News & Insights 26 July 2012

The Top Five Craziest Things We’ve Ever Done

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…

THE TOP 5 FIVE CRAZIEST THINGS THE LIGHTYEARS HAVE EVER DONE

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

5. TONY GOES MENTAL ON A MUSHROOM
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.

4. LIMOBIKING OUT OF WEMBLEY STADIUM
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.

3. MIDNIGHT TRIP TO GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL
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.

2. TWO GIGS, TWO CONTINENTS, ONE DAY
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.

1. BABY DON’T LEAVE ME
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.]

 

© 2022 The Lightyears. All rights reserved.