Well-known music freak and guitar player (and occasional bike rider) Bradley Wiggins gives us an exclusive low-down on the songs, albums, venues and guitarists that have shaped his life.
"Tracks number seven and eight come from when I started getting into the older stuff. The Jam have two songs I really like: In the City and The Butterfly Collector.
The Butterfly Collector is one that stands out from when I was 18. I did my first Six Days at Ghent and another in Germany and I remember seeing all these groupies hanging around. My Dad [Gary Wiggins, former track rider, now deceased] was around that scene in the Sixties, and the song really struck a chord.
Track number nine would have to be by Small Faces, a song called Happy Days-Toytown. It’s from an album called Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake – a really odd title."
Interview by Alasdair Fotheringham
Music to me is not just something you listen to. I’ve always been gripped by it. A song will always take me back to where I was when I heard it for the first time.
The first song that ever really stopped me in my tracks was when I was 11, in my first year at secondary school in 1991. I came back home from school and saw The Stone Roses doing Don’t Stop on the television. That stuck in my memory and I started getting into them just as they were coming into their best period, which was lucky.
My second big track comes from when I was round at my Nan’s watching Top of the Pops 2, where they showed old songs from the 1980’s and before. The Smiths came on and I wasn’t taken by the music, more by this image of [Smiths guitarist] Johnny Marr, standing there playing the guitar. He just looked so cool, playing a big red semi-acoustic Gibson ES-335 with a Bigsby [vibrato device for guitar – Ed.] on it. Funny the kind of things you remember as a kid. I think the video I saw must have been from about 1986 because the track was This Charming Man.
Track number three comes thanks to watching The Word on a Friday night in 1994. Mark Lamarr introduced this band called Oasis and they played Supersonic. It was their first TV appearance and instantly I was drawn to them. The next day at school everyone was talking about how they’d seen this group Oasis on the telly. Then their album Definitely Maybe came out in 1994 and that was it. I was hooked.
Round about the same time a band that had been around for ages and ages called Ocean Colour Scene did their song Riverboat Song as the opening title sequence for TFI Friday, which was presented by Chris Evans. That’s myfourth track because I really massively got into Ocean Colour Scene, probably more so than Oasis. Ocean Colour Scene had one of their early albums out at the time, which had songs like Better Day and The Day we caught the Train on it. That was 1994 or 1995 and I remember as a 14-15 year old I would only listen to them and Oasis.
Then in 1995, driving to the velodrome one day in Manchester for the Junior Track Nationals, the trackChanging Man from Paul Weller’s new album Stanley Road came up. And that’s track number five. Again, I just loved the guitar in it. I ended up buying Stanley Road straight after the Track Nationals.
It was great because at the same time Oasis brought out their second album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? which had classic songs like Wonderwall on it. Suddenly I started chasing music of all kinds. I ended up subsequently buying recent Weller albums, stuff like Heavy Soul, which came out in 1997, Paul Weller and Heliocentric. Both Oasis and Ocean Colour Scene touted Paul Weller as inspirations for their music. But Stanley Road was the first time Weller really came to my attention. I loved the whole album.
So I got into Weller’s recent stuff, but then when I was 18 I got more and more interested in The Jam. From there I started listening to Rod Stewart and Small Faces. Then there was The Kinks, although lyrically and musically, The Kinks and Small Faces were all a bit beyond me at that age.
As an 18-year-old what I liked most was guitar solos and particular drum beats. But I hadn’t forgottenOasis and Ocean Colour Scene, either. Track number six would have to be Wonderwall, because even if it’s not one of my favourite tracks of all time, it’s a track which I really associate with my childhood – I can remember how mad all the teenagers of the time were about it. TBC Here.