The Shamen Es are good rapper on how band duped world with joke drug anthem

The Shamen's rapper Mr C has revealed the massive struck of luck behind one of the most controversial Number One songs of all time – sparked by a random encounter with a touchy-feely reveller.

The 56-year-old rapper also brazenly admits the band's 'Ebeneezer Goode' was a 'p**take' and that they conned BBC bosses and the world over the lyrics – which promoted rave drug ecstasy to millions of viewers and listeners.

BBC bosses initially barred the legendary 90s tune as the line 'he’s a good, he’s Ebeneezer Goode' sounded almost exactly like 'Es are good' – a reference to the illegal pills.

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However the furore over the drug references – and the fact it was a brilliantly catchy anthem saw it go Number One – and stay there for FOUR weeks so it was repeatedly performed in front of the Top of The Pops young TV audience.

But the 1992 hit song may never have come about if Mr C's bandmate and songwriter Colin Angus had not had a chance encounter with an unknown reveller in a Kentish Town club in north London.

Speaking exclusively to The Daily Star, Mr C said: "This guy's come up and put his hands on Colin's shoulders, he’s going ‘Es are good, Es are good’. Colins like ‘ok’".

When Colin returned backstage, he recited the words which had sparked a song idea, to Mr C who simply replied “yes I know, yes I know.”

Within minutes, an inspired Colin then told Mr C about the mischievous plan to write a song about the Class A drug.

He continued: “He (Colin) says they’re going to be two songs running parallel like on a train track as one song, I’m still like what do you mean? He’s like look, you know how you Londoners drop your H so what you do is, you perform the song without an H on the word ‘he’ and I’m like ‘ok’ then it becomes two songs.

“If you listen to the song with the H, it’s about this guy called Ebeneezer Goode, he was a character we actually managed to make up from nine different people.

“So one song was about this guy, this fictional guy called Ebeneezer Goode who puts life and soul in the party and that was spelled with an H.

"But if you take away the H, and it's a completely different song it's about a drug called E and it’s not about this guy, he it’s about this drug E, ecstasy and every single line of the verses is about this designer drug and people didn’t get it.

"They only got the chorus and for years, nobody got it and I’m like how has nobody got this, it’s that blatant.”

Back in 1992, the band agreed to deny the drug references in the song – which also contained references to smoking cannabis – to avoid getting in trouble.

August 24, this year marks 30 years since The Shamen released the number one rave hit Ebeneezer Goode.

And Mr C said he knew it would be a hit and told Colin so. He told him: "This is going to be a Number One and he (Colin) is like,'okay we’ll see' but I knew straight away. Straight from the very first ‘naughty naughty very naughty,’ I mean that pulls in your bank managers, your white collar workers who are all a little bit stuck up, your city boys, as soon as they hear ‘naughty, naughty’ they’re all screaming.

To this day Mr C, who joined the band in the 1990, proudly boasts that they “got away with it” despite the song's blatant drug references and he is "proud" of the tune – which the BBC nearly banned.

Mr C added: “There’s a popular myth that it got banned but it didn’t. There was a tribunal, BBC wanted to know if it's about ecstasy and we were like, no, it’s about a guy. Where does it ever say ‘Es are good? It says, 'Eezer', they asked. What's the difference?

"We said ‘Eezer is short as a name and it’s an abbreviation of Ebeneezer and it says in the first verse: ‘His friends call him Eezer and he’s the main geezer, Eezer Goode, he’s Ebeneezer Goode, what are you talking about drugs, are you mad’ and we completely denied it. Completely and absolutely denied it and we got away with it. It never got banned, we performed it twice on TOTP and it’s still being played on the BBC today.

The band went their separate ways following a fall out with their label. They released their last album UV which stands for Ultimate Voyage in 1998 and split the following year.

Mr C – whose real name is Richard West – is married and lives in LA, runs record label Superfreq where he releases his music and he has multiple projects also on the go.

On September 17, he will be running the Summer Love Festival which welcomes House music legends in Great Billing, near Northampton.

The boutique festival also provides a platform for new talent.

Speaking about the even, he said: “It’s an underground music festival based on house music and its roots and it's very exciting.

“The line up has lots of original legends and new up and coming acts as well so I’m going to be performing myself. I'm doing a live PA.

“We’ve got the legendary Robert Owens from Chicago, Graeme Park, Terry Farley from Faith Magazine, two of the original godfathers of house music Evil Eddie Richards did remix lots of Shamen tracks including Ebeneezer Goode."

Tickets for the Summer Love Festival can be purchased by clicking here.


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