At the height of his initial, turn-of-the-1990's infamy as the maraca-wielding dancer with 'Madchester' giants Happy Mondays, the pop-eyed Mark Berry, forever known to the world as 'Bez', was visibly a danger to society. He became the so-called Chemical Generation's bug-eyed pied piper, every weekend leading millions out to oblivion and beyond, as they adopted his E-gobbling party lifestyle.
For umpteen reasons, this book should never have happened. I recently turned fifty-eight, and I’m still making a living just being myself in the public eye. I’m still a Happy Monday, I’m on television most weeks of the year and now I’m writing a new autobiography. Suffice to say, none of this would’ve been foreseeable forty years ago. You could probably argue that I’ve been rather a jammy bastard. I’ve cheated death on a number of occasions, which won’t surprise anyone who knows about my dodgy past. I’m like an extremely fortunate feline who’s used up his nine lives before he’s even left his mother’s clutches. How have I survived? I pulled it off, I reckon, from having a love of life, a bit of luck, and a determination not to die. The will to live, and to come through at the other end in one piece. I’ve had close calls throughout my life, but the important thing is that I’ve learned from them all.
Another thing I’m good at is doing things wrong. I don’t really know what people’s perception of me is (I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about that stuff), but my main motivation in writing this book is to record what I’ve done in my life, so that my kids and grandkids know the absolute truth about what happened in each and every case, while I can still remember it. So that they understand what drove me, for better or worse, and the book will always be there for them almost as a guide to what not to do.
And for anyone else reading, I think it’s a good story that’s worth telling. My life hasn’t been that unusual.
"I’ve cheated death on a number of occasions, which won’t surprise anyone who knows about my dodgy past. I’m like an extremely fortunate feline who’s used up his nine lives before he’s even left his mother’s clutches."
Truthfully, I can’t believe how fortunate I’ve been in life. I really do throw back the curtains in the morning and say to the missus, ‘How f-ing lucky are we?’ Because I’ve never had a normal job, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands to ponder shit, and take it all in. I’ve had this charmed life where I’ve had the freedom to go down exploratory paths and do loads of different things. I’m not forced into a nine-to-five existence, so I can think outside the normal box that people get trapped in and reflect on life more. I can lie about and let my mind wander. I’ve lived a good life, but I still wouldn’t say that I’ve lived anything that amazing, different or untoward. I’m not a lone ranger, in that regard. I know a lot of people like myself, who just get on and live similar lifestyles, and probably do it better than me.
I’m pushing sixty now and I still believe that there’s something amazing waiting around the next corner. I hope that I can live a long and healthy life, and that I’ll be able to wangle my way around what I see coming, swerve the worst of it and carry on in my own merry way!
Bez comes to Topping & Co, Bath on Thursday 17th November to recount those tales... This is the story of a bad lad who has turned his life good, tracing his passage from early-thirty-something casualty to middle-aged politician, eco-warrior and bee-aficionado.
Exracts taken from Bez Buzzin'