Mr C has revealed in a new interview that he was high on drugs every time he performed chart-topping single ‘Ebeneezer Goode’ on Top of the Pops with The Shamen.
It’s perhaps unsurprising news given the track became labelled as an “anthem for the pill heads” and its chorus repeats the phrase “Es are good”, disguised as “'Eezer Goode, 'Eezer Goode, He's Ebeneezer Goode”. Good to see someone practising what they preach.
He revealed to the Mirror: “We did Top of the Pops about seven or eight times, every single time I was on acid or e or both.
“I wasn’t on three pills, I was on 1. So, I remember it. It’s only when you bosh that third pill you start losing it, that’s not really how you take ecstasy. Kids do that, but it’s a bit foolish. Not that I’m saying I haven’t done that!”
Mr C, real name Richard West, panicked BBC producers by emphasising the “Es are good” message on camera, after the group demanded to perform live.
“It was a pisstake,” he said of the The Shamen’s first Top of the Pops performance. “We always insisted on doing it live otherwise we wouldn’t go on it. So, we’re doing the run through, and I’m really emphasizing the ‘E’s are good line. And the producers are getting the needle, the BBC, my manager, the record label."
Despite the explicit lyrics, the group denied the song was about drugs for decades to avoid getting the song banned, with a media furore breaking out upon its release in 1992. But now West has explained the etymology of the track’s title.
He said: “We did a show at the Kentish Town Forum and afterwards, we went back into the dressing room and Colin’s gone to me, ‘E’s are good, He’s Ebeneezer Goode.’
“And I asked him how he came up with that and he told me he was out on the dancefloor and this geezer came up to him, put his arms on his shoulder and said to him, ‘E’s are good.’ Colin’s mind, he’s such a genius, a lightbulb went off and that was how it was born.”
There is a double meaning at work, with Ebeneezer Goode also representing a composite character of eight people the group knew, comprising “a couple of DJ’s, lighting engineer, sound engineer, couple of drug dealers, couple of wideboys”
West added: “We put them all together as a composite character, and by the way they all got a silver disc when it went silver and we thanked them all, so the song everyone knows and loves is about this composite character, Ebeneezer Goode.
“We wasn’t lying that it was a song about a character called Ebeneezer Goode. Well, we did…. When we were asked if it was a song about ecstasy, we lied and said no because we didn’t want it banned!"
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Staff Writer, follow him on Twitter