'Don't Buy Manics' Book' Says Author

Back to the 'Everything (A Book About Manic Street Preachers)' review

The author of the best-selling biography of the Manic Street Preacher is asking fans not to buy his book, accusing the publishers of "bottling out" and "butchering a crucial section."

Music writer Simon Price is in dispute with Virgin Books over a changed chapter about the disappearance of the band's lyricist and guitarist Richey Edwards.

Edwards disappeared in February 1995 and his car was later found abandoned at a motorway services near the Severn Bridge.

Despite a number of reported sightings round the world he has never been found.

Price's hugely successful book Everything (A Book About Manic Street Preachers) was first published in 1999, becoming the best selling rock book of all time.

However, the publishers chopped out a section of the reissued biography after a complaint and a threat of legal action from a police officer who was quoted criticising methods in the hunt for the missing guitarist.

Virgin have defended their decision, but Price has insisted that the police officer in question did not have a legal case. He accused Virgin of "bottling out".

He has completely disowned the reissue and urged Manics fans not to buy it.

"I didn't misquote him (the officer), mislead him or take him out of context," said Price.

"We're talking about a crucial section in a pivotal chapter.

"No other Manics biographer has taken the trouble to go beyond the press cuttings and do this kind of journalistic research into Richey's disappearance."

"It's a much weaker chapter without it. They have butchered it."

A spokesman for Virgin Books said they were saddened by his feelings about the new volume.

"We had worked hard with the author to explain the problems with the police interview he cited as a small but important part of the chapter about Richey's disappearance.

"As a prudent and professional publishing house, it only makes sense to act on the advice of our lawyers and to remove material from the book that could be construed as harmful to another individual.

"We hope one day Simon Price will understand our actions."

(Sunday, 20 January, 2002, 14:55 GMT - bbc.co.uk/news/wales)