Manic Street Preachers' Nicky Wire "deeply regrets" offensive Michael Stipe AIDS comment

Nicky Wire of Manic Street Preachers
(Image credit: Lorne Thomson/Redferns)

Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire reveals he "deeply regrets" a controversial comment he made in the 90s wishing R.E.M's Michael Stipe would die of AIDS.

Wire made the transgression at a gig in 1993, stating that he wanted Stipe to "go the same way as Freddie Mercury", who died following complications with the AIDS virus in 1991.

In a new interview with MOJO, Wire put his previous remarks down to alcohol allegedly altering his personality, although states there is "no excuse" for having made them. He says: "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 any more'."

The bassist also said he gets backlash over his previous wrongdoings from his children. He explains: "My daughter really loves to pick these things up. At the dinner table she’ll say, ‘You can’t talk Dad. Look at what you said in 1992. Look what you said in ’94…’"

Within the same interview, Wire also called out ‘supposedly left-leaning’ musicians and actors who accept honours from The Queen, adding that he would "rather f**king stab my eyes out with a pencil" than receive an OBE or MBE.

Manic Street Preachers will be releasing the new album, The Ultra Vivid Lament, on September 3 via Columbia/Sony.

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.