Remembering Chuck Mosley - New Beginnings
I’ve been listening Introduce Yourself a lot recently, maybe because subconsciously I knew the anniversary of Chuck’s passing was approaching. The second FNM record is fucking mind blowing, one of my favourites. Chuck is stupidly unappreciated, even amongst FNM fans, it bothers me that a few don’t get he was an integral part of their sound and their history.
My happy discovery of Chuck Mosley was in 1991, too late to have the chance to see him onstage with Faith No More. In hindsight, I should’ve jumped on a plane and travelled 5000 miles to enjoy that spectacle in 2016, but alas it didn’t happen.
I was 14 and had already become fully immersed in the music that would inspire me for the rest of my life. My hair was long, I wore only FNM shirts with a waistcoat and hi-top trainers. My wardrobe was entirely styled on the Live At Brixton Academy VHS and Kerrang! posters.
I knew songs like We Care A Lot and Chinese Arithmetic word for word, but I had not yet discovered their origins.
It was while strutting my stuff on the streets of a small village in West Yorkshire dressed like a pattonette when a kid much older than me stopped me in street, he laughed and recognised my attempt to follow the fashion of my hero. I was astounded, 'surely I was the only kid in the village who worshipped FNM'. Even so I will never forget his words, ‘Ha ha who do think you are, Mike Patton?! Chuck Mosley was much better.’
I stood in confusion while, in a twist of kindness that would probably never happen today, he disappeared and soon returned with a battered vinyl copy of We Care A Lot. I recognised the purple eight pointed star but everything else about that cover was a world away from the band I thought I knew so well. I envy those who have yet to experience this introduction to pre Patton FNM.
It wasn’t long after letting the needle drop that I had my own cassette copies of WCAL and Introduce Yourself .
The band who recorded both those records couldn’t be more different than the one who had made the album that had changed my life. The Real Thing was fun, poppy but heavy, it revolutionised the changing tide of alternative rock. The first two FNM records were dark, sincere and raw, 80s synth pop with a heavy metal undertone. I can't imagine Death March or Why Do You Bother on TRT.
I remember being blown away by Chuck's voice immediately. He was like all the singers my older brother had tried to turn me on to all rolled into one. The scary tones of Ozzy, the rebellious sneers of Johnny Rotten, the suave inflections of David Bowie. I can honestly say that I thought it made me a cooler more interesting kid to idolise Chuck than it did any other singer.
Over the years that followed I have had the pleasure of interviewing and chatting with Chuck. And meeting him was insane , I totally fanboyed out.
Seeing footage of him reunited with his old band mates in 2016 was emotional, like I said I wished I’d been there.
Now, I’m not saying you have to like the first two FNM records or Chuck's voice. But to deny his importance in the band’s history is naive, your FNM education is not complete without him and you are missing out. Go listen to As The Worm Turns or The Crab Song, check out Cement or his cover of Take This Bottle. Immerse yourself in FNM history just like I did or just treat your ears to some damn good tunes.
It’s my daughter’s birthday on the 9th of November so it is a joyful day in our house, but I still drop the needle on WCAL and take a moment to remember his genius.
We miss you bro.