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Camden Town - Madness' Biographies


Cartoon drawing of Madness doing a sitting version of the 'Nutty Train'.

Madness, as a group, are probably the least inclined towards superstardom of any band I've worked with. Their attitude hasn't changed particularly from when they had nothing to now, when they've got a bit of money and fame. I find that pretty unusual.

Dave Robinson

Madness started out as a three-piece band (Mike Barson, Lee Thompson and Chris Foreman) known as the (North London) Invaders; which grew to become a four-piece band when a friend of theirs, John Hasler, got hold of a drum kit.

The band soon began to grow, though attendence at rehearsals tended to be somewhat irregular due to creative differences and such. Thommo found it difficult to put up with Barso when he critisised his abilities with a sax, Suggs (who felt sure that he was just what the band needed as far as a singer was concerned) was kicked out because he seemed to want to attend more football matches than rehearsals and Chas Smash (who was playing bass) left when Mike agreed to give him a lift home after a late rehearsal and then changed his mind.

Luckily, as quickly as someone departed from the ranks, a replacement was brought in from somewhere. John handed the drumsticks to Gary Dovey and took over from Suggs at the mic. Gary had a friend called Mark Bedford, who turned out to be very popular after his first rehearsal with the band because he could actually play his instrument very well indeed. Unfortunately Gary soon left the band because Thommo attacked him at a rehearsal. However, as if it were meant to be, Bedders knew of a good drummer - a friend of his who was known as Woody. Suggs was soon allowed to return to the band as singer and Chas became compere for the band when they began to play regularly at the Dublin Castle, under the new name of Madness.

The rest, as they say, is history!