Shaun Ryder On Robbing Supermarkets And Not Trusting People Who Don’t Like David Bowie

We caught up with the Happy Mondays and Black Grape man to find out about the tracks that define him…

The first song I remember hearing

‘Michelle’ – The Beatles: “Tony Blackburn did the breakfast show on Radio 1 in the late 60s. I would get ready to go walk to school on my own aged six or seven listening to his show. There were some great tunes played between ’67 and ’73. The Beatles were everywhere in those days, the most famous people in the world. You couldn’t avoid them if you wanted. Not that I did.”

The first song I fell in love with

‘I Can’t Let Maggie Go’ – The Honeybus: “Summer 1968 with my then girlfriends Fiona Fay and Kathryn Lomax, we built a den and listened to my transistor radio. The den collapsed and I took an injured Kathryn back home to a telling off from her dad.”

The first album I bought

‘Pin Ups’/’Hunky Dory’ – David Bowie: “I stole my first albums ‘Pin-Ups’ and ‘Hunky Dory’ by David Bowie from the first super-sized supermarket in Salford, which also sold tents and camping gear. We would sit inside the tents drinking stolen booze and eating stolen cream cakes. The supermarket was called Scan. It was a fucking great place to play as a kid, much better than the park. Bowie is the man. Even now, everyone still crowds round to hear what he’s up to. He didn’t do one interview for that last record, anywhere in the world and he was on every magazine cover. Lucky fucker. Don’t trust anyone that doesn’t like any Bowie songs. They’re a wrong ‘un.”

The moment that made me want to be in a band

Stardust: “It wasn’t a song, it was David Essex in ‘Stardust’, a double bill with ‘That’ll Be The Day’. I spent a week wagging school watching these films. It was all pretend, but he made being a rock star right at the top of my fucking list of things to be. Right behind spaceman. Drinking with Keith Moon and Ringo and endless women. Who wouldn’t?”

The song I can no longer listen to

‘Let It Be’ – The Beatles: “Because the words to ‘Let It Be’ sounded to me like “Eddie Beef”, who is a famous Manchester football hooligan among other things. I.E: “speaking words of wisdom, Eddie Beef”. Now ruined for everyone.”

The song that makes me want to dance

‘Voodoo Ray’ – A Guy Called Gerald: “I have made a total twat of myself dancing to this many a time, E’d up to my eyeballs, arms up in the air and fingers pointing. What a prick. I’ll probably do it again sometime, though. Something about that tune just gets me by the balls.”

The song I do at karaoke

‘Gentle On My Mind’ – Dean Martin: “I also got to perform this song with Jools Holland and his band on Radio 2. I’m on Radio 2 all the time now. Feels a bit weird but there you go.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

‘Sexy And I Know It’ – LMFAO: “My six and seven-year-old girls play this fucking tune for about five hours every single day so it’s no wonder it’s stuck in my nugget. The sooner it leaves, the happier I’ll be. It’s true, though.”

The song I wish I’d written

‘Step On’ – The Happy Mondays: “’Step fucking On’… yes even though I stuck in a few lines of my own on this song I get no publishing money whatsoever for it. Someone made a tidy fucking sum out of the Mondays’biggest hit though.”

The song I want played at my funeral

‘Ring Of Fire’ – Johnny Cash: “Wonder if I’ll be seeing flames. I’ll be watching all of you. The other one is the Sid Vicious version of ‘My Way’. That fucking intro. The opening bars of Sid’s ‘My Way’ still send a shiver down my spine. It’s like a nightmare. First he’s taking the piss out of Sinatra, which is fair enough for the Pistols, then the filthiest Steve Jones riff comes in and it’s a full on nasty punk racket.”

The song that reminds me of home when I’m away

‘That’s Amore’ – Dean Martin: “A special one. Me and Mrs Ryder had the first dance at our wedding to this one. So if I’m stuck in some hotel room somewhere, waiting for soundcheck, and this comes on the radio then I’ll have a little dance.”

The song that winds me up

‘Seasons In The Sun’ – Terry Jacks: “Call the cops! My dad came to collect me from the cop shop for robbing from Scan supermarket. This was playing on the drive home. Whack whack, my son. The ’70s were fucking violent. Kids were always getting into fights. It was just something that happened, part of life. Youngsters today, don’t know they’re born mate. They’re all on their tablets all the time, lost to the world.”