Lead guitarist and singer for the Manic Street Preachers, James Dean Bradfield was born on the 21st February, 1969, in Pontllainfraith in Wales. As noted above, he was very nearly called Clint Eastwood Bradfield, James Dean and Clint Eastwood being his father's favourite actors. When James was only 11, his cousin Sean Moore came to live with him, after his (Sean's) parents divorced. As a result, the two became more like brothers than cousins.
James, like his best friends Nick Jones and Richey Edwards, was very interested in music and books from an early age. Unlike them, however, he was not very academically inclined, and often skipped school; so much that, when he decided to actually turn up for his last day of school, the gates were locked, as he had got the date wrong!
Before forming the band, James used to busk around the streets of Cardiff, playing songs like Garageland by the Clash. It's said that James got the Manics' name from this time, when an irate old man called him a manic street preacher. The other story about how they got their name is that James got it from a dream he had...
James is probably the most social member of the Manics. He lives in a bachelor flat in St. John's Wood, London, and regularly appears at gigs, clubs, and other events that allow celebrities in for free...! Last I heard, he was single, the only Manic to be that way.
James Dean Bradfield Interview
What was the first single you ever bought?
My Old Piano - Diana Ross
Which album was most influential on you?
The Clash - London Calling
Have you ever walked out of a film?
Which author have you found most inspirational?
Jean Paul Sartre
Which football team do you support?
Favourite City and country?
Tokyo, New York, Seattle, Wales
Most abiding hatred?
The supreme Manics gig?
Best gig you have ever seen?
Oasis - Maine Road, Birdland - Merthyr
Favourite live venue?
Which Manics album are you most proud of?
The Holy Bible, Everything Must Go
Which Manics single are you most proud of?
A Design For Life
How do you spend your time away from the band?
What kind of pupil were you?
Who was the first celebrity you had a crush on?
What is the best pub you have ever been in?
PJ Clarkes, New York
What's your favourite drink?
Jameson and Coke/Shirley McClaine
Taken from www.manics.co.uk
- Although he is the only Manic to drink and smoke heavily, James also exercises regularly. He used to be a steeplechase runner when he was younger; now he runs 6 miles every day, and helps the roadies with the heavy equipment.
- With his first ever paycheck, James got a tattoo of a dolphin. He also has a tattoo of some roses with the words "Anxiety Is Freedom" on his arm, just like Richey's (only Richey's actually reads "Useless Generation").
- James recently wrote his second song, Ocean Spray, inspired by the death of his mother, who died of Cancer in 1999. It appears on the album Know Your Enemy, and was released as a single. His first song was an anti-fascist tirade called something like "Jackboot Johnny".
- Outside the band, James also does occasional work as a record producer, having produced records for bands like Northern Uproar and the Regular Fries.