Stealing clothes, sharing a bed, cereal for dinner… from Shaun Ryder and Bez to the boys from Busted, former housemates remember their first house share
He could burn all your clothes, eat all your food, rob all your money, but hed always have your back in a fight
Shaun Living with Bez is like living with a mad dog who chews up your favourite shoes but who you cant stay mad at for long. I first met him when he came round with a mate we had in common to pick up some gear. We got on like a house on fire. It was love at first sight.
Back in those days, it was a constant hustle, doing bits of this and that to make it through to our next giro [benefit payment]. I always shared my giro with Bez, but when hed get his, hed disappear for five days and then come back with nothing.
Sometimes hed get up before me and take my clothes, so Id have to rummage around for something clean to wear. Id get the clothes back and theyd be full of joint burns. Id go to get some cornflakes and he would have finished them.
Hed say: Ill always have your back in a fight, and that was his excuse for everything; he could burn all your clothes, eat all your food, rob all your money, but hed always have your back in a fight. Anyone else would have kicked him out, the piss-taking bastard, but he made up for it in other ways. At the end of the day, he was a good mate.
It was 10 miles from our flat to the Haienda [the 1980s nightclub] so wed have a big line (or whatever form it came in) of some kind of amphetamine and walk there, stopping at pubs and getting into a few adventures along the way.
Bez I was homeless at the time, so very grateful to Shaun for letting me use his settee. It was a nocturnal flat; we rolled in from the Haienda every night at 3am or 4am and slept most of the day. It was a sorry state; leftover beer bottles, cigarettes. I dont think the landlady was very happy. By the time we left, I do believe she had to get the gaff fumigated before she could rent it out again. I dont think the neighbours were that keen on us, either.
We were absolutely starving because we didnt eat for days on end. I remember when we first went to record at Yellow studios, I stole Bernard from New Orders takeaway from the bin because I was so hungry. We were smelly and hungry most of the time. Shauns mum would make us corned beef and tomato butties. Cheese on toast was the most adventurous I ever got in the kitchen. I remember one time, we had that many pots and pans piling up, we had to do the washing up in the bath.
What I remember most is that Shaun had the smelliest feet. We used to share clothes and trainers, and my girlfriend would make me soak my feet in a bowl of hot water and Dettol to get rid of the smell from the trainers.
It was a great time of life for us; we had this shared dream of making it as a band. Shaun and I would sit and chat for hours, about rubbish most of the time, but he was always really good company. It has shaped my life a lot. We became a successful band and our friendship has survived till today.
Black Grape are touring the UK until 6 April, blackgrapemusic.com. Happy Mondays play Dreamland in Margate on 13 July
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