Legendary dancer, vibesman, part-time politician, maracas enthusiast, reality TV star and professional caner Bez, from the Happy Mondays, turns 54 years old today, 18 April.
And like many longtime ravers, these days you couldn’t wash the smile off his face with a Brillo pad.
But as the Freaky Dancin‘ author, known to his mum as Mark Berry, revealed in an interview last year, his involvement with the Mondays might never have happened.
“That’s the amazing thing about my whole career, there was absolutely no planning involved in it,” he told Lincolnshire Live. “The Happy Mondays were supporting New Order in Manchester at the Hacienda club.
“At the time we were all taking microdots. Shaun was off his nut, and he turned round and said to me – because he was looking for some support – ‘Bez you are going to have to come on stage with us’. I told him to get lost.
“Obviously, I was taunted into it. So I just grabbed hold of a pair of maracas and got on stage and danced my socks off. […] I’ve never been off the stage since.”
As the article reveals Factory Records owner and Hacienda founder Tony Wilson was also clearly impressed, urging the band to hold on to their new arrival.
“You’ve got to keep him in the band,” was his curt response.
Happy birthday Bez, and here’s to many more…