when I had an epiphany.

‘Debbie,’ I said. ‘I want to marry you.’

‘You’re already married,’ she pointed out.

‘Oh, yeah. I hadn’t thought of that.’

I’d taken a lot of pills already that night but then I made the mistake of asking Shaun Ryder for another one. He only gave me a half but it was the strongest pill I ever took. That’s when Debbie’s face became a giant green diamond and I had to wander off. I was overheating, had to lie on the floor. When I got up I was walking through the basement, looking at the beams in the ceiling, green diamonds and blue tessellating shapes. It was beautiful. Tony Wilson was there, in a shining white suit, like God, or a king. I found Debbie dancing and suddenly I was dancing too and I understood what the music was about. It was something new, something incredible. It felt like it was going to change everything.

The new year started with Dave Bates rejecting the single ‘Safe’ we’d recorded and planned as the next House of Love single. He had a fixed idea of what an album that would sell millions was going to sound like and our recordings were too ‘indie’. Chadwick and I should probably never have mentioned being as big as U2 - it was all we were beginning to hear now from Dave Bates. But we’d been glad to take the money - or Chadwick and I had, anyway - so we had to send them back into the studio, this time with Tim Palmer producing. He’d just produced a single by Texas. The band were instantly in a different recording world from Creation’s.

Bickers immediately couldn’t handle it. He was a hell of a guitar player and all of a sudden he didn’t believe he was. He’d been worried about the deal from the start, about the pressure. He just wasn’t motivated about money in the way Chadwick was. He started to play up badly. He’d walk out, have screaming fits. Despite this, we got two songs done, and chose ‘Never’ as a single for the spring.

I remember going on tour with My Bloody Valentine at the start of February 1989 and Kevin Shields telling me he wanted me to be the sound engineer. We did this gig at ULU. Kevin was always sacking the soundman at this point. The Kevinitis was beginning to show itself for the first time, and it would only get worse. Professional soundmen had their own ideas, and Kevin didn’t like that. He didn’t want anyone to interfere with his vision. He knew I’d do what he told me.

I was on magic mushrooms. I’d come up from Brighton with a girl and we’d eaten handfuls on the train. I had no idea what was going on. My way of mixing the sound anyway was just to turn everything up on the desk when it got to a loud bit. It was probably perfect for a My Bloody Valentine gig. I was tripping my head off, decked out in leathers, mad red hair, sunglasses on, blasting the audience with volume - Kevin and I were loving it! He knew I was on mushrooms when he asked me to do it.

They had a section called ‘The Holocaust’ which would make the audience run for cover when they heard it. It was probably dangerous. I think he gives them earplugs these days.

(I don’t know how I managed to avoid getting tinnitus after all those years at gigs. Noel Gallagher’s got it now, I heard. He once told me his guitar at Reading was as loud as a plane engine. No wonder the lunatic has tinnitus if he stood next to a plane engine every night!)

Being assaulted in the way they were didn’t stop the fans from coming to see My Bloody Valentine. The tour was a great success. We were very pleased with Isn’t Anything. Solid sales and unanimous respect. We couldn’t wait for the follow-up.

While this was going on I had turned into an acid house fanatic. I really wanted to have a dance song. It would take me till February 1990 for that, so there was a bit of an incubation period. Grant Fleming played an important role in that. He had been the merch guy for the last House of Love tour. The band were such hard work at the time, most of them on drugs and going nuts, so I always travelled with Grant and the merch. Grant was great, a big West Ham fan who had a real joy for life. At the age of sixteen he’d been the tour manager of Jimmy Pursey and Sham 69. We’d drive around the country together listening to acid house records and after the gig we’d get on an E and track down the best club we could find. Whatever was going on me and Grant would be there. I think we took an E on every night of that tour.

At the end of the tour I asked him if he wanted to start an acid house label, and he started laughing and asked what we’d call it.

Creation, of course, I said.

People really don’t remember us as an acid house label but we were serious about it. There’s a great compilation from us around that time, with Primal Scream and Fluke and Hypnotone and Love Corporation. It’s a fucking great acid house record and it was Grant who was the cheerleader for all of that. He was the one going round the shops on Saturday afternoon with the white labels.

Before Creation could fully embrace acid house I had to convert Bobby Gillespie to ecstasy and the clubs. I’d been telling him how great ecstasy was, how great Manchester was, and he came up with his girlfriend. I bought three Es off Shaun that night. They were twenty quid a go then. I bought two for me and one for Bobby. He was new to it: that would be more than enough for him, so I thought. I forgot, though, how dysfunctional Bobby’s system is. The first one didn’t touch the sides. He never came up at all. I was high as a kite. He had to have two to come up - I had to give him my other one, much to my disappointment! Bobby was a bit cautious about the scene to start with. He’d come to the clubs - there was a Brighton scene beginning; we started going to a club called Escape. While we were dancing around Bobby would sit on a wall with his legs dangling like a Ramone, off his face on E. That’s Bob - he waits a while to make up his mind, dips his toes in the water before he plunges in completely. It was the same with punk - he got into it a few months after me, though that was independently of me, and the thing that really cemented our friendship. And it was the same with drugs in some ways too. As I was getting out of addiction in the mid-1990s, floating to the surface, Bobby was jumping in with both feet and waving at me on his way down as we passed each other.

In London we were going to Shoom and Spectrum regularly now. All the bands were there. House of Love - Guy taking his clothes off, always taking his clothes off. Kevin Shields, not saying anything to anyone. Bobby, vaguely talking to people, a rock and roller in winklepickers and tight trousers and despite that managing to look more entitled to be there than everyone else in the room. The Stone Roses - they were recording in London at the time.

Andrew Innes understood acid house straight away. The Es were just opening everyone up, to other people, to new ideas, to collaborations. Robert Young, the degenerate rocker, hated it. Really hated it. I understand why - they were about to record a classic two Les Paul rock and roll album. He was the happiest he’d been with his role in the band since it had started. He wanted Primal Scream to be the New York Dolls and didn’t need acid house interfering with that.

Creation was expanding. House of Love was still selling. Isn’t Anything by My Bloody Valentine was selling. Dick and I hired James Kyllo at the start of 1989 as a business manager. He’d just quit Cherry Red, and he was working in a Record and Tape exchange. We needed someone who had experience of doing royalties, of using computers, of the systems you needed to run a record label that was getting bigger. We still didn’t have contracts in those days - just a handshake and an agreement for a fifty-fifty profit share with the band. It was time to think about protecting our interests - though it was years before we signed anyone up to a proper contract.

The shoebox in Clerkenwell was far too small. To make things worse, it was full of band members lying on the floor. They’d wander in to hang out, drugged out of their heads. It was a tiny fucking office, two broom cupboards now, four of us sharing two desks and Primal Scream and the Weather Prophets lying on the floor in leather trousers while Jeff Barrett tried to write his press releases. They’d come in there and take acid. We didn’t need that. I asked James Kyllo to find us new premises, somewhere far enough away for the bands not to move in, and he found us a place in Westgate Street, Hackney. We were moving out from central London to a place where, at that time, no one in the music industry went anywhere near. It was rough. It had no tube. I knew if we moved there, the bands would be too lazy or scared to come by. Bobby Gillespie has it that the reason I moved there was so it would be harder for people to come in and get the royalties they were owed. It was 1989, Bobby: there weren’t any fucking royalties! It was only the Valentines who were selling any records in those days, and House of Love. We waited for six years for Primal Scream to have a hit single. Anyway, we moved to this big office in Hackney, with tons of space, under the railway arches next to London Fields. Hackney’s trendy nowadays but it wasn’t then. No fucker would go there. You’d get mugged! It was perfect for us.

I was still living in Brighton. Graham Gillespie had moved out after managing to miss paying rent to me for fourteen of the twenty-six weeks he lived there. So I replaced him with Lawrence from Felt, who wanted to get out of Birmingham. That’s when I found out the truth about his tidiness. It’s bullshit that he’s tidy. I’m tidier than Lawrence! He was a messy fucker. He was just playing up to journalists. When Lawrence moved in I knew for a fact that he would never pay me any rent, so I just said, ‘Lawrence, it is your job to answer the phone and take messages for me.’ Which he managed to do. We were actually good flatmates. He was part of the Primal Scream gang. They took to him immediately. All my experiences of Lawrence face to face were really positive.

I needed Lawrence as an answering service as I was beginning to spend a lot of time out of Brighton back then. Debbie Turner in Manchester was my new best mate and I began to spend weekend after weekend up there. Mainly, if I’m honest, for the drugs. On the weekend we met Debbie had taken me round various houses and I’d never seen so much ecstasy. I was thinking, This is amazing, this man’s got a thousand Es in his fridge. The next thought was, Why don’t I get a flat here? I told Tony Wilson I was coming up and he arranged for me to rent Alan Erasmus’s place, one of the Factory directors. Debbie moved in and we split the rent. We were never boyfriend and girlfriend. I’d jump on a train north every week at some point. There was only one place then you wanted to party and that was Manchester. Once I was there, I’d think, Fuck the record company, and I’d stay a few days. I had that place for about six months and had such great times there. The Mancs were really friendly, to me anyway, though they didn’t like cockneys much. I met Mani Mounfield and the Roses, and they admired me for being a headcase, for moving up at the drop of a hat to go to raves. I think it got Creation a lot of respect actually, me being in the middle of the action. London wasn’t music’s creative centre then, if it ever has been, and I was on hand to see it for myself. Tony Wilson asked me to come on the regional news show he presented, Granada Tonight. I think he thought I was going to be a passive interviewee - because he was my hero - and, of course, I wasn’t.

‘Why’ve you moved to Manchester, Alan?’

‘A better class of drugs, Tony.’

Noel Gallagher saw that interview. I think the whole of Manchester saw that interview. I went on and I was a rotten cunt. I think Tony quite enjoyed it.

I suppose I’d lost interest in rock music temporarily. Not a good thing for the manager of ‘the next U2’. But far more of a problem for House of Love was the fact that Terry Bickers was getting even worse. I had no experience of what to do. None of us did. We thought he was just throwing tantrums for a while but it became clear there was something really wrong. It seemed he was clinically depressed. What did that mean though? The thing I came to realize much later is that I was clinically depressed too. And I was self-medicating like crazy. I wrote myself a prescription of ecstasy, speed, acid, coke or Jack Daniel’s almost every day. I was the worst person to help him.

Before long the new Hackney office was the scene of some of the heaviest parties in London. So much for getting rid of the bands. We threw an opening party and everyone came. We introduced the NME to ecstasy that night by giving it to two of their journalists, Danny Kelly and Helen Mead. There was Primal Scream, the House of Love, My Bloody Valentine, the Weather Prophets.

One thing I wish is that I’d never introduced Guy Chadwick to ecstasy. Though he would have got hold of it without me anyway. It was not his scene at all. He couldn’t take it without getting naked. It was so embarrassing. Every time. That’s what the drug was for him - an excuse to take his clothes off. Made no impact whatsoever on his music. You’d see him neck a pill and think, Christ, we’re in for it now.

‘Never’, the first single on Fontana, came out in May and charted at 41. I thought it was a terrible choice of single but Bates overruled me. It hadn’t worked with Tim Palmer and they ended up using lots of other producers, including Stephen Hague who’d just done ‘True Faith’ by New Order. But none of it was working and the recording was growing out of control. It was all the band’s fault. They seemed completely deranged most of the time. Drugs didn’t suit any of them, and definitely not Bickers and Chadwick. You didn’t have Bono getting off stage and taking nine Es in a night. No wonder they were going crazy in the studio. No one could control them, not Dave Bates, not me. I’d begun to give up trying to.

The parties in the office were happening all the time. It was one big party really, which lasted from 1989 to 1995. It was still going on for a year or so after I’d finished. (It was one of the reasons we had to move offices!) I’d buy a lot of Es then and give them out, so I’m known as this big ecstasy evangelist. But I was no more of an evangelist than Bobby Gillespie or Jeff Barrett. We were all on that trip. Everyone was. We’d never been part of anything like it. You couldn’t keep it to yourself.

For the first six months in 1989 when I wasn’t in Manchester I pretty much lived in the office. I decided there was no point going back to Brighton. I’d just go to the clubs then come back to the office and crash. You can imagine I was pretty smelly in those days. I’ve always been grateful to Guy Chadwick for pointing that out. He phoned me up after we’d got a taxi home together once.

‘Alan,’ he said. ‘I need to tell you something.’ Here we go again, what have I done wrong now … ‘You smell.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Well, Alan, when you got out of the taxi, a really bad smell left.’

So I immediately borrowed someone’s bath and tried to remember to do that more frequently. If I wasn’t careful I’d find myself spending weeks taking drugs, not washing and sleeping on the office floor.

I wasn’t the only one in the office who’d had his head turned by Manchester. We’d agreed that Jeff Barrett could start working as a publicist for Factory as well and he was promoting Happy Mondays and New Order. We were up there all the time - I’d go to every single New Order gig. Bernie Sumner, by the way, rivals Jeff Barrett for the strangest dance ever. I became good friends with him and I used to end up at parties with him at six in the morning. He’d stand on one leg and sort of bend over sideways and bounce about, like a flamingo coming up on mushrooms. It was worth the price of admission and an E just to watch Bernard dance.

House of Love were becoming a disaster. The money eventually spent recording that first Fontana album was mental - four to five hundred thousand.

The minute Chadwick got the wedge from the deal, he moved straight into a posh house in Camberwell and had everything going on, bar the butler. And he was trying to get the butler!

It wasn’t just hiring the studios that was expensive, or the fact that nothing got done there. It was like a competition to see who could spend the most money. They blew £10,000 on taxis in a matter of months - god knows how. We thought a session with Daniel Miller might be more suitable for them but Terry Bickers lost it there, smashed his amp, threw his guitar at the wall. Another wasted session; they’d started recording at the start of 1989 and it was already July now. It was going to take years for the album to make a profit, if it was ever finished.

And there were big new bands on the scene. The biggest - surprise, surprise - from Manchester. In May the Stone Roses album was in the shops and soon they were playing to thousands of people. They had the euphoria and the rhythm of house, mixed with classic melodies and harmonies. House of Love were in danger of becoming yesterday’s news.

It was the same with Primal Scream, whose second album Primal Scream came out in July. It was not of its moment at all. It was MC5 and the Stooges. I never understood why they made that record. There were some good songs on it but it was really not the right time for an album like that to catch the imagination. But I could never tell them what to do. There’s no point telling Bobby Gillespie or Noel Gallagher or Kevin Shields or Kevin Rowlands what direction they should be travelling in. They know what they want. If they’re feeling polite they’ll listen to you and ignore you. If they’re being impolite (more frequent) they’ll tell you to fuck off, at length.

My favourite song on Primal Scream was ‘I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have’, a ballad, a break-up song. It proved they could write timeless classic songs. I still believed in them. I knew they were so talented, that they had more than talent, they had the spirit, the genius. And now we were all getting into ecstasy I wondered how we could channel that genius into something completely of the moment.

It was Andrew Weatherall who made the difference. Barrett was introduced to him first, I think. Weatherall was a DJ upstairs at Shoom, and didn’t just play house records but mixed them in with New Order, old funk and soul. Bobby and I first met him at a rave in Brighton. He had hair like Marc Bolan. We danced all night - Bobby still dressed in his classic sixties gear, but that’s what the scene was like - everyone was allowed in. Everyone was welcome.

Weatherall ran a magazine called Boy’s Own and Jeff Barrett sent him the Primal Scream album to review. He loved it, loved the ballads. Thank god someone did. There weren’t many around who did. What I found interesting was that it was someone coming out of that club culture who loved the band. Maybe there wasn’t such a big divide between Primal Scream and acid house after all.

Terry Bickers got a girlfriend, which calmed him down for a while. We eventually got a couple more tracks for the album recorded with Stephen Hague’s engineer, Dave Meegan. The rest of the album was to be recorded at Abbey Road. Apparently it got really stupid then, drinking all day, playing up - I was sick of it all by then and stayed away more. The wastage was stupid - I mean, I like money, I like spending it myself, but not on nothing. They recorded enough tracks but to what extent they really tried to make a great album, I don’t know. Bates rejected the lot. He hated them. It was such a disaster. The only sessions that had worked were with Meegan. We went back to him for one last try. Finally, seven weeks later, the album was done after being completely re-recorded.

We’d been really worried about their appearance at Reading that August. Guy had suggested to me that we fire Bickers on a couple of occasions, but I knew he was the world-beater on the team and I persuaded him against it. In the end, they were really good. Bickers was in a good phase - the crowd loved it, their biggest gig by miles. Bickers celebrated by taking too many drugs, becoming feral and disappearing into the night.

I was backstage, off my face too. Apparently the office cleaner introduced me to her boyfriend Noel Gallagher that day. I certainly don’t remember it.

I had one of the last fights of my life that summer, with James Brown (the features editor of NME, later editor of Loaded, not the godfather of soul). It was a House of Love gig and he said something snide to me, so I told him I’d slept with his girlfriend (I had and, well, what I said was nastier than that). He just lost it. I wasn’t scared of him so I just chucked my beer over him and walked off. He came up from behind and got a really good punch in, staggered me. More punches were flying in and so I realized I had to fight back. But I wasn’t winning. Luckily we got pulled apart.

After that I tried to slow down a little. Belinda moved to Birmingham and I gave up the flat in Manchester to move there. Except, I’d only go there for a weekend to chill out. I’d get to hers on a Friday night and I’d be flying after a week in London. She would sober me up and keep me around till Tuesday before I’d run off to get fucked again.

The rest of the time was spent running riot in London and sleeping in the office. If I slept.

Dave Bates needed to restart the momentum of House of Love, and suggested a long tour. I agreed, and to this day I wonder whether things would have been better if I’d resisted. It was on tour that Guy and Terry’s sanity was most tested. We had seventy days booked in Britain and Ireland stretching from October to March in 1990. The idea was to have three singles come out during this megatour, and the tour would promote them into the Top 20.

The album was finished and it had cost well over half a million quid. But it was an okay album, a commercial sounding album that hadn’t gone too far and ruined the band’s individuality. Dave Bates was happy.

We just couldn’t understand it when the next single ‘I Don’t Know Why I Love You’ only charted at 41 again. Radio 1 had been caning it. It was a good song, a good single. The next week both the Happy Mondays and the Stone Roses were on Top of the Pops. I think I knew then in my heart it wasn’t going to work for them.

It was time for a change. Jeff Barrett had been a brilliant publicist but he was overstretched between Creation, Factory and the House of Love, and I wanted someone committed to every band on Creation. He was gutted to have Primal Scream taken away from him - he believed in them as much as I did.

Primal Scream were very unpopular then. The anoraks who’d got into them as part of the C86 bullshit didn’t like them any more. Ooh, they’ve rocked out! Namby pambies, we were glad to lose them. In principle. But we needed to sell more of their records.

I think it was Andrew Innes’ idea to get Andy Weatherall to do a dance remix of ‘I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have’. They’d recorded the song to a click track so it was perfectly in time. Weatherall had never remixed anything in his life but this was completely in the spirit of Creation. He had great taste and a good attitude and he knew what made a dance floor go off. The sample at the start of that record from Peter Fonda in The Wild Angelstotally encapsulates the attitude we all had. We wanted to be free. We were going to have a good time, and we were going to get loaded.

Still, it didn’t go smoothly. There was a lot of back and forth. I thought we needed to have a Bobby vocal on it. Bobby disagreed - he and Innes wanted Weatherall to be more brutal, to do what he wanted. Innes was in the studio with him - it was an artistic collaboration, not just a straight dance remix. It dragged on. In the end, I realized they were right and that we didn’t need Bobby on the track.

When the year closed, it seemed like it couldn’t get any worse for Primal Scream. Their big gig in London at Subterranea was half empty. Creation’s flagship band was almost irrelevant now.

Then a week later Andrew Innes went with Weatherall to watch him play ‘Loaded’. They’d just finished it and had never heard it played on a dance floor. At three in the morning Weatherall dropped it in Subterranea - and the place went crazy. Innes rang to tell me. Everyone was going nuts in the background.

In one way House of Love’s massive tour worked out well. The album came out at the beginning of 1990, landed in the Top 10 and went gold. But in the process we lost the lead guitarist and fucked the band.

Throughout November 1989 I’d been hearing horror stories from the House of Love tour. Chadwick was lashing out at Bickers, blaming him for what was going wrong, for being out of it earlier in the year. He kept trying to throw him out of the band but I wouldn’t let him.

At the end of the month I flew out to America with Dave Bates to meet Phonogram’s people who were going to try to break the band over there. This was just the opportunity Chadwick needed.

While we were out of the country Bickers managed to get hold of a carrier bag of mushrooms at a gig in deepest Wales. They all had terrible bad trips in a haunted house. Bickers smashed his room to bits. No one was talking to him. He wound Pete the drummer up - a sweet guy - until he ended up punching Bickers in the face and running away in a service station and saying he’d left the band.

Guy didn’t let Pete Evans leave the band. He saw his opportunity and sacked Bickers instead.

I remember taking the call, about half eight in the morning in the Chateau Marmont hotel in LA and thinking, Great, we’ve thrown out the centre forward. I knew that the dynamite team was Guy and Terry. Bickers was just a killer guitarist. It’s not very cool to say it, but he was the only guy around then who was challenging the Edge as a guitar hero. Guy’s songs were great but it was Terry’s playing that made them shine. You don’t throw a guy like that out of the band, it’s insane.

I know it wasn’t easy dealing with Bickers - he was having a genuine breakdown - but kicking him out of the band was throwing in the towel. Things hadn’t been going well but given time and luck they could still have become one of the biggest bands in the world. Sacking Bickers removed any chance of that. They had to find a way of rehabilitating him somehow if they wanted to be successful.

I did my best to persuade them to take him back. I was furious. I was probably too honest. I told them they couldn’t survive without him, which was a blow to their egos.

They’d mostly recorded the Butterfly album (called House of Love like its predecessor, but known for its butterfly sleeve artwork) with Terry playing on it, but he didn’t tour it. They brought in Simon Walker who was actually a very good guitar player, but he wasn’t right. In a different way, a jazz way, he was arguably a better guitarist than Terry Bickers. But for me that’s what’s wrong with jazz - players who think they’re more intelligent than other players because they understand the chords better. (Some journalists have that problem too with punctuation if you ask me. No, it’s about the message unfortunately.) He was trying to educate the masses when what they wanted was a killer guitar line. When I first saw them play with Simon, I knew they’d blown their chance for good. He just didn’t have the presence of Bickers - you turned up to watch the band and it had become the Guy Chadwick show with a backing band. Getting rid of Bickers got rid of the rub that makes the best bands. Often it’s a brother thing. You look at Kasabian, at Tom and Serge, you look at Oasis, at Liam and Noel. The Libertines, Pete and Carl, and the Reid brothers. Great bands have got that rub. Even if they’re best mates, they’ve got that rub.

Interestingly, it’s not the same for record labels. Record labels work because they’re one man’s vision. It’s about Ivo at 4AD, or Laurence at Domino, or Jeff at Heavenly.

I used to talk about running Creation with a fascist state of mind and people thought I was a cunt for saying it. But it’s the only way to do it. You have to believe in your own vision and if people challenge it you have to have the courage to say, Fuck off, this is the way we’re doing it. Otherwise you never take risks and you never move quickly enough.

But bands aren’t like that. You need Bobby and Andrew. You need a spark against each other. We needed Guy and Terry.

I lost all belief in House of Love at that moment. It was just as they began to work in the charts too. The album came in at number 8, they sold out the Albert Hall. That was okay. But I had convinced myself that they were going to be superstars, and I couldn’t delude myself about that any more.