Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Thugobit: Ronnie Biggs

Ronnie Biggs, who was part of a gang who beat an elderly train driver with a metal bar, has died.

For years, Biggs lived in Brazil and performed a canary-in-the-coalmine role in British music, outing the more dimwitted stars of the scene and removing any lingering doubt that they might be admirable.

The fawning of The Sex Pistols is well-known, but let's also take a couple of moments to remember this:

Ah, what larks - that's got it all: Shaun Ryder, a criminal, being brought together by Rupert Murdoch's Sun in a stunt organised by Piers Morgan. Even Hercules would have trouble cleaning that one up.

Biggs also helped push his son into the music business. Michael was a member of child band Turma do Balão Mágico, who did things like this:

Of course, Biggs wasn't the only member of the train-driver beating gang who was taken to the hearts of the more low-wattaged amongst British musicians: Phil Collins played one of them in the film Buster, for example.

Tonight BBC One is showing yet another programme about the train robbery, but you don't need to waste your time as Paul Hardcastle did the same thing, faster, and also found time to include the St Valentines Day Massacre:

Jack Mills died in 1970. Although the violence meted out by Biggs' gang was never officially linked to his death, he had never recovered full health following the attack.


Workshy Fop said...

Also, Supergrass went to interview him in Brazil - think it was for Vox magazine, in 96

Robin Carmody said...

I can never remember who first responded to the line "they only killed their own" with the phrase "human beings", but it seems apposite at a time like this.

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