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The official cover for Rise of the Ogre

This is the transcript for Murdoc's interview in Rise of the Ogre, with clear details of Murdoc's past.

If you want a more simpler history of Murdoc, visit his page here:

http://gorillaz.wikia.com/wiki/Murdoc

Murdoc Niccals - 'Spawn of Stoke'

Narrator: Murdoc Niccals was born in the stinking borough of Stoke-on-Trent on June 6th 1966. The exact whereabouts have never been verified, but it was rumoured that Murdoc's mother gave birth to him whilst still in residence at the Belphagor Sanatorium, a halfway house for 'the sick, the needy, and the incredibly bored'. Whatever the truth behind this is, the infant Murdoc was found abandoned upon the doorstep of his nefarious father's house.

Murdoc recalls:

Murdoc: Oddly, y'know, everyone knew who my father was, but no one quite knew who my mother was...although, there were a lot of quite vivid suggestions. Basically, I was just found as a baby on Sebastian Niccals' doorway one night, when he came back home from one of his sessions in the pub.

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Narrator: His father, Sebastian Jacob Niccals (or Jacob Sebastian Niccals, depending on who's asking), was a notorious booze hound, a gambler, a womaniser, and ne'er-do-well; a man whose collection of dubious vices would put Bill Sykes to shame. He was thought to have squired a number of children in the area, and had spent most of his ragged life avoiding any form of work, one way or another.

Auspiciously, upon his return from the pub that fateful night, a filthy black raven stood perched upon Murdoc's swaddling, which would have given Sebastian at least some clue as to the alignment of the contents held within. Sebastian shooed away the oily, coughing creature and took this mop-topped bundle inside. One can only imagine the disappointment on his sozzled face when he unwrapped the surprise package.

Murdoc: D'ya know what?

Narrator: - says Murdoc,

Murdoc: I think if eBay had been invented at the time, he would have sold me online there and then. As it was I had to endure years of his booze-sodden venomous behaviour before he shipped me off to school - which I loathed just as equally. I'm often asked why my behaviour is so crooked now, but it's a lot clearer when you see what manky joins I sprung from. 'Man hands on misery to man, y'know. Actually, 'This Be The Verse' would have been a killer song. Unfortunately Philip Larkin never managed to write 'This Be The Chorus', which is essential for chart success. And it needs to come in within the first 45 seconds or Radio 1 won't play it.

Narratorr: From age of seven, Murdoc attended Sodsworth Comprehensive School, although from the first day he could frequently be found in the corridors during lessons. His form teacher, Mr. Gravadlax, remembers Murdoc with a great deal of warmth, as a scruffy loveable attendee of The Sodsworth School.

Mr. Gravadlax: Murdoc Niccals? Oh no, not him...I hated him. He was an appalling student, whose time was better spent propping up walls outside of the classroom, rather than inside distracting the other pupils with his endless quacking noises and pointless malicious humour. Although I must admit even then he had charisma and a great knack of getting his acquaintances to see things, er... 'The Murdoc Niccals Way'. He certainly stood out, but ultimately he was a stupid imbecile who often turned up smelling of whisky.

Murdoc: Well -

Narrator: - Reckons Murdoc,

Murdoc: It's better than turning up stinking of poppers.

Narrator: By the age of 13, Murdoc had a notable reputation around Sodsworth, namely for truancy, puerile pranks, ugliness, poor personal hygene and generally unruly behaviour.

Despite all this, he was also the target of much bullying, both from the pupils and the teachers. One boy in particular, Tony Chopper - a big, thick, meaty, skinhead lump, with arms like two racks of kebab meat - took a pointed dislike to our boy.

Schoolbully Tony Chopper remembers him as a creepy little runt.

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Tony Chopper: Always stank like a unwashed gym kit; ball sweat.

Narrator: - Chopper reflects.

Tony Chopper: I took a lot of pleasure in making his life a misery. Having said that, if I'd known what he was going to become I probably would have acted, well...a bit different. See, I'm 42 years old now and I spent all last night stacking shelves in a Happy Shopper. See? What does that make me?

Narrator: Murdoc acquired quite a few names from Chopper: 'Nerdoc', 'Runt', 'Reject', 'Faceache', 'Oddstock', 'Wallbollocks', 'Trenchfoot', 'Gaylord', 'Great Stinking Pile of Horsedung'... The list went on, with new ones added daily.

It was this protracted period of bullying that eventually made a man of Murdoc, and in the process Murdoc earned himself the first of eight fractures to his now legendarily wonky nose. Murdoc, tiring of his persecutor, rounded on Tony Copper, unleashing a unstoppable tirade of razor-sharp wit and bilious venom. This tidal wave of rudeness rose to a crescendo, climaxing with Murdoc informing Mr. Tony Chopper that he was "a useless bloated backward waste of space who would probably end up getting a job holding up For Sale signs on the corner of streets, only to then himself get fired and replaced by a bucket of soil".

Murdoc: A pissed monkey would stand a better chance in life.

Narrator: Pow! Tony's massive porky fist connected with Murdoc's face, shattering his nose and sending the young Niccals boy flying.

Murdoc: Success! At last!

Narrator: Murdoc had obviously hit a nerve in Chopper his insult finally penetrating Chopper's thick stupid hide deeply enough to reduce Tony to a blubbering mound of mindless thuggery. Despite the bloody nose Murdoc knew he'd had him licked.

That day Murdoc skipped home merrily from school, the blood rolling down his broken, beaming face. He was on his way.

Honing his ability to highlight people's shortcomings gave our intrepid Murdoc a new-found confidence. Most of Murdoc's subsequent teenage years were spent in a boastful riot of larceny, joyriding, animal-baiting, fraud and arson, usually while knocking back bottles of Strongbow cider and shooting out windows with his air pistols. After a hard day's miscreant activity, Murdoc would then while away his evenings, listening to records round his comrades' houses. It was here that, amongst other things, he discovered the deep, dark, dulcet joys of Black Sabbath. The Brummy metal band were a second epiphany for Murdoc, shining a luminous beacon of light through the darkness.

Murdoc began to imagine a golden future outside the festering, disease-ridden, bubonic hamlet that was the 'Stoke-on-Trent'.

Black Sabbath's greatest hits collection, We Sold Our Soul For Rock 'N' Roll, was key.

Murdoc: Oh yeah,

Narrator: - He recalls,

Murdoc: That turned my head right inside out. Actually, they were another catalyst for my venture into the old Satanism game. Them, Aleister Crowley, Anton La Vey, and a very ingenious 'do-it-yourself' A.C.M.E. Satanist kit I bought at a jumble sale. But the very first thing? See, there was this bloke hanging around the Arndale Centre, handing out leaflets, and I guess it was the whole 'riches-on-earth' , sort of 'sexual gluttony' thing, coupled with the opportunity for 'alcoholic excess' that first caught my eye. Aged sixteen, that's a very exciting proposition for a man on the move. So, as a look I tried it out, and you know what? It fitted me like a glove.

Heavy metal music and devil-worshipping became my favourite pastimes. My brother Hannibal's tastes were more dub and punk based, but I soaked it all up. Actually it was my love of The Clash that eventually opened up the world of dub reggae to me. But my first true love was always Heavy Metal. Lovely, thick, gooey, black metal. I don't think my brother liked it at all, though.

Narrator: Hannibal Niccals broke Murdoc's nose for a second and third time. The crime on this occasion was playing Dio's We Rock album on Hannibal's personal turntable.

Murdoc: He got me into a lot of good music.

Narrator: - He says of his brother.

Murdoc: He's inside now though, for...er... I dunno, stealing hubcaps, or something.

Narrator: Not long after, Murdoc was pushed out of Sodsworth Comprehensive, leaving with only a single legitimate qualification - an International Baccalaureate in Anti-Social Anthropology. Murdoc explains:

Murdoc: Yeah, I'd studied other cultures, in quite minute detail, their behavioural patterns, the way they communicated and their cultural traditions. Then I kind of took the piss out of it. I passed that exam with flying colours.

Narrator: However, the hallowed halls of Stoke-upon-Trent Sixth Form College were never to beckon him further. As he recalls,

Murdoc: The combination of my devilish charms, my rapier wit and my love of music all pointed me in the same direction. I decided there and then that I would spend my life as a star musician, sailing the high seas of Chianti, a-rocking and a-rolling round the world. I was a genie unleashed! Wit, charm, confidence and charisma became the weapons of my armoury and I was...unstoppable!

To seal the deal, I began making...negotiations with the big man below, if you get my drift. I knew I had what it takes to the airwaves, but it certainly doesn't hurt getting a little lift up from Beelzebub. So we came to an arrangement.

Narrator: To mark that an agreement had been undertaken, Murdoc changed his via deed poll from Alphonce to Faust.

And in return, Murdoc took charge of Satan's own bass guitar, 'El Diablo'.

Murdoc: Great sound. Really twangy!

Narrator: - Murdoc says, explaining its unique appeal.

The contract between the two obviously bounced between lawyers for some length because, although the path ahead was now clear, it would be some time before Murdoc Niccals drank from the cup of success. Murdoc went through a variety of low-paid jobs in order to pay the rent required to stay in his father's home. Gravedigger, soup-seller, telesales, part-time Christmas Santa, stealing the lead off church roofs... admittedly not actually a job, but all the same he needed the money.

How desperate did he get?

Murdoc: Well,

Narrator: - He says,

Murdoc: I did think about giving Sir Alan Sugar a good vigorous "tromboning" one time. I think £100 was the agreed sum. But at the last minute I thought, 'Oh, Fuck it. I'm better than that...' He was just called Alan at the time. He still made me call him 'Sir' though. That story's totally true.

Narrator: - He maintains. Throughout these years Murdoc formed many bands with various line-ups, none of which seemed to go anywhere. Among these was the terribly amateurish New Romantic band Patchouli Clark, a sad, pointless, vaguely gothy keyboards and Murdoc's strangled-crow-like-crooning. They were never signed.

Murdoc: Yeah, whatever.

Narrator: - He says now,

Murdoc: I always knew I was gonna be King of the World at some point but it didn't happen with my first band. Big deal.

Narrator: Years upon years passed of unsuccessful attempts to crack stardom. Kiss 'n' Make Up, Bullworker, Crimson Backdraft, Motley Dude, The Burning Sensations, The Stupid Name Gang, Durango 95, Two's A Crowd...the list of shame goes on. Murdoc explains:

Murdoc: Eventually I knew I was wasting my time; casting pearls before swine. My voice is for the true connoisseur, the specialists, and I came to see that if I was going to communicate the true brilliance of my songwriting skills to the wide audience that they deserved, I was going to have to find someone with a more...conventional vocal talent.... The fact of the matter is that in 1997 the charts were a joke. These people wouldn't know decent music if it came up and smashed them 'round the shops. I had a plan that'd turn not only the Top 40, not just England, not just the music industry but the whole entire world on it's head.

Narrator: If Murdoc was ever to realise his dream and escape the dirty, filthy, rotting, garbage-filled, putrid cesspit of Stoke-on-Trent, he was going to have to take his masterplan to another level. This meant recruiting a band worthy of his talents.

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