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Manic Richey is 4 Real

By Rhizome

Glam-goth pop star Richey James Edwards of the infamous British band Manic Street Preachers disappeared in February 1995. The cult star manqué known for his tiaras, glitter and thick black eyeliner garnered a devout teen fan base. So when a journalist challenged the authenticity of Richey James' gloomy countenance, he publicly carved '4REAL' into his forearm. Although officially pronounced dead in 1997, Richey’s devoted developed an elaborate mythology about the singer, which spawned a supposed pilgrimage-cum-suicide by a teen fan in 1998 at his rumored site of disappearance by the River Severn in Marple, England. Four years later, Dublin-based artist and programmer Oliver Moran launched 'Virtual Richey Manic.' Visitors can re-program their own version of Richey's media stunt by choosing a four-letter word to carve into his forearm. Pressing the 'razor' button generates the iconic media image of bloody Richey James but with a new inscription. Moran's project is a morbid tribute in the form of a goth greeting card, which revives Nineties fandom and pop mythology. - Matt Wolf

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Suzie Lewis Aug. 13 2009 16:15Reply

Richie Edwards was brilliant in the Manic Street Preachers, you love us is an anthem. I was lucky enough to see them live in Exeter in 1994 on the Holy Bible tour before he disappeared. He did look pretty distant at that point, angst and aggitated.

He was a superstar in one of the greatest bands, who were intouch with the kids on the street.