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Nicky Wire

Nicky Wire on the Manics' "Past, Present and Future" tour
Background information
Birth name Nicholas Allen Jones
Also known as Nicky Wire
Born January 20, 1969 (1969-01-20) (age 41)
Origin Tredegar, Wales,
United Kingdom
Genres Alternative rock
Instruments Bass, guitar
Years active 1989–present (Manic Street Preachers)
2005–present (solo)
Labels Columbia Records
Notable instruments
Fender Jazz Bass
Rickenbacker bass

Nicholas Allen Jones, known as Nicky Wire, is the lyricist, bassist and occasional vocalist with the Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers.



Born Nicholas Allen Jones on January 20, 1969[1] in Blackwood[2], 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[3] 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."[4] However, it has since been said that the remark was misinterpreted and that it "didn't come out the way I wanted it to."[5][6] Wire has stated that the band has taken "inspiration from Queen,"[7] 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.[3] He is also a fan of Warrington Wolves rugby league team[8], 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."[9]"

Wire is the younger brother of poet and author Patrick Jones.[1]

In November 2007, he was recruited as Chair of the Advisory Board for the new commercial Xfm South Wales Radio Station.[10]

Solo career

Nicky Wire performing at the 2007 V Festival.

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.[11] 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.[citation needed] 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.

Personal life

He married his childhood sweetheart, Rachel,[1] 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,[citation needed] he later paid public tribute to his home in the title of the track "Wattsville Blues," on the Manics' Know Your Enemy album.

Musical equipment

Bass guitars

Solo discography

  • "I Killed the Zeitgeist" (Free download from the official Manics website, December 25, 2005)
  • "Daydreamer Eyes" (Limited free download from official solo site, June 2006)
  • "The Shining Path" (Exclusive iTunes only download, July 17, 2006)
  • "Break My Heart Slowly" (September 18, 2006) - #74


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Nicky Wire (born January 20, 1969) is a bassist and lyricist for the Manic Street Preachers.


In Interviews etc.

  • If literature or music can make you think or become aware, then it's done something. That's what we've always wanted to do, just ignite sparks in people's minds. We can't offer a manifesto of how to make your life better.
    • Spiral Scratch interview (1991)
  • Where there's nature, or where there's breathing, there are true moments of joy. You've just got to recognise them and not take them for granted. And that's what I try to do, have moments of elation in life, however small, five minutes a day, and be able to think, 'Yeah, that'll do. That'll do me for now."
    • Vox (October, 1996)
  • We were are Number 94 in the charts, but everyone had an opinion on us. That was the most brilliant thing we'd achieved.
    • Melody Maker
  • We're looking forward to autodestructing more than ever.
    • The Observer
  • The only good thing about America is that you killed John Lennon.
    • On-stage in New York
  • Signing to a major record company is the price of an education. We don't care what they do to us.
    • NME
  • Last night on-stage I really thought that we could have made something happen, started a riot, but it was like looking into the abyss and being really scared of what to do about it.
    • NME


  • We are going to set fire to ourselves on Top Of The Pops.
  • Long live the king! May he reign in Hell!
  • If you look very far away there's a special tent, and it's like only four people allowed in 'cos that's all the fans they've got... it's the Beta Band, so if anyone wants to go and fuck off and see that pile of shit, a bunch of drugged up arseholes playing in a tent to one person, fuck off now. Yes, a true bunch of cunts.
  • There's a guy looking at his watch down the front who wants to fuck off home. Go on, fuck off you prick! Get out of my fucking sight. This one's for Billy Bragg, the biggest-nosed twat in the world, his music is so bad, get back in the fucking army you dickwit. And stop stealing Woodie Guthrie's songs!
  • I say build some more fucking bypasses over this shithole. (On stage at Glastonbury Festival 1994)
  • In the season of goodwill, let's hope that Michael Stipe goes the same way as Freddy Mercury pretty soon.
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