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Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Earache- some rumours put to rest.
Question: While looking through my dad's "Great Rock Discography" book I was surprised to read that it said that Napalm Death started Earache to put out their own records. This lead to wonder what the best/ worst rumour you have heard concerning Earache records is?
The book also mentions that Mick Harris did some time for robbing a jewellery shop or something to that effect, can you spill the beans on this?
Thanks a lot for all the great music. From: email@example.com
Answer: Rumours are wonderous, ethereal things, seemingly travelling by word of mouse across the web at lightning speed, only to fade away just as quickly.It's only the most outrageous ones which don't die, with the most virulent seemingly sticking around for decades, becoming essentially folklore, and to many, the truth.
Earache has its fair share, and I thought I'd heard all the rumours in my time, but funnily enough thats the first I've heard of these two.To clear em up- both are 100% false, but I'll hazard a guess as to how they came about. If this book you mention is meant to be a reference guide to the bands in it, then its pretty poorly researched if you ask me, it seems written mostly on gossip.Not good.
Napalm Death was by far the best known band on the Earache label during an explosive couple of years- to the casual observer it probably looked like it was their own label- Earache's vibe mirrored the band's vibe quite closely, and it could have been mistaken for Napalm's own 'DIY label', if you were unaware that other bands were also released on it.
As for Mick Harris going to prison for robbery- that is truly scandalous, and untrue. I think it might refer to an infamous nightclub glassing incident involving fellow ex-Napalmer Nik Bullen (pictured above on right) .In 1995 or so, Mick Harris was doing a promotional DJ set at a scruffy Nottingham late-night bar, I think it was called 'Bellamys'back then. The bar was tiny, holding maybe 30 people max, mostly made up of Earache staffers, a few local Scorn fans and a few non-music-type strangers who I assumed were the regular drinkers in the bar.
Nik had come over from Birmingham to hang out, he was not performing that night so could indulge in as many beers and shots at the bar as he wanted.It was just a regular friendly booze up like many before it, and since. I do recall that Nik was deep in conversation with a stranger at the bar for a long time. Then seemingly for no apparent reason, Nik violently struck out at the guy, glassing him with his shot glass at close range and then fled the scene. No one else was involved and the victim was lucky not to be blinded in the attack. To this day I don't know what triggered him to do it, but it was totally out of character for him, something just snapped. Nik was arrested the next day back in Birmingham and was sentenced to prison for one year. The story is also mentioned at the AllMusic site.
Mick Harris was Djing at the time, and had nothing to do with the attack whatsoever, except his name was on the poster outside. The Scorn duo effectively broke up that night, Mick going solo from then on.
If you have any other rumours you want confirming or dispelling, feel free to bring em to this ask earache blog!
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AMG (AllMusic.com) had incorrectly attributed the formation of Earache to Napalm Death for a number of years. I sent them emails on more than one occasion pointing out the error and I guess they've fixed it. The errors were in the band's bio and I think were also repeated in the review of Scum. Because AMG is used as a copy/paste source for a lot of other music sites, I guess the rumour gained more credibility as "respected"sites appeared to corroborate each other on the subject.
I remember a rumour when Bolt Thrower's RoC came out that that Earache was simply a "music division" of Games Workshop. Not completely surprising seeing as the cover art featured GW characters illustrated by a regular GW artist and that the disc itself was sold in GW stores while no other discs were being sold, (certainly not in the Derby store anyway).
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