Our Happy Mondays bandmates Bez and Shaun Ryder have been best friends for years.
Tonight, they both return to TV as Alexander Armstrong and Richard Othman present a bands special version of Pointless Celebrities. Sean and Biz will be joined by Mark Morris, Kimberly White, Kelly Young, Rick Witter, Faye Tozer and Sabrina Washington as they try to come up with the least likely correct answers to a series of questions posed to the audience.
The pair don’t seem to do much without each other, as Sean recently supported his friend from the audience as Biz competed on ITV’s Dancing on Ice. They have also starred on Channel 4’s Celebrity Gogglebox together.
Read more:Richard Othman leaves BBC Pointless after 13 years
We take a look at their friendship through the years, including how they rode the wave of the “Madchester” scene in the ’80s. It was a time when they toured the world and rewarded themselves with a dip in a cocktail of drugs and alcohol.
Pease admitted that their scandalous sessions “tend to work a bit”. It’s now clean, but he previously said that at the height of their fame, the band enjoyed four-day sex parties and took “every drug goes”. “But after three nights and up to the fourth day, I think you might get a little deranged, and if you have a good mate they usually send you home to sleep,” said the 57-year-old.
During a party at the legendary nightclub The Haçienda in Manchester in 1989, the Bees fell off the stage in the middle of their performance and sustained a nasty wound to his forehead. Instead of getting plastered, I grabbed some liquid LSD for my lead guitarist and dripped it into the wound. Explaining what happened in his 2000 autobiography Freaky Dancin’, Pease admitted that he could not remember anything after returning on stage with the maraca.
One Happy Mondays party even claimed to have once hosted a wild four-day party with sex shows and dwarves. Roweta, who has been recording and touring with the band since 1990, admitted that it lives up to their “sex, drugs and rock and roll” mantra.
She told the Daily Star Sunday in 2019: “The way of life we were living at the time was non-stop. We were really 24 hour party people. It was every day of the year. It was so brutal. It was so crazy. It was everything. Also. Extreme. We used to stay outside for days. When you’re young and having fun, that’s okay.”
Happy Monday band disbandment
The group led a hedonistic, drug-fueled life, which is documented in part in the 24-hour movie Party People, but this led to the band’s original breakup. Happy Mondays referred to heroin by the secret code name of Kentucky Fried Chicken, which led to some awkward situations.
In a meeting with EMI in 1994, Sean Ryder was said to have pulled out just as Mondays were about to sign a £1.7m contract, telling executives he was “going to Kentucky Fried Chicken”. Sean claimed he would be back soon but he never came back and the deal was over.
Pease appeared in the 2005 movie Celebrity Big Brother in order to pay off one of his tax bills. He then went on a ten-hour bender game after winning the series.
Life has changed drastically now that Bez has started his own YouTube fitness channel on lockdown under the title “Buzzin’ with Bez”. He quit cannabis because it was making him “miraculous” and quit smoking more than 20 years ago.
Sean has now also been clean and sober for years, and thanks his wife, Joan, for that. He said, “In the end, it wasn’t any fancy rehab that got me clean. I did it on my own, with Joan’s help. I cleaned myself. I stopped taking cocaine, methadone, weed, and even stopped drinking for a while.”
“I was totally straight, and I started thinking a lot… 20 years of life I didn’t really feel because I was drugged with heroin. Then I had to try and process all this a**t. It was like fast forward through 20 years of feelings. I was in every Place. Up and down like f***ing yo-yo. I felt like a ball in a mental pinball machine.”
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