This month superstar David May meets up with Boyley for a coffee in town and fills him in on his musical preferences, including a number of Manchester classics…
What were your earliest musical memories growing up?
“If I’m being honest it would have to be the Nolans’ I’m in the Mood for Dancing which I bought for 67p from John Menzies.”
Pete: I admire your honesty! So many people claim to have bought something credible for their first record. I first bought a Suzi Quatro single from Dillons newsagents in Timperley.
“Indeed. Album-wise it was probably Adam and the Ants’ Kings of the Wild Frontier.”
Were your parents or any relatives into music?
“My eldest brother was into the Sex Pistols, Specials, Blondie and so on. My other brother was into The Smiths in a big way.”
Did they pass their tastes down to you then?
“Yeah, I adore The Smiths still to this day. I would have them on my i-pod but not the Pistols but that’s because it’s perhaps a bit heavy for my kids.”
Where did you go out around town or did your dedication to football preclude that?
“Yeah, my commitment to football came first. I did venture out but just locally. I never really ventured into Manchester.”
Where did you go?
“Local, down Midd [Middleton]. The New Inn, The Ash, The Oddies and of course the legendary Hippos.”
What sort of music was played in the dressing room when you were at United, or is that more of a modern thing?
“I can’t ever remember having music in the dressing room to be honest.”
On the coach perhaps?
“I remember coming back from the title-clinching game at Middlesbrough in 1996 [in which May scored the crucial opening goal] and we were all singing Oasis songs on the A1 on the way home.”
What about at Blackburn? Was Alan Shearer a Phil Collins or Sting fan?
“Haha, I’m trying to remember who he used to listen to. Him and Mike Newell used to drive over together but I can’t remember what they were into.”
I imagine The Best Drive Album Ever! as endorsed by Alan Partridge…
“Haha, yeah you’re probably right.”
Any of your team-mates at Ewood who were a little more hip?
“Graham Le Saux, who I got on really well with, once asked me to go to an Antiques Fair which I politely declined. He was a top lad but antiques? Fuck me! Colin Hendry was into Metallica I think!”
How did the nights out differ during your spells at Blackburn to those at United?
“United nights were always much better but the downside was you couldn’t get away with anything at United like at Blackburn where you, ahem, could.”
“Once we had Chelsea on the Wednesday and Coventry away on the Saturday so we stayed in Birmingham. One of the staff at Rovers is a bit of legend with one of the Brummie clubs so had loads of local knowledge. Kenny [Dalglish] said don’t have a drink on the Wednesday and they’d book an Italian restaurant for the Thursday night. Part of the deal was also two strippers and we all got smashed. Sometimes it was like I’d imagine it is to be in a band, getting smashed and trashing the hotel rooms. We got back about 1:30am and when we got out of the lift one of the lads climbed up a ladder which was leading towards the roof. As he was just getting in the whole roof came down. Somebody paid the hotel and we got away with it.”
At United who got the lads together and organised the Christmas do and the nights out?
“It was usually the senior pros like Brucie and Pally. When I first joined United Giggsy saw Jason Wilcox out and about in Worsley and he said “Maysie is mad isn’t he?” Giggsy replied, “He’s really quiet” because I hadn’t really socialized with the lads at that stage. They bumped into each other again just after I’d been on my first Christmas do and Giggsy confirmed I was fucking mental!”
Some of the mid-90s United lads seemed to be able to put the ale away like their 80s predecessors yet seemed to escape Fergie’s wrath. Is that because we were winning things?
“Yeah, in a nutshell. He got rid of the real drinking culture of Robbo, Big Paul and Norman, which is well documented. The difference was he gave us the green light to go out for a beer on certain occasions and generally we didn’t ruin the chance.”
Apart from yourself, who were the other real party animals?
“Butty and Giggsy, Yorkie and Neville at the Christmas do’s.”
Who was the most serious team-mate?
“Nobody really, everybody got involved with the nights out and banter. Perhaps the Scandinavians never got drunk, or even drank, but they always came out and enjoyed themselves.”
Tell us about the time you were on the phone to your brother telling him you were rooming with Eric and then he walked in and heard you…
“Because I was new I didn’t have a set room-mate. It was something like Spurs away and I got my room key and went up to unpack and who walks in? Fucking Eric! I was stunned and didn’t want to show it but did. I was giddy like you would be. Anyway, we went for the meal in the hotel and I went back to the room and rung home to speak to my brother about sorting him a ticket out for the game. Eric was in the room and my brother Pete asked who I was in with so I mumbled ‘Eric’. ‘He’s in with Eric, the fucking king,’ he shouts to my Dad. The room couldn’t be any quieter and Eric could hear everything. He smiled in his usual cool way as I glowed and abruptly finished the call. “Yeah, I’ll leave you a ticket…” I was a team-mate and I was overawed, that’s what Eric did to you.”
How has your musical taste evolved? Are there things you still listen to, or thing you used to but no longer do?
“I’m pretty broad-minded and will give most music a chance. I’d never dream of listening to Adam and the Ants nowadays but still listen to The Smiths who I love, and New Order too.”
Were your non-football mates into the Madchester scene and Manchester bands generally?
“Yeah I think so. Around Middleton all the pubs, jukeboxes and DJs were blaring out The Smiths, the Mondays and so on.”
Did you ever go in the Hacienda?
“No. I was queuing up after a Christmas do once and it was the night Mark Hughes got sparked out by a bouncer, but I never ended up going in. Things probably weren’t helped by a former team-mate who was pissed-up and threatening the bouncers.”
Did you enjoy the Cup Final songs?
“They were brilliant. I have them all on my favourites on Youtube. A top laugh and it’s really sad they don’t have them anymore. They could do one and donate all the cash to charity – it may repair the image of footballers with the public after all the recent scandals.”
What about fans’ songs?
“My own obviously and the buzz I got when it was sung. I do find the Park one hilarious but ‘We’ll Never Die’ when sung properly still gives me goosebumps. When you think about Munich and its legacy to United, that’s a special song.”
Finally, what’s the all-time best gig you’ve been to?
“Probably Twisted Wheel earlier this year. My brother-in-law Adam is the drummer and they were awesome. I’ve enjoyed gigs as diverse as Robbie Williams and Madonna to be honest, and I’d love to see Neil Young but haven t yet.”
“We Are The Champions by Queen. No, no, I’m joking…”
Pete: I thought I was interviewing Keith Fane then.”
“Haha, no it’s a hard one but The Killers – Mr Brightside.”
“The Smiths – The World Won’t Listen. It’s got some classics like Panic and Ask. The songs remind me of going out with my mates around Middleton when about 17.”
*Thanks a lot to Maysie for his time and a good laugh. More players coming up next season…
How Manc Is Maysie?
The following are all songs by the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, The Smiths, Inspiral Carpets, James or Oasis.
- How Was It For You? – “Er, Smiths.” – Wrong, James
- Kinky Afro – “Mondays” – Correct
- This Is How It Feels – “Inspirals” – Correct
- Supersonice – “Oasis” – Correct
- Love Spreads – “Dunno” – Stone Roses
- Bignouth Strikes Again – “Smiths” – Correct
- Laid – “James” – Correct
- Some Might Say – “Oasis” – Correct
- She Bangs The Drums – “Roses” – “Correct”
- Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now – “Smiths” – Correct
- Saturn 5 – “Dunno” – Inspirals
- 24 Hour Party People – Dunno”- Happy Mondays
A fairly creditable 8 out of 12
This article was first published by Pete Boyle in Red Issue magazine