Just got back from the Russian jaunt with Fun-da-mental and Manu Chao + Radio Bemba.
While doing a post club gig DJ slot, Aki came up and showed me a text message that he just received from Nick ‘Dub Colossus’ Page, Steven Wells had just passed away from cancer.
Steven Wells, was a journalist for the NME back in the day, when they had balls and had meaning, or a different meaning than that of today. I don’t know who they got now, but then, they had Stuart Bailie, David Quantick, Dele Fadele, and Steven Wells, aka Seething Wells aka Swells.
Do I sound like an old man? Don’t care, it’s true.
I used to follow the NME when living in Toronto, then when I moved back to London, and eventually became a press officer for Virgin, I had contact with the acerbic whit that was Swells.
We had a trip to Munich for the Body Count European tour, and Swells was onboard. He proceeded quite quickly to wind up plenty of people on-board, myself included, but that was part of his schtick. At least he didn’t fall all over the artists or record companies feet with bullshit praise.
Later he moved onto doing video production (GobTV) and our paths crossed again as he directed the Goldburger video for Fun-da-mental.
We even took him to Pakistan for a week when we tried to film a video for our instrumental. Once again he proceeded to wind many of the travelling party up the wall, with his staunch SWP attitude of not giving an inch. We took revenge by feeding him goats bollocks, which he promptly threw up. It weren’t easy scoring one over Swellsy.
Only a couple weeks ago, I was pissing myself while reading this autobiography by Thom Yorke, uh, by Swells.
While everybody is fretting about The Glove, here’s to Steven Wells, one of the best writers of his generation.
Here is his final post for the Philadelphia Weekly.