Manic Street Preachers star Nicky Wire ‘deeply regrets’ Michael Stipe AIDS comments

Bassist said alcohol has ‘altered’ his personality in the past

Ellie Harrison
Monday 26 July 2021 09:40
REM & Kate Pierson rehearse Shiny Happy People on SNL, 1991

Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire has said he “deeply regrets” saying he wished that REM’s frontman Michael Stipe would die of AIDS.

Wire made the controversial remark at a gig in 1993, saying he hoped that that Stipe would “go the same way as Freddie Mercury”, the Queen frontman who died due to complications from AIDS in 1991.

In a new interview, three decades on, he has told MOJO magazine he has “no excuse” for his words, but did confess that alcohol often “altered” his personality.

When asked about the Stipe comment, Wire said: “It is strange, because I’m not lying when I talk about my shyness when I was young. I’m always dubious about people who say they have no regrets. I have millions. I deeply regret some mad things, just awful things I said. Spiteful things.

“And I haven’t got any excuse. Sometimes I was absolutely hammered on Babycham and vodka. You do forget how much drink can alter you. I haven’t had a drink for 11 years. Not a big crisis or anything, just, ‘I’ve got kids and I can’t get up in the morning anymore.’”

In the same interview, Wire said he would rather “f***ing stab my eyes out with a pencil” than accept a knighthood or OBE and criticised “left-leaning actors and pop stars” for “queuing up” to accept honours from the Queen.

Manic Street Preachers recently shared their new single, “The Secret He Had Missed”, featuring Sunflower Bean’s Julia Cumming.

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