Suede were revealed in an unfamiliar light last week when guitarist Richard Oakes‘ mum revealed the secrets of her son’s rise to fame in the heady world of pop showbiz.
In an interview with the Bournemouth Daily Echo, Maureen Oakes told of her hopes and fears for the fresh-faced 17-year-old who got the job after Bernard Butler left the band in 1994
“He seemed so young and the rock and roll lifestyle is notorious isn’t it? But he doesn’t even smoke!”, Maureen told the paper.
“My intuition is that he found it difficult.
“He was suddenly plunged into a very adult world where he didn’t know anyone and where there were some very dodgy characters.
“Not in the management or the band, but with some of the hangers-on.”
Among other revelations, Maureen admits that she was happy to see that her son had put on weight in the run-up to the release of the band’s latest album ‘Head Music’.
She said: “I think at that stage it was just good living. Still, it’s better to over-indulge in food than in drugs!
“He realises that in their profession that you can’t be seen to be too chunky although that James Dean Bradfield is quite a chunky little lad isn’t he?”
According to Maureen, Richard‘s now settled into his role as guitarist for the band, but at first the job seemed like a fantasy.
She said: “Richard said that getting Suede for the first year was like Jim’ll Fix It but when it came to writing the album, this wasn’t Jim’ll Fix It – he’d have to do some work.”
It’s comforting to see though, that even after five years of international indie stardom, Richard‘s still listens to his mother and heeds her good advice.
Maureen revealed: “Richard phoned up before the V99 festival and said: ‘I’m going to doing some backing vocals’ and I said ‘Richard I know what you’re good at. You’re good at guitar but you can’t sing for toffee!'”
Suede are now preparing for their first UK tour in four years, which calls at Brighton Centre on October 22.
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