Nicky Wire on the Manics' "Past, Present and Future" tour
|Birth name||Nicholas Allen Jones|
|Also known as||Nicky Wire|
|Born||January 20, 1969|
|Years active||1989–present (Manic Street Preachers)
|Fender Jazz Bass
Born Nicholas Allen Jones on January 20, 1969 in Blackwood, Wales, he attended Oakdale Comprehensive School with James Dean Bradfield, Sean Moore and Richey James Edwards. He excelled at football, was captain of the Welsh national schoolboys' team aged 14 and was offered a trial at Arsenal Football Club. Nothing became of this because of his back and knee problems. He took A-levels in politics and law. He later attended the University of Wales Swansea, starting his course a year after Richey. He graduated with a Lower Second-Class Honours degree in Political History.
He was originally the band's rhythm guitarist, but changed to playing bass guitar after original bassist, Flicker, left the band. He co-wrote the band's lyrics with Richey Edwards between 1989 and 1995, taking over sole responsibility following Edwards' disappearance. 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 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 emphasize 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." However, it has since been said that the remark was misinterpreted and that it "didn't come out the way I wanted it to." Wire has stated that the band has taken "inspiration from Queen," Mercury's band, as well as being noted fans of R.E.M.'s earlier albums.
Wire follows the Welsh rugby union team and its regions. He is also a fan of Warrington Wolves rugby league team, who are nicknamed Wire, as well as being a supporter of Tottenham Hotspur FC in football, for whom he turned down an offer for a trial with as a teenager.""
On Christmas Day 2005, the Manics posted a solo track by Wire called "I Killed the Zeitgeist", available to download for one day. A Nicky Wire solo album was released on 25 September 2006. 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 June 5, 2006. 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. It was mentioned after the gig that a solo tour was being considered. On the following day, Wire released the free track "Daydreamer Eyes" on his new web site. His début solo album, entitled I Killed the Zeitgeist was released on September 25, with a single - "Break My Heart Slowly" — released on September 18. He released his first single "The Shining Path" as an exclusive iTunes only download on July 17.
He married his childhood sweetheart, Rachel, on 25 September 1993. He missed the band's appearance on Top of the Pops because of the honeymoon and was replaced on the day by a suitably tall Manics roadie wearing a Mickey Mouse mask. He lives in the Newport suburb of Allt-yr-yn with Rachel, their daughter, Clara Enola, who was born in 2002, their son Stanley McCarthey, who was born in 2007 and their dog, Molly. He doesn't live up to the typical rock and roll image and until recently still lived in an end of 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, he later paid public tribute to his home in the title of the track "Wattsville Blues," on the Manics' Know Your Enemy album.