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Madpost – Lookback at 1997

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Monthly Madpost – Lookback at 1997
Another Year Passes us by

Hiya all,

Well, it’s the end of the year again, and that can only mean one thing – Yep, it’s flashback time. What did we get up to on the list throughout 1997? Perhaps you’ve forgotten, perhaps you’ve only recently joined the list.

Well, sit back with your pack of indigestion tablets and paracetamol and take a trip down memory lane.

The idea of this little ‘Madpost Special’ is for you to see the High’s and the Low’s of the past year. I think you’ll agree, the High’s far out-weighed the lows!!

Happy reading,

January 1997

The Highs:
Suggs appearing on BBC2’s “Nevermind the Buzzcocks”. The Madness frontman performed a hilarious rendition of “Ghost Town” by The Specials, whilst everyone fell around laughing when they showed a clip from Top of The Pops where Chris Eubank was presenting; “at number 5 iths Stugth withh Thethelia”, most amusing.

The Lows:
The Suggs Christmas concerts being cancelled due to poor ticket sales.

The shortest Madpost ever!

February 1997

The Highs:
Rumours that Madness were to perform a one-off gig in Worthing!!

Suggs’ 36th birthday was celebrated by Simon Mayo on Radio One. To commemorate this he played ‘Michael Caine’ – strange that he should choose that as it was the only single sung by Carl!

The April Mailing List Meet is set for Saturday 19th April outside Camden Town Tube Station. Suggs was informed about the meet but we never found out if he received the invite or not.

Suggs appears at The Hackney Empire as part of the Terrance Higgins Trust gig. Dodgy were to headline along with Steve Coogan and other comedians.

The first Mailing List Top 10 Singles Poll swung into operation.

Kevin Tizzard’s wonderful ‘Madquiz’ appears along with news that the ‘Madquiz’ pages will be appearing shortly.

The Mailing List T-shirts rear their head for the first (and by no means last!) appearance. At this early stage we were just looking for some ideas – short/long sleeved, front and back pattern, colour/b&w. Nearly 12 months on and we’re still sorting it out!! ;)

Madness IRC appears!!

The Lows:
To find that the one-off gig was only rumours. After much phoning around Kevin Tizzard finally gets through to the box office in Worthing to be told that it was none other than Madness cover band ‘Utter Madness’ who were headlining!

Finding that Madness IRC was only frequented by a really small minority each week. More people were definately needed!

March 1997

The Highs:
The ‘No Doubt’ topic being laid to rest (unfortunately not for the last time this year).

Joseph and Diane Schipsi decide that they HAVE to come to the Camden Meet in April, even if it does mean travelling over 3’000 miles from Philly!!!

Suggs appears in ‘Melody Maker’ (cover date Feb 15th). The heading was “Suggs gets pissed with Dodgy” and the main text is:

“The most drunken man of the week award has to go to SUGGS for his rather, ahem, ‘free and easy’ rendition of ‘It Must Be Love’ with DODGY at the Terence Higgins Trust benefit at the Hackney Empire. Our theory is that the Suggster tried to keep up treat-for-treat with the Dodgy boys only to fall foul of their voracious appetites and iron constitutions, but when we put this to ANDY MILLER after the show, he just smiled enigmatically and mumbled something about ‘too many lager shandies'”.

Madness ’97 Calendar’s available from Scandecor Limited. Each month had a different selection of photo’s from the Madstock 3 concert along with some smatterings (of occasionally incorrect) information.

Suggs appearing in Poland!

Yes, I kid you not. Iwona Smucerowicz managed to catch him on TV when he was guest on “The Evening with Alice”. He sand ‘Cecilia’ and gave an interview. When asked about the possibility of a new album he replied with “Maybe in 2027”. Hopefully we won’t have to wait quite that long!

If it can be done in England, why not try it Stateside? The idea of a Stateside Madness Meet was suggested by resident nutty – James Clauser.

The Lows:
Scandecor Limited still selling the Madness calendar at 6.99 even though we were almost 3 months into the year already!! – Many were bought :)

April 1997

The Highs:
Suggs to host a radio show on Chelsea FC’s radio station. The show is going to be called “Suggs’ 6:06 show” and is a phone-in about the afternoon’s home Chelsea game.

The Madmeet Dummy Run. Yes, you read that right. Susan (Tinkerdoo) and he sister Erin weren’t able to make it to the April meetup as they couldn’t get time off to fly from the US to London then. However, as they were over a few weeks earlier, Nathan, Richard and myself used the day as a dummy run for the meet that was going to take place in April.

The huge guestlist for the forthcoming UK Madmeet. I think we had around 20 people say that they’d be coming.

Details for the US Madmeet in New York were now available. The date was going to be the same as the UK meet so that it could coincide with the goings-on here in the UK.

The Lows:
Crap remix shocker!! Suggs continues to produce remixes of just about any song he can get his hands on. This time it’s the might of “House of Fun” that gets ruined with lots of dance backing beats and singers.

A certain member of the mailing list referred to this as “A travisty” whilst others gave it a swift slagging off.

May 1997

The Highs:
The UK meet-up is an amazing success. For some reason ‘Rock on!’ which was closed a few weeks previously was open for business – in we poured to pick up those Madness classics.

In the end we had a superb turn-out – 18 Maddies from all over the UK (and other parts of the globe) turned up to make it an extremely memorable day indeed.

Meeting ‘The Guvnor’ of the Dublin Castle and listening to his stories of Madness and how they made his pub famous.

Buying our fez’ from “Escapade” – the joke shop where “House of Fun” was filmed!

Suggs announces that NEW MATERIAL IS ON ITS WAY. Little did we know we’d have to wait so long to hear it! (at the time of typing, we still haven’t!!)

Jim Clauser contributes his first of many mad ramblings to the Madpost.

Mark Bedford’s first contribution to the Madpost was well received with his article about the ‘Fabled Liquidator Tracks’. Just what did happen to them and where were they now?

Crunch appear on the internet. It’s not an official site but once there you can access a full length live audio recording of their last Dublin Castle gig as well as live video footage of them playing the tracks ‘Here He Comes’, ‘Magic Carpet’ and ‘Birthday Girl’.

Curiosity Corner:
Sugg’s left arm is in plaster during an interview yet no mention of this was made – strange!! Later, newspaper reports broke the news with the following:

“FORMER Madness frontman Suggs ruined his family’s ski holiday. They all had to come home after just TWO days because he broke his arm in a fall on the slopes.

Suggs says: ‘I hadn’t been skiing for about five years. The last thing I heard before my accident was my kids shouting ‘Dad, dad, don’t!’ Then I disappeared over a small precipice that I hadn’t seen.”

The Lows:
The poor turn-out for the US Madmeet. I think at the last count it was 2 people. Come you lot. What went wrong?!

June 1997

The High’s:
Suggs getting interviewed on Channel five. It was an interview on a kiddies program called “The Mag” and he was there all morning.

When asked if Madness were going to do any more tours he replied with:

“Nothing is planned, but Madness have had a few ‘goodbye’ concerts so there may be more to come.

Chelsea Football Team release a single. The frontman is none other than Lord Suggs himself! Damon Albarn and David Baddiel were also invited to sing the song but turned down the invitations to do so.

“The song really catches the team spirit, and we had a great laugh recording it,” beams skipper Dennis Wise. “But it’s a good job we play football and don’t sing for a living.”

NME gave the song ‘Single of The week’ and said that it was very Madnessey in style and sound, and said that it was the best footie song that they’d ever heard! I bet the reviewer was a Chelsea fan ;)

The results for the 2nd Mailing List 10 fave singles is released. “Our House” got the number one slot with “Baggy Trousers” and “One Step Beyond” getting positions 2 and 3 respectively.

Suggs appears on TV again, this time on Channel 4’s ‘Light Lunch’.

There was a phone-in part where someone rang in and asked Suggs if Madness were going to do any more concerts, to which Suggs replied that it was highly likely, then he started talking about how Madness needed to get some new material out instead of just playing all their old songs all the time. He was just about to elaborate on the ‘new material’ aspect when the presenter cut him off, saying he’d waffled for too long already – aaarrggghhh!!!

Geffen Records re-release ‘Keep Moving’ and ‘Mad not Mad’ for the US market.

The Downers:
No definate news of new Suggs/Madness material. All we have to go on is rumours and mumblings.

July 1997

The Highs:
The April Madmeet photo’s finally appear thanks to the efforts of Ed Stebbing-Allen and Irish Madster – Gaz Mulligen. They should still be up at: http://www.clubi.ie/gem/edspics/

Yvette Reader’s strange ditty relating to the copyright issues that Virgin and EMI Music had recently been kind enough (coughs) to bring into the limelight for all us webmasters. The song – “What do Virgin Think They’re Doing” will thankfully NOT be on the new Suggs album ;)

Rumours that Madness have contributed one track from a number of groups which will appear on a Noel Coward album to be released in Easter of 1998 – we shall see.

Plans are afoot for an August Madmeet. Although a date is set it was going to change a number of times before a final date was decided on.

The Lows:
Thankfully, none to speak of!

August 1997

The Highs:
The list bustling with activity even with the majority of uni subscribers off home for the holidays!

‘Blue Day’ appears in REAL AUDIO format on the Chelsea web pages. It’s possible to download 3 different versions including the ‘Road to Wembley Mix’ and the ‘FA Cup Mix’.

The address is: www.chelseafc.co.uk
Suggsylia being kind enough to type-up some articles from the ‘Mad Dogs Tour’ Programme.

The Madness ICQ List appears. For all of you Nuts who have got the computing hardware and software to be able to get ICQ, why not pop along to:

Add your name to the list of Madsters already there.

Mark Bedford returns to the Madpost with a section all about NUT INC. Apparently NUT INC was an early attempt by the band to make and sell its own merchandising. It was never open to the public though. From there the original ‘F**k Art, Lets Dance’ T-shirts and the one that said ‘Nutty’ and had a pork pie hat above the word were produced there.

The Fave B-Sides tally was running well. As the August issue went to press the fave b-side was ‘In the City’.

The Lows:
Although Diane Cooke and Joe Skips’ idea of Nutty Punters taking pics of themselves in front of famous locations around the world was an excellent idea. The response was limited. Perhaps it’s worth trying again???

Nut Inc issue 9 being complete albeit without the cover artwork.

September 1997

The Highs:
The review of the 3rd UK Madmeet. Who did what and when. A more in-depth version of ‘Simon’s Post Meet Statistics’ really.

Mark and Chris making some excellent additions to the ‘official’ Madness website. Chris’s first section of Q+A appear with some amusing results!

The mailing list celebrates its second birthday – thanks everyone!!

Maarten Karel’s light-hearted review of all the best places to visit and shop in and around Camden Town. If you were unsure of where to go to fill in the missing gaps in your Madness collection, Maarten had all the details.

Darren Bowen appears with the scoop on just what tracks will be appearing on the forthcoming Geffen Madness album – “Total Madness”.

The album is to be released in the US and Canada only, but I’m sure it will appear in the import sections of European shops before too long.

Suggsylia’s back with yet another painstakingly typed-in interview. This time it’s Suggs who’s being interviewed about Madness’ 21st hit single – ‘Uncle Sam’. Taken from ‘Number 1 Magazine’ – 2nd November 1985, it’s a great interview with the man himself, telling us how things have changed over the years, how family life has altered his lifestyle, and even the decor of his bedroom!!

Simon Roberts’ “Post Meet Statistics”. Little did we all know that this was going to become a regular thing after each meet from that day on. If you don’t want to become famous for something on the list, don’t do it when Simon’s around! :)

My copy of Nut Inc arriving through the letterbox gave me the opportunity to type-up a quick review for all subscribers who were still without their copies.

The ‘Favourite B-Side Tally’ continues. ‘In the City’ is still in first place, whilst joint 2nd are Jennie (a Portrait of), Fireball XL5 and One’s Second Thoughtlessness. In third place was ‘Don’t Quote me on that’.

 A selection of webmasters got their opportunity to plug their websites with the title, contents, and of course – site address. Hopefully their little bits of Nuttyness on the net have had a huge increase in hits since then.

Paul Andrews graces the mailing list with his completely hilarious “Madness Conspiracy Theory No. 43”. Apparently someone managed to get hold of a sample of Suggs’ DNA and then went to Boston, Massachusetts in an attempt to clone the man himself. Then (he continues) some rogue genetic material entered into the DNA cocktail and Dicky Barrett from the ‘Mighty Bosstones’ was created!! Bizzare or what?! Only you, a nation can decide!

The Lows:
Nut Inc issue nine is now released but many subscribers are still awaiting their copies. By the end of the month most people have finally got thier mits on a copy.

October 1997

The Highs:
News from Bedders that Cathal was almost ready to make his pages available for viewing via the ‘official’ website arrived with eager anticipation and questions from a number fo subscribers as to just what the contents would be.

I think we’ll have to wait till 1998 to get the answer as at the time of typing (28/12/97) they’re still not up. Here’s to next year eh?

.Mark Bryant is nominated ‘Madbrain of the Month’. Little did we know that Mark was going to stay at the top for the rest of the year. Still, I suppose it saved updating a part of the website!

Luke Roberts sets up his ‘Madness Jukebox’ on his website. “I was kind of impressed by the jukebox in the Dublin Castle, so I built my own jukebox on the internet. Feel Free to drop by and select a song

Resident Nutty – Nina spends one week in London and ends up meeting Menswear AND the almighty Cathal Smyth who stops in the street and sings her his new song! What an honour!

Suggsylia continues the tradition of her monthly typed-in article for the Madpost. This time the article is taken from ‘Record Mirror’ dated March 12th 1988 and concerns the going’s on with regards to the new (at the time) Madness shoot-off band – ‘The Madness’. The article is titled ‘The Madness – The Return of the Los Palmas Four’ and is all about how the lads have changed since the heady days of Madness. Suggs and Carl are interviewed in this light-hearted article that’s highly amusing.

Chris Byrne have been away from e-mail land but that doesn’t mean he can’t keep contributing to the list traffic. Far from it. The lad is back and this time he’s brought along his story regarding the signed SUGGS DM that he has in his collection!!

A selction of artwork for the mailing list t-shirts is now complete. All that remains to do is to let Bedders have a look and get the issue of ‘copyright’ sorted out so that Dave and myself don’t have EMI and Virgin on our backsides.

The Lows:
For once, none to speak of!

November 1997

The Highs:
The Terry Edwards Allstars gig gets a full review along with the usual ‘Post Meet Statistics’ kindly produced by Simon Roberts and Yvette Reader.

Colin Robertson finds a cool piece of software for all Macintosh owners who have a CD ROM drive. The little package ‘knows’ what tracks are on each CD and displays titles and running times for all tracks. All Madness albums and even the Suggs singles worked!

Colin did manage to stump it with the Crunch’s “Policeman”, but as you can program it in yourself it’s no major loss.

You can get the package from href=”http://hyperarchive.lcs.mit.edu/HyperArchive/Archive/gst/snd/incdius-10.hqx”> HERE!

Madness adverts appear on UK television ads. Ok, not ‘exactly’ Madness adverts, but ones that use a selection of nutty tracks as backing music for other products. “Los Palmas 7” is played through an Irish Whisky advert whilst Suggs is doing a voice-over for a new Mars Bar advert.

Chris Bryne stumbles across a little snippet taken from a recent copy of ‘The Sunday Times’ “1000 Makers of Music” supplement.

Unsurprisingly Madness are in the listing and received an excellent review. Their keywork is stated as ‘Our House’.

The ‘official’ and List site appearing in London’s ‘Time Out’ magazine and receiving excellent reviews!! Apparently the two sites are one of the best mixtures of ‘official’ and ‘unofficial’ sites currently on the net!!

The Lows:
The news that there will NOT be a Madstock 4 next year. Money that was saved for the airfare and tickets was instead spent on a new car by one Stateside Maddie.

Bedders dying of the dreaded lurgy at the “Terry Edwards” gig held in Dingwalls (Camden Town).

Simon having his glasses half-inched and me having my camera stolen at Dingwalls!! We’re now looking for a short-sighted camera buff!!

Chris Byrne, Simon Roberts and myself paying 100 pounds for a room for one night whilst Ed Stebbing-Allen and Stuart Wright pay 22 and get a full English breakfast in the morning!!

Nut Inc issue nine penned for a mid November release. It’s still not here and it’s the end of December. Don’t worry, I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait!!

December 1997

The Highs:
The news that new sections will be appearing on the ‘official’ site sometime soon. Mark and Chris are a bit snowed under at the moment so the updates may arrive later rather than sooner.

Suggs hosting a special version of ‘Night Fever’ for BBC’s “Children in Need” appeal. If you pay a visit to the BBC website you can find a selection of backdrops and even an autograph!!

Mention of the next Mailing List Meet. This will occour sometime in the early part of next year. Hopefully we’ll be organising something so that it’s different from the previous meet-up’s. More news as and when we get it.

Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley seem to getting one or two mentions on this list this month. If you’d like to see what they’ve produced then pop along to: www.worldsend.com/bios/langer-winstanley.html

Kevin Tizzard finally gets round to producing his PC only “Madness Screensaver”. I’ve downloaded it and have it running on my PC at work and it’s really well presented. All the albums from 1979 to 1986 are displayed in chronological order with a small snippet of lyrics from a song on each. If you’re lucky you may still be able to get it from:

If it’s not there anymore, give Kevin a mail on: k.tizzard@btinternet.com

The ‘Terry Edwards’ photos now up at: http://www.madnotmad.home.ml.org

Take a look and see just what went on and what you missed!

Suggsylia returns for her last article of 1997 with a huge snippet taken from issue 12 of the Madness Information Service comic.

No interviews this time, just a listing of all the scribblings that can be found on the run-out grooves on the singles and the reasons as to why they’re there and why they’re so darn strange!

The Downers:
Me being daft enough to post a small Article sent to me thanks to Paul Andrews. Ok, it mentioned No Doubt, we didn’t need to go on about them for 2 weeks though! ;)

And Into 1998 we go!

And here we are, the end of another year with a whole host of possibilities ahead of us.

Will the new Suggs album finally see the light of day next year? Will Madness re-form for a few more gigs or even to produce some new material, and will we hear some new tracks from Crunch???

All that and more will hopefully be revealed during the course of next year.

Hope you’re having a great Christmas! See you all next year.

Kind regards,


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