I'm off the UK to see a reunited Happy Mondays play Brixton Academy Friday night as a guest of the band. I'm most grateful to The Mirror for helping me bone up on Mondays lore.
1. According to singer Shaun Ryder, the Happy Mondays’ first instruments were “stolen from schools”.
2. Having overslept before a gig in Newcastle, a panicked Ryder found his bandmates and roadies had already left their hotel. Quickly dressing and hailing a taxi, he headed for the city’s biggest venue, rushed through the stage door and arrived on stage just as the band were beginning their first number. Unfortunately, the band on the stage were Simply Red. The Mondays were playing down the road.
3. The Mondays were big on nicknames. Ryder was rechristened X, guitarist Paul Day was Cow, dancer Mark Berry was obviously Bez and, in tribute to the Liverpool midfielder, drummer Gary Whelan was Ronnie. Keyboard player Paul Davis was less fortunate, inheriting the name Knobhead – later modified by a sympathetic Ryder to Penis.
Twenty more crazy Mondays facts are available here.