The Top Five Craziest Things We’ve Ever Done

26 July 2012

Stage diving at our first ever Cape Town gig.Muse bassist Chris Wolstenholme has come out in the NME today confessing to his recent battle with alcoholism.

He was smashed all day every day, apparently, his habit soon taking its toll on his health, his family and on the band. He’s now fixed the problem – and even penned some tunes about it that appear on Muse’s next album – but this got me thinking about just, you know, just how damn crazy it can be when you’re living the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.

I know, I know – you look at me and you go ‘there’s a guy who has done some crazy-ass, rock ‘n’ roll shit in his time’, and you’d be right. I’m out of control. I once went on tour WITHOUT A CLIPBOARD. Seriously. I mean, it was a mistake… a gross lapse of concentration… but once the weeping had subsided, I found a way round it (small notebook).

Anyway, in honour of Wolstenholme’s triumphant victory over alcoholism, I thought I’d present to you…


(Watch out, ‘cos they’re ruddy crazy.)

On tour in South Korea in 2011, LYs drummer Tony partied for twelve hours straight on a giant mushroom. No, not a magic mushroom – a polystyrene one he’d nicked from the gig we’d just played (don’t ask). He held onto it all night, dragging it through two clubs and three bars, eventually admitting defeat when a misguided attempt to lob it onto the roof of a brothel went horribly wrong. Naughty boy.

Tony will kick my ass for publishing this photo. Totally worth it though.

Presented with the problem of how to get from a gig at Wembley Stadium to a booking in Bagshot in less than forty minutes, extensive research led from helicopter (no landing pad at the stadium – lame) via teleportation (technology yet to be developed) to the wonder of Virgin Limobikes. This was literally the coolest thing I have EVER done. Mind you, my driver told me that the last artist he’d had on the back of his bike was Cheryl Cole and, bearing that in mind, I suspected he may have been slightly disappointed with that day’s cargo (it didn’t help that I was whimpering with fear, obviously).

Oh my god, it's James Dean!! Wait, no. It's just Tony.

In 2007, we were lucky enough to work with legendary, multi-million selling producer Hugh Padgham, responsible for massive hits such as ‘In The Air Tonight’ and ‘Every Breath You Take’. He’s used to working with Sting, McCartney and Elton John, is Hugh, so he was a bit taken aback when, at 3am in the morning after a hefty mixing session on our track ‘Sleepless’, we downed tools, jumped into our battered Mitsubishi Spacewagon (that’s right – Spacewagon) and drove all the way to Somerset for a string of gigs at Glastonbury Festival. On the way we hit some debris and buggered the car, arrived at 6.30am, slept in the boot for two hours, got up, walked our gear onsite, cracked open the whisky and hit the stage at about 11 in the morning. Fairly tipsy. Hoorah!

Chris & George Lightyear at Glasto, off their noggins on cheap whisky.

For our fourth American tour, some dim-witted buffoon* on The Lightyears’ management team thought it would be a good idea to book us a gig in Portsmouth on Saturday night (ending at 2.30am) and then another in Union Square, New York – on the other side of the Atlantic – at lunchtime the following day. You don’t need me to point out that this isn’t a good idea, but hey. After 45 minutes of restless kip on Tony’s sofa I was bundled into the car at some ungodly hour by the rest of the band and we set off for Heathrow, utterly knackered. Some hours later, praying against unexpected delays, we went straight from the plane to customs to a cab to the streets of Manhattan to the stage and BOOM, we were off. I still can’t really remember the gig, to be honest. I think I was hallucinating at the time.

*It’s possible that the dim-witted buffoon was, in fact, me.

This is how we looked afterwards. And that's Sports Illustrated swimwear model Melissa Baker, smiling through the overwhelming smell of sweat.

It’s obvious what goes at Number One – that gig we did by mistake in a crèche. Yeah, you might scoff at this – might question just how crazy it really was – but if you think there are many things scarier than trying to convince a roomful of screaming, shitting toddlers to purchase your new charity football single, you’d be very wrong indeed.

[No photo was available for this incident. Seriously, that’s for the best.]


Lightyears complete new album “London, England”

23 December 2008

Tony turning up for Day One of recording back in March!It’s been nine months since we first set foot in the Voyager Studio to begin work on our second full-length album – and as 2008 draws to a close, we can now announce that the record is finished!  

The ten-track album is called London, England and features familiar tracks “This House Will Burn”, “Filmstar” and “She’s The One” along with lesser-heard material such as “England”, “I’m Not” and “Firefly”. We’re also very excited to reveal that it will include the tracks we recorded last year with Hugh Padgham, “Sleepless” and “Emily”. Hugh has worked with countless great artists such as Sting & The Police, Genesis, Paul McCartney and David Bowie, won four Grammys and sold over 50 million records – so we’re incredibly honoured to have his work on our album.

We’re really proud of the record and can’t wait for you guys to hear it. London, England will be released in the New Year – watch this space for updates!

Lightyears to appear on National TV

1 September 2007

It has just been announced that The Lightyears will be appearing on ITV1’s new chat show The Alan Titchmarsh Show on Thursday 18 October.

Alan will interview the band, along with new Lightyears producer Hugh Padgham (Sting & The Police, Genesis, Paul McCartney, David Bowie etc), and following this the LYs will play a song live in the studio. Other artists currently scheduled to appear in the series include Kaiser Chiefs, Jools Holland, Sugababes and Lionel Ritchie.

The show is aired at 3pm daily and is expected to go out to around 3 million viewers.

…In the meantime, don’t forget that The Lightyears are headlining the Clapham Grand this Wednesday 5 September for Feedme Music’s INDY AWARDS CELEBRATION PARTY.

Doors 7.30pm, first band 8pm. LYs onstage 9.30pm. See you there!

LYs record with legendary producer Hugh Padgham

28 June 2007

If you’re wondering why The Lightyears have been a little quiet for the last few weeks, here’s why – the band have been busy in the studio, recording new tracks with legendary producer Hugh Padgham.

Hugh Padgham is generally regarded as one of the most important producers in the history of popular music. He has worked with Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Kate Bush and Elton John but is perhaps most famous for his work with Sting, The Police, Genesis and Phil Collins. Hugh’s production skills were behind such classic hits as Sting’s Fields Of Gold, Every Breath You Take by The Police and Phil Collins’ In The Air Tonight. Over his prestigious career he has won 4 Grammys and sold over 250 million records.

Over recent weeks, The Lightyears have recorded three songs with Hugh. Watch this space for further updates over the coming months!