New tome caused controversy

A new book focussed on the final days of Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards has caused huge controversy.

Richey Edwards remains an icon, more than fifteen years after his disappearance. Officially declared dead by his family, the Welsh guitarist simply woke up one morning in 1995 and left his old life behind.

Dead or alive, the enigma of Richey Edwards continues to draw new fans. His lyrics go far beyond the usual realms of rock music, focussing on left wing politics, philosophy and much more.

The new book 'Richard' focusses on his final days, and has provoked a mixed response. Written by Ben Ayers, the tome has caused an emotional reaction in Manic Street Preachers who are understandably protective of their friend.

Speaking to the NME Nicky Wire revealed that he had only read sections of the book as he "found it too upsetting to read the whole thing. The notion that somebody thinks they knew who he was … I mean, I thought I knew Richey, but maybe I didn't."

Author Ben Ayers has come in for a lot of criticism from fans of the group, with Richey Edwards retaining his allure. Speaking to The Guardian, the writer outlined his reasons for starting the project.

"Richey Edwards seemed quite unlike most people in bands. Too many musicians are deified these days – I've met a lot of them and have often been let down – but I think his intellectual interests and his continued influence warranted a literary treatment."

Continuing, Ayers insisted that every attempt was made to make the book as accurate as possible. "The book was fairly heavily researched. The music side of things I already knew, but I read, watched or listened to just about every bit of footage or ephemera relating to the band."

"I delved pretty deep to get minor details right: the history, layout and capacity of certain toilet venues for example, or the newspaper headlines or, say, the weather in a particular German town on a given day, what clothes were worn by whom and when and so forth. I also spoke to lots of people who knew Richey or were there at certain key events. Everyone had a different impression of him, though all spoke fondly of him."

'Richard' is out on October 1st.

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