July 7, 2000 11:59


The [a]Happy Mondays[/a] singer gets angry and threatens a local writer during an interview...

Shaun Ryder could face charges after pulling an unloaded gun on a journalist at the launch of new Happy Mondays book 'HALLELUJAH' in MANCHESTER last night (July 6).

Ryder was at store in Manchester's Deansgate to help promote the book, written by Mondays associate and local author Jon Warburton.

But during an interview with Manchester Evening News journalist Simon Donohue, Ryder became angry about the treatment the Happy Mondays had received by the paper during their successful period in the early '90s.

According to a source close to the band, Shaun had picked up the Luger-style deactivated 9mm pistol from a video shoot earlier that day.

The insider told nme.com: "Shaun still holds a grudge against the paper from years ago, he thinks they always concentrated on his drug problems and not his music, so he pulls this gun out and starts threatening the journalist.

"I mean, the gun was deactivated so he couldn't have done anything, but the journalist wasn't to know that!"

Donohue said afterwards: "When a man with Shaun Ryder's reputation for wild behaviour, cocks it and points it at you, you try and get out of the way. I had no way of knowing whether Ryder...had a real pistol in his hand."

He continued that Ryder threatened him with the weapon, and said "this is for your toes" before pulling the trigger.

However, other witnesses at the incident claim Ryder said: "This gun's harmless, you've pulled worse shit on me."

After the incident, Ryder apologised, saying the journalist was too young to have worked for the paper at that time anyway.

After the incident Ryder continued to do more interviews and signed copies of his book. Technically, Ryder could be charged with an assault, but at the time of going to press, Manchester Police were not involved with the situation.

This latest incident comes only days after a shambolic Happy Mondays performance at the Glastonbury Festival when Ryder walked out of the gig mid-set. Following the incident Ryder has claimed it was due to a faulty autocue, and does not signal the end of the band.

The Happy Mondays are due to make more live performances this month, supporting Oasis at Bolton Reebok Stadium (July 15-16), playing a headline gig at the London Shepherd's Bush Empire (July 20), before supporting Oasis again at the London Wembley Stadium (21-22) and Edinburgh Murrayfield Stadium (29).

For tickets to the Shepherd's Bush show, go to the nme.com Ticketshop - click here[/url].

Or call the NME 24-Hour Ticketline[/B] on 0870 1 663 663. Calls are charged at national standard rate.

For tickets to the Oasis shows, go to the nme.com Ticketshop - click here[/url]

Or call the NME 24-Hour Ticketline[/B] on 0870 1 663 663. Calls are charged at national standard rate.

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