Bez to sit out Happy Mondays reunion

Maraca-waving dancer says he is 'too old' to join Manchester band on reunion tour in May

The years of melon-twisting and maraca-waving have taken their toll on the Happy Mondays' celebrated non-musical member, and Bez has said he will not be joining the Mancunian band on their reunion tour.

According to Bez, his body is too banged-up to perform. "I won't be on the stage because my performing days are over," he said at last night's NME Awards. "Basically I'm too old. I'm incapable of doing the job, I'm carrying too many injuries."

This is bad news for the most devoted fans of the Mondays, for whom Bez is a kind of mascot. He was with the band almost from the beginning, dancing and rattling as the group became Madchester icons in the late 1980s. When the Mondays split in 1993, he followed singer Shaun Ryder into Black Grape. Bez also participated in both of the Happy Mondays' previous reformations, in 1999 and 2004.

Despite Bez's talk of "injuries", the 47-year-old's recent battles have mostly taken place in court. He was declared bankrupt in 2004 and again in 2008, and went to prison in 2010 after assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Had he rejoined the Mondays, his legal problems may have impinged on the band's touring schedule: he has previously been banned from entering the United States. As he put it last night: "All good things come to an end."


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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