Ric Blaxill, is a former Top of the Pops producer, current Music and Content Director at Bauer Media and longtime massive Wildhearts fan. Here he shares his memories of the band…
When did you first hear The Wildhearts?
The first time I heard the band was when I was producing the Radio 1 Breakfast Show and I got sent ‘Greetings From Shitsville’. I loved the full on energy and rock spirit of the track and was keen to support new British rock bands at Radio 1. Clearly the title wasn’t going to work on radio so when ‘TV Tan’ came out we started playing it on the show! Continue reading
‘29 x The Pain‘ is a b-side on the ‘Suckerpunch‘ single where Ginger cleverly weaves his musical influences into the lyrics of the song. It’s likely the title is a nod to the Husker Du song ‘59 Times the Pain‘, there are a number of theories about the significance of the number 29. When The Wildhearts songs are listed in release order track, the song is the 29th track. Alternatively, it may have been Ginger’s age at the time of writing. The band’s A&R man at EastWest, Dante Bonutto, told Raw magazine “This was one of my absolute favourites. A lot of people ask me what the title is about and I thought it was either referring to the fact that there were 29 of Ginger’s favourite bands mentioned in the song or that he was 29 when he wrote it. I tried counting the bands but I don’t think it came to 29, so I reckon it refers to his age.”
Click the image below for an interactive experience…
After profiling Snake on the blog, I recently caught up with Dunken Francis (aka Dunken F Mullett), another onetime frontman of the early Wild Hearts. In a less than obvious career move, Dunken is now an aikido instructor based in New Zealand. Although, he hasn’t caught up with Ginger since the Silver Ginger 5 tour in Japan, he was kind enough to spare me some time before he jetted off to teach aikido at a seminar in Australia.
Although Snake had left The Wildhearts (or The Wild Hearts as they were called during his tenure) by the time they were signed to EastWest, he was a key character in the early days of the band’s story, yet is often overlooked when it is told.
From an early age, Stuart John Neale, was a fan of rock music and even filled his acoustic guitar with concrete in the hope it would produce a heavier sound. At school he was given the nickname Snake for his ability for getting away with bad behaviour such as having a crafty fag and generally being able to get out of any situation.
Out of the 11 tracks (12 if we’re talking about the 1994 re-issue) the oldest would be Love U Til I Don’t, the origins of which can be traced back to the very first Wild Hearts demos. Here is a demo version featuring original singer, Snake, plucked from the archived. It sounds quite different to the version on the album although you might be familiar with the chorus.
With thanks to Steve Coombe for uploading the track.