Example – Does Rock’n’Roll Kill Braincells?

Testing musicians’ memories after a lifetime of abuse. This week we fire some memory questions at Example.

The video to ‘Watch The Sun Come Up’ mixes real life with cartoon, which you clearly nicked from what famous video from the 1980s?
“[Starts humming tune] ‘Take On Me’, A-ha. I think we did it quite well.”


You tried your hand at stand-up comedy for BBC2’s The Culture Show in 2008 [YouTube ‘Example Does Stand Up’ – Comedy Ed] and performed in Hammersmith under which three comedians?
“Harry Hill. Richard Herring was my mentor. And… Phill Jupitus!”
Correct. Er, why stand-up comedy?
“I needed to get on TV because my first album [2007’s ‘What We Made’] was shit. They said, ‘Do you want to come on The Culture Show?’ I said, ‘What, to perform?’ They said, ‘No. Is there anything else you think you could learn in a month?’ I stupidly said ‘stand-up comedy’ and to this day it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

You were originally signed to Mike Skinner’s The Beats and sang backing vocals on ‘The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living’ in The Beats’ makeshift recording studio, which used to be a what?
“Fucking hell, that’s a good question. It was near Kew Bridge, and it was a little shed that used to be Geoffrey Kemp Insurance Consultants.”
Correct. Good memory! Did you and Mike really record your vocals in the bogs?
“We did. There was a sign up that said, ‘No shittin’, just spittin’’, ’cos obviously us rappers spit and that. It had a sliding door so no-one had a dump or a piss in there, we had to go down the café.”

You and Wretch 32 sampled The Stone Roses for the single ‘Unorthodox’. How long does the original version of ‘Fools Gold’ go on for as stated in its full title?
Wrong. ‘Fools Gold: 9:53’. Any feedback?
“Mani likes it. He came up at a gig in Guernsey and went, ‘Where’s Example? I want to thank him for all the money he’s made me.’”

You’re called Example because your initials, which spell EG, are the abbreviation for which Latin phrase?
“‘Exempli gratia’. When I was 12 I used to do mixtapes with this other rapper from school who’d called himself Lexus, after the car, as you do when you’re 12. My name is Elliot John Gleave, so we had EJ Cool, but that was awful so he came up with Example.”

You won the Royal Mail’s Poet Of The Year competition in 1992. What did you win?
“A computer for my school. But my school already had about 2,000 computers because we were sponsored by ADT Technology so it was a bit pointless.”


In what order do the rappers come out in Tinchy Stryder’s ‘Game Over’?
“Giggs. Professor Green. Tinie. Devlin. Me. Chipmunk. Tinchy.”

Complete the following lyrics: “At first you made me smile/It was nice for a while/But then you turned vile…”
[Starts singing to tune of Lily Allen’s ‘Smile’] “I cussed I should’ve seen from a mile/You told them a pile/Why’d you act like a child?”
Correct. From your first ever single, ‘Vile’. Has Lily ever brought it up?
“I’ve toured with her but we never really spoke about it.”

Why can’t your website be www.example.com?
“Because in textbooks, if they give an example of a website, it’s ‘www.example.com’, so no-one’s allowed to have it.”

‘Changed The Way You Kiss Me’ got to Number One. Name three other songs with ‘kiss’ in the title.
“‘Kiss’ by Prince. ‘Kiss From A Rose’ by Seal. And ‘Kiss Kiss’ by Holly Valance!

Total Score