Ricky Wilson says Shane MacGowan once smoked crack from an apple on Kaiser Chiefs’ rider

Aprilia Rine

Ricky Wilson says Shane MacGowan once smoked crack from an apple on Kaiser Chiefs’ rider

Ricky Wilson has recounted the time that Shane MacGowan once asked for an apple from Kaiser Chiefs‘ rider, which he later used to smoke crack.

Wilson was speaking to The Guardian for their ‘Flashback series’, in which they recreate a photo of their younger self and reflect on how their lives have changed since the photo was taken. The shot Wilson recreated was from New Years Eve 2001, in which he was covered in the streamers from a party popper.

While he was recalling how “starstruck” the young Kaiser Chiefs would get around other artists as they were breaking through, Wilson mentioned the amusing incident with the late frontman of The Pogues which took place at a festival.

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“I was always starstruck, too – we’d get to a festival, lock ourselves in our dressing room, and point and stare at all the other artists as they arrived. Shane MacGowan once came into our dressing room. He was amazing. He asked for an apple from our rider. I thought: “Good for you, Shane, one of your five a day!” We didn’t realise he was going to smoke crack out of it.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 12: Vijay Mistry and Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs perform on stage at the Nordoff and Robbins Carol Service 2023 at St Luke’s Church on December 12, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by JMEnternational/Getty Images)

Elsewhere in the interview, Wilson discussed how he ended up relying on alcohol to help him cope with stage fright.

“For a lot of people in bands, it becomes a habit, a pre-show superstition,” he said. “You end up not being able to perform without it. That can be dangerous. It started off as fun, but a few years ago I realised if you are going on stage drunk and trying to hide that you are drunk, that’s when things have gone bad. It inhibits your performance. It’s a tightrope – people want you to be rock’n’roll, but not too rock’n’roll.

“So now I just don’t do it. We do have a disco before we go on stage, though. Twenty five minutes of blasting out songs that have dance routines in the lyrics, like Black Lace’s Superman.”

Earlier this month, Wilson recalled the past insults he’s received from Mark E. Smith and Oasis.

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Speaking to NME as part of our ‘Does Rock ‘N’ Roll Kill Braincells?!’ quiz, Wilson correctly guessed that the late Fall icon Smith once said “the Kaiser Chiefs and Arctic Monkeys should open a chain of chip shops in North Yorkshire”.

The comment came as part of a 2006 interview, in which Smith added: “I think the East Germans had it right actually. Every group used to have a permit. Until they came up with anything culturally relevant like a classical composition, I think they should bring them in here.

“I should start a musical Stasi. If you can’t play in fookin’ time, then fook off back to the factory.”

Responding to the dig almost two decades on, Wilson told NME: “I respect and admire Mark E. Smith a lot, and I’d respect and admire him a lot less if he respected me! [Laughs].”

He continued: “So well done Mark E, RIP. You know what though, nobody ever said that he should have opened a tent company called Marquee Smiths.”

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