After having spent the past six months reacquainting myself with the music of some of the poster-boys of my youth, I thought it would be fun to see what became of them. Some we know about: poor Kurt Cobain, or the likes of Trent Reznor who seems to be releasing something every second Tuesday. Next to him on my lurid grey-striped wallpaper (seriously, what was with that awful 90s decor?) was Al Jourgensen.
On the left, that’s how I remember him when I thought that he epitomised the ideal taste in fashion (hey, you’re talking to someone who willingly put black chipboard furniture with red plastic handles in their bedroom). I remember my straight friend Mike, who knew him, describing Al as “really sexy”, though I never really saw it under all that hair. He’s 51 now and officially disbanded Ministry in 2008, but still releases RevCo albums and works as a producer. In case you’re wondering, he quit heroin years ago after nearly losing an arm! Good to see he’s doing OK, and that Last Sucker album was actually pretty good.
Tim Burgess (The Charlatans)
Born 30 May 1967, the Charlatans singer epitomised the non-threatening cheeky-chappy indie vocalists of the time. For about three years in my early teens, he was my idol. I may have lost interest, but it seems he didn’t: the 43 year-old is still fronting the band, who released their 12th album, Who We Touch, on 6 September this year. It reached number 21 in the UK charts.
Christian ‘Bic’ Hayes
The former Cardiacs and Levitation guitarist was someone I found absolutely enchanting – moreso after meeting him, though I eventually came to regard him as more of a beloved acquaintance than a pop star crush (which he definitely was in my teens). At one point he lived in the narrowest house in London, and though I never went there, friends said they felt claustrophobic and had to leave after a few minutes. It seemed oddly fitting a habitat for the diminutive eccentric. After Levitation, he formed Dark Star, who enjoyed brief chart success, before finding session work with the Pet Shop Boys and Heather Nova. In the decade or so since we lost touch, he’s been involved in tour management and production and working on his solo project, Mikrokosmos.
Mark Gardener (Ride)
Singer of Oxford indie darlings Ride, Mark Gardener was the impossibly pretty face of shoegazing back in 1990. The 40 year-old currently works as a producer/songwriter and guesting vocalist.
Ian ‘Mary Byker’ Hoxley
The sweet-natured Kurt Cobain lookalike fronted Gaye Bykers On Acid in the late 1980s and Apollo 440 in the 90s. He now lives in Rio and writes soundtracks.
Kevin ‘Ogre’ Ogilvie
The pic on the left was taken in about 1986 and the one on the right was, I think, last year. In between making obvious Faustian pacts, Ogre has been appearing in Repo: The Genetic Opera and playing and recording with the re-formed Skinny Puppy. Naming the latest album In Solvent See after label SPV went bust, it’s still anyone’s guess as to when we’ll actually get to hear it.
Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones)
Most people remember Jesus Jones as being about the same as EMF, only slightly harder and slightly better. Right Here Right Now was the biggest single, leaping onto that optimistic vibe after the Berlin Wall fell, but they had better songs, like this one. It’s not every week that a video with a guy in a gimp costume gets played on Saturday morning TV. As for what became of the band, they released an EP called Culture Vulture in 2004, but beyond that, it’s anybody’s guess. Any ideas?