Thursday, December 07, 2006


I've just had a call from long time friend and Price supporter Andy Peart. It was bad news. Wiz from the Mega City Four has died. He apparently had a head ache at a rehearsal at the weekend, ended up in hospital...

The first time I heard The Megas (as we used to call them) was when Andy played me their first single 'Miles Apart'/'Running in Darkness'. It was, and is, brilliant. At the time I was in no man's land- Malcolm had left The Price (see 'History' section of our website for the full gory story) and I was feeling pretty bad about the whole thing. 'Miles Apart', and seeing them live at The Sir George Robey in Finsbury Park changed all that. The first time I remember speaking to him was at a gig at The Greyhound in Fulham, a venue they played regularly around this time. He knew about by The (by then reforming) Price which amazed me; he was also amused when I remarked that he must be as big a poser as me as we both played a gold Les Paul Deluxe. The first gig we played with them was at The Barrel Organ in Birmingham- we were to be the first band on of 3 but the middle band The Milk Monitors were late (van breakdown I think) so we ended up playing for longer than we were booked for. Wiz told me afterwards that he loved it- that meant a lot to me I can tell you. We played with them quite a few times and I saw them play countless great gigs to an ever expanding audience. Highlights were many and varied but I particularly remember meeting them in Germany- we were over there on tour and noticed that they were playing on our night off in what was then East Berlin. We arrived at the venue just as they were unloading their gear- I can still see the looks of amazement that we got from them when they saw us. The last time I saw him was at The Hope & Anchor in Islington where he was gigging with his latest band Ipanema. He treated me like a long lost friend. A few days later I recieved a tape of demos- I hadn't asked for it, he just thought that I might like it (he did the same thing all those years earlier with an advance tape of 'Sebastapol Road'. Some people don't change do they?). I recognised the first song 'White Cat in a Snowstorm' from the gig as soon as I heard it on again; but you always remembered Wiz's songs. Well I did anyway.
And now he's gone. The news is still sinking in. I can't pretend to have known him well although I'd like to think that we were mates, particularly when our bands were playing together. The Megas had a drive and self-belief that I could only dream about- can still only dream about- but if they taught me anything it was that if you stick to your guns and believe that you can do something then, one way or another, you can. So one day maybe I'll write a song as good as 'Finish'. Or 'Ticket Collector'. Or '21 Again'. Or...

RIP Wiz mate, wherever you are- and thanks.

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