27 Club, Blackwood, Celebrity, declared legally dead, Depression, disappeared, London Astoria, Manic Street Preachers, mime guitar, Newport, Priory psychiatric hospital, promotional tour, rhythm guitarist, Richey Edwards, self harm, Severn Bridge, songwriter, speculation, Welsh
Richey Edwards (December 22, 1967 – disappeared February 1, 1995)
Richard James “Richey” Edwards was a Welsh songwriter and rhythm guitarist for the alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers. He was known for his dark, politicised and intellectual song writing. Initially, he was the band’s driver and roadie but quickly became accepted as their spokesperson. Despite having little musical talent, his words and design were his contribution. In
his early days, he was actually miming the guitar!
Personally Edwards suffered severe bouts of depression and self-harmed. After the release of The Holy Bible, the band’s third album, Edwards checked himself into The Priory psychiatric hospital missing most of the promotional work for the album. After his release, he did join the band on tour. His final live performance was on December 21, 1994 at the London Astoria.
Two weeks before his disappearance, Edwards was withdrawing 200 pounds a day from his bank account. On February 1, 1995, he was due to fly with bandmate James Dean Bradfield to the U.S. for a promotional tour. He didn’t show up. For the next two weeks, he was “spotted” around Newport. On February 7, a taxi driver claimed to have driven him around the valleys of Blackwood (his childhood home). On February 14, his car was found at a service station near Aust, South Gloucestershire and was reported as abandoned on the 17th. There was evidence that the car had been lived in. Speculation surrounds whether Edwards committed suicide on the Severn Bridge (a popular spot for such activity). Over the years Edwards has been “spotted” in Goa, India and on the islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote (parts of Spain’s Canary Islands). None of these sightings have been proven. In 2002, his parents had the option to declare him legally dead. They opted not to. Finally on November 23, 2008, they did. The whereabouts of Richey Edwards and his body remain unknown. At the time of his disappearance, Edwards was 27 years old. He has become another member of “27 Club” (a list of popular figures who have died at the age of 27).