The Shamen’s infamous rapper Mr C says the band revelled in being 'the evil acid house band corrupting the nation's youth' – 30 years after drug anthem Ebeneezer Goode was released.
Richard West, who is widely known as Mr C, joined the band in 1991 following the success of hit tune Move Any Mountain.
The pop star released 'Ebeneezer Goode' the following year on August 24 and it provoked widespread criticism from the media for promoting drug use.
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The number one hit’s chorus states “Es are good” with the letter E obviously referring to ecstasy – a class A drug which had sparked a national panic in early 90s. Britain
At the time, the band denied the song had any drug references apart from the mention of cigarettes when he says “has anyone got any salmon” towards the end of the song.
The outcry saw Mr C and the band dubbed “evil” for “corrupting the nation’s youth”.
But Mr C – who returns to the UK for his underground Summer Love Festival next month – was unfazed and revelled by the controversy, stating it was “perfect”.
Speaking exclusively to the Daily Star, the 56-year-old said: “We didn’t know what the fans were going to do or how the fans were going to react but it came out and everyone went crazy. All the tabloids including your good selves at the Daily Star went on about how we were the evil acid house band corrupting the nation's youth and stuff like that which was perfect.
“It was brilliant, we couldn’t have scripted it any better. The way the tabloids blew up saying how bad we all were and how ravers were, I was like this is amazing, I couldn’t have written the script any better if I tried to.”
Colin Angus, one of the original members of the band, wrote the tune after he was approached by a reveller on the dancefloor in a rave they had performed at.
The man shouted to him “Es are good” which then inspired him to write the song.
Colin ran backstage and told Mr C his new song idea and came up with a plan to write a song about a man called Ebeneezer Goode but it would also be a song about ecstasy.
To avoid getting in trouble, they agreed to deny there were any drug references.
There have been rumours over the years the song was banned by the BBC, but Mr C added there was a tribunal with the broadcaster but they continued to deny the song was about drugs.
The band has since come clean about it with Mr C, who has been on a spiritual journey since he was 17, bragging “we got away with it.”
He has since slammed artists who “take their own press seriously” and added there is a pandemic of a*****ness in the music industry.
Speaking on how he coped with the controversy, he said: “I think the meditation did navigate my way through being a popstar but I think all the controversy around the song was pure entertainment, there was nothing difficult to handle about that at all. It was hilarious.
“I was always very interested in learning as a teenager, always wanted to know new things so I got a book about the subconscious mind and I got a book about meditation and I thought ‘I’m going to go for this, I’m going to try it and see what it does’ and it changed my life. It got me out of trouble, it stopped me hanging around the flats and doing naughty things with the other boys.
“I probably would have been in and out of jail all my life had I not discovered meditation at a young age. So for me, it was a result. I was able to escape that below the poverty line that we used to live in inner city London in the early 80s, it was pretty rough and to be able to escape that through my own hard work on myself, on my own mind and on my own psychological work on myself, was big.”
The band split in 1999 but Mr. C has remained in the music industry and even owns his own record label Superfreq has celebrated 20 years as a brand.
He also releases new music on the label and is preparing for his own Summer Love Festival to go ahead for the second year on September 17 this year.
The boutique festival will be taking place at Billing Aquadrome near Northampton, and on the grounds there will be five music stages with underground house music from over the years.
The line-up includes legends such as Robert Owens, Graeme Park, Terry Farley, but there will also be new talent such as Saytek Live and more.
Speaking about the festival he said: “It’s an underground music festival based on house music and its roots and it's very exciting.
“The line up has lots of original legends and new up and coming acts as well so I’m going to be performing myself. I'm doing a live PA.
“We’ve got the legendary Robert Owens from Chicago, Graeme Park, Terry Farley from Faith Magazine, two of the original godfathers of house music Evil Eddie Richards did remix lots of Shamen tracks including Ebeneezer Goode we’ve got Jazzie M who used to own record shop called Ozone. We’ve got Saytek Live who is one of the best techno live acts
“These are all the old school names that are playing and then we’ve got lots of newcomers as well that we’re providing a platform for and it’s all completely underground and its for specialists people that are into specialist dance music and quality lifestyles and a crowd that's been built up over 35 years of putting on quality and beautiful music.”
Tickets for the Summer Love Festival can be purchased by clicking here.
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