That first album of his, Maxinquaye, was so incredible, wasn’t it? I remember hearing it the first time and thinking ‘oh, so he’s the talent in Massive Attack’.
And for a period of time, he was untouchable. I mean, turning a Public Enemy track into a trip hop jam beefed up by a thrash band with the sublime Martina Topley-Bird singing over it: who else would come up with that? I remember wanting to see Public Enemy in Sydney actually, and Eyman was interested until just before the tickets came out, when he thought it would be too dangerous to go to. I’m annoyed with myself that I didn’t go anyway.
I did see Tricky though, probably after he’d smoked too much to be of much use, at the Hackney Empire: I’d never been to that part of London, as I hadn’t lived there for long at that stage, and I remember taking my pocket A to Z with me to make sure I didn’t get lost. We didn’t have phones back then, young ‘uns. And he was awful, just too stoned to last a song: I got to talking to the guy next to me who suggested a beer, which turned into 2, which became why don’t we go out and see what we can find, which became a night from which I have no idea how I extricated myself.
But in my head, Tricky was still a god, despite all evidence to the contrary. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZJTM03UByU