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“Until Bez I thought Bhudda was really something.”
“Never in the field of human anything have so many drugs been consumed by so few!”
“If Christ was alive he would worship at the Church of Bez!”
“It's a tough job but someone's got to do it”
What is Bez?
“You talk so loud, man! You’re twisting my melon, man!”
“Call the cops! Shit, I am the cops! ”
In the early months of 1965 the Droitwich Lama died in a remote Tibetan monastery, his spirit only momentarily free of Earthbound cares was reincarnated seconds later into the newly born body of Mark Berry.
A strange light appeared in the skies over Salford and, entranced by its beauty, small groups of people began to converge beneath its shimmering rays. Three Dealers arrived from the East-side, having followed the light for many days. They found Bez wrapped in newspaper and laying in an MFI manger. Overawed they presented the stunned parents gifts of Golden Brown, Mandies and E. Three social workers conferred and decided that the pub was a better option than a home visit. Three shepherds who had been peacefully minding their sheep in the 1920s found themselves confused by the Rusholme traffic and arrived terrified, laying down their crooks they praised him, saying:
"Behold the Bez of God, Glory be unto Him and in protective custody praise Him."
Would the world have come to know the glory that is Bez if not for these seemingly supernatural events?
Despite being the son of a Detective Inspector Mark Berry showed little interest in police work once he had discovered that mind-altering substances could be used for recreation as well as squandered on psychotherapy. If he is remembered for nothing else in a career with more highs than lows, it will be this innovation that will surely cement Bez’s place in the cultural history of our world.
Famous for ground-breaking philosophy, Bez remains one of the world’s leading thinkers and yet chooses to think of himself as a dancer. It is perhaps typical that he has chosen to be remembered for a minor career in music over his many other achievements. However, the plethora of awards given in his name stand testament to his accomplishments: The United Nations Bez Prize, The International Bez-Day of Enlightenment, the Bez-Cultural Youth award and Bez Prize for humanitarian work with distressed, disabled and possibly gay animals.
"It's my job."
“Career? Fuck, you mean I was working! ”
Despite receiving a double first in Philosophy and Politics from Oxford University and being on the cusp of success following completion of his PHD treatise "The anatomical origin of the soul" Bez chose to join Salford band Happy Mondays. Lead singer Shaun Ryder explained:
"We'd only been going a few weeks when I realized that the band leaned heavily towards Freudianism and that what was needed was someone who could shake maracas, wear funny glasses and expound the deeper truth of Jungian analysis."
To honour his selfless abandonment of academia The Mondays' second single was named "Freaky Dancin'", paying tribute to Bez’s influence on stage and in the expansion of the minds of his bandmates. During the early part of his career with the Monday’s Bez gained a reputation for being immune to LSD, snake-bites and bullets.
The Monday’s career took off in 1987 and they were among the most successful bands of the Madchester era, scoring a string of chart successes and playing to audiences of several. The most popular segment of each gig involved Bez Yogic-flying across the stage before levitating above the audience, whilst simultaneously juggling tangerines and reciting the 400 names of God - all of which are Bez.
The Monday’s left a deep impression on both the British music-scene and the budget of the Greater Manchester Drugs-squad. They are perhaps most fondly remembered for their album “Pills n’ thrills” which featured the anthemic hits “Step on”, “Kinky Afro”, and “Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle and it’s underpinning in hypothalamus..”
After the Mondays broke up, Bez became a member of Black Grape, a group founded by Mondays band-mate Shaun Ryder when the need to pay for heroin overcame the available funds. Initially Black Grape made two albums, the hugely successful “It’s great when you’re straight, yeah” and the marginally less popular “My Ego and the its attendant monsters of the Id.”
Sadly, despite international acclaim Bez was forced to leave Black Grape in 1997 due to differences over biscuits.
Bez the man
In 1997, Bez had a feature on the BBC Two television programme The Sunday Show called Science with Bez in which he demonstrated how the world energy crisis could be solved through the use of tepid fusion, successfully drafted legislation for the new laws of Physics, and proved that it was possible to shoot bowling balls from one’s anus through the use of transcendental meditation.
A book of Bez’s thoughts, Freaky Dancin' (ISBN 0-330-48197-5), was published by Pan MacMillan in 1998 and swiftly became the most published book in history, knocking mere wannabes such as the Bible andShakespeare into a well-cocked hat. Freaky Dancin’ was published in over 200 languages, including Venusian, and in many formats. The most widely read version of Freaky dancin’ was published by the People’s press of China under the title “The thoughts of Chairman Bez” but is widely known as the “Little Red Book”. Chinese school children must learn to recite all one hundred and fifty pages by heart before graduation from High School. Failure to do so results in banishment or capital punishment, the attendant shame felt by parents frequently results in suicide.
In the opening chapter of this landmark philosophical thesis, Bez detailed a revealing incident during a Happy Mondays gig at Manchester's Hacienda nightclub in 1986. In the middle of the set he fell off the stage stoned and cut his forehead. In the book he writes:
"The doc tells me to take it easy and put my feet up. I thought, 'I'm not fucking havin' that'. I got some of lead guitarist Moose's acid, dripped it in the cut and ran back out with me shakers. Fuckin' raz!"
These words are inscribed on the 80 foot golden statue of Bez that has replaced Buddha in Katmandu's central square.
In 2005, Bez put aside his work with imaginary AIDS orphans in Lesotho and appeared on Celebrity Big Brother, a television series in which a dozen unknown celebrities are locked in a cargo container and forced to eat each other. Perhaps inevitably, Bez won the show, being the only survivior at the end of the eight month run. He attributed his success to maintaining a deep, energy-saving trance through the use of mantra-chanting and maracas, and to having Vanessa Feltz to snack on.
After donating several pounds to causes as varied as the Arctic Donkey Refuge and the Teenage Turtle Trust Bez used some of his winnings to build the first Pan-theist cathedral in central Altrincham, and to subsidise the printing of the first edition of his book "Eclipse of the Self - The Development of Heidegger’s Concept of Tripping". This book profoundly affected the moral compass of Altincham and the nation and is frequently cited as the foundation of the building of a new, higher consciousness.
Bez now fronts his new pan-theist band, Domino Bones. On guitar is Patriarch Alexy II of Beatles and Russian Orthodox church fame with the spirit of his Holiness Pope John-Paul II from Jethro Tull on drums and The Smiths' Abu Hamza on bass. Their single "Rattle My Head" was produced and guested on by Allah.
The British popular music newspaper the New Musical Express (NME) carried a series of articles about famous members of bands whose musical contribution to their bandmates' success was negligible but whose contributions to the world of philosophy as marked. The newspaper used the name "Bez" as a generic label for the likes of Chas Smash of Madness better known for his work "Ontology - is there really more to the world than what we can see around us, or am I just drinking too much?", Andrew Ridgely of Wham! whose treatise on epistemology finally answered the vexed issue of what we mean by knowledge, and Linda McCartney of Wings who published her masterwork "Ethics - why it's okay to eat tastier animals."