|Intro||Singer, songwriter, Guitarist|
|Birth||17 December 1964, South Shields, South Tyneside, Tyne and Wear, North East England|
Ginger (born David Leslie Walls; 17 December 1964 in South Shields) is an English rock guitarist, singer and songwriter, best known for his band The Wildhearts.
Ginger Played in the legendary South Shields band, The Cups.
Ginger saw his first success as a member of the English band The Quireboys. After being sacked, he went on to form The Wildhearts.
Whilst intermittently continuing with various incarnations of The Wildhearts, he has also formed a variety of side projects, including a number of solo albums. These projects include:
- Super$hit 666, with Dregen of Backyard Babies and Nicke Andersson of The Hellacopters, releasing Super$hit 666 E.P. (1999)
- Clam Abuse, with Alex Kane, releasing Stop Thinking (1999)
- Silver Ginger 5, releasing Black Leather Mojo (2000). This album was originally intended as Ginger’s first solo album, but was released under the name Silver Ginger 5. A new band was formed to perform the material live, consisting of Conny Bloom of Hanoi Rocks and Electric Boys) on guitar and backing vocals; Jon Poole of the Cardiacs (and later of The Wildhearts) on bass and backing vocals; and Ritch Battersby of The Wildhearts and Grand Theft Audio on drums.
- Brides of Destruction: Ginger was briefly a member of this supergroup in 2005 but did not play on any recordings. He co-wrote some songs for the band’s album Runaway Brides and played guitar for part of a tour, but then left the band acrimoniously. The bassist for Brides of Destruction at the time, Scott Sorry, later joined The Wildhearts.
- Ginger & The Sonic Circus, releasing Valor Del Corazon (2005) and the single “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.”
- Howling Willie Cunt, releasing World of Filth (2006). Ginger for many years refused to confirm that he was Howling Willie Cunt, instead insisting that Howling Willie is another person that he (Ginger) met while in America and that Cunt is signed to his record label, Round Records. In recent years he has freely admitted the connection and during his ‘Songs and Words’ tour in 2015 told a number of stories about the recording of the album.
- In mid-2007, Ginger guested as the vocalist for The Scorchers in place of his hero Jason Ringenberg, billed as “Ginger and The Scorchers” on a few dates in the UK. No studio work is to be recorded.
- In 2012 Ginger Wildheart also started the Hey! Hello! project with Victoria Liedtke.
Michael Monroe Band
On 25 January 2010 ex-Hanoi Rocks lead singer Michael Monroe announced the formation of his new band, to include Ginger as rhythm guitarist. The band embarked on a world tour and released the live album Another Night in the Sun: Live in Helsinki in September 2010. A studio album produced by Jack Douglas called Sensory Overdrive was released on 14 March 2011. It debuted at #1 on Finnish album chart. In UK it rose to 13th place in the Rock charts, Ginger played his last gig with the band at Provinssirock on 17 June 2011.
Singles Club / A Break In The Weather
In early 2001, Ginger planned to release one CD single featuring three new tracks every month for the entire year, in a project known as The Singles Club. This would be the first material released under the name Ginger, and the project commenced parallel to tours with Silver Ginger 5 and the recently reformed Wildhearts. Owing to financial problems at Infernal Records, only 18 tracks were recorded, and only five singles were released. A compilation of all 18 tracks was released in 2005 as the double album A Break In The Weather. Ginger also performed regular acoustic shows during this period, resulting in the live acoustic albums The Great White Monkey (2004) and Potatoes & You (2005).
Valor Del Corazon
The album Valor Del Corazon (Spanish for “Strength of Heart”) was released on 9 January 2006.
Ginger released his second album Yoni on 22 January 2007 via his own label Round Records. It was described by some critics as the most calm and eclectic record Ginger had made to date.
Guest performances on the album include contributions from Olga (Toy Dolls), Bernie Torme (ex Ozzy Osbourne guitarist) and Toadies vocalist/guitarist Vaden Todd Lewis.
Market Harbour was released in 2008 on Round Records.
In March 2009 Ginger began writing a regular online column for Classic Rock Magazine titled “Ginger’s Secret History of Rock ‘n’ Roll” in which he discusses lesser-known album releases. In May 2009 Ginger embarked on his first purely solo tour in which no Wildhearts songs were performed. The tour received rave reviews including a 4K Live review from writer Steve Beebee in Kerrang! magazine. Ginger created an internet TV channel called “Great White Monkey TV” featuring tour footage and backstage video from every show on this tour.
Ginger was the penultimate act at the Kerrang!-sponsored Camden Rocks festival at the Underworld in London on 6 June 2009. Ginger’s performance was considered by Kerrang! Magazine to be the highlight of the day and received a review of 5 out of 5.
In July Ginger brought together Billy Morrison, Scott Lipps and Michael Butler in Los Angeles to perform a predominantly Wildhearts-heavy set under the guise “Ginger and Friends” A second show by this ensemble in August also included Michael Lee Smith (from the band Starz) performing guest vocals on ‘Loveshit’ and Steve Stevens performing guitar on The Wildhearts song “My Baby is a Headfuck” and a cover of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell.”
Along with Billy Morrison, Ginger performed with the supergroup Camp Freddy at The Joint in Las Vegas on 30 August 2009. Other performers on stage included Corey Taylor, Duff Mckagan, Matt Sorum, Billy Morrison, Chris Chaney, Dave Navarro, Steve Jones, John 5, and Ozzy Osbourne.
The Relentless Garage in London was chosen as the venue for Ginger’s Birthday show on 17 December 2009 under the guise “Ginger & Friends.” The event featured two sets and a rotating band of musicians playing a variety of Ginger’s backcatalogue, covers along with Wildhearts songs. Guest musicians included Nathan Connolly from Snow Patrol & Chris McCormack from 3 Colours Red along with the current members of the Wildhearts. Highlights included a reunion of Silver Ginger 5 and Clam Abuse.
On 10 October 2010, Ginger released 10, a compilation of tracks from his solo career, as a 16-track CD on Round Records. The album is a retrospective of his solo work (including Silver Ginger 5) since 2000, along with two previously unreleased new tracks. A second collection called 10 (Two) was also released as a free 10-track download.
Pledgemusic Campaign – 555%/100%
In August 2011, Ginger launched the Triple Album Project via Pledgemusic, a website that enables fans to fund the recording and production of an album or other music project up front. Ginger’s pitch was to record a 30-song triple album comprising hitherto unfinished and unrecorded material dating back to 2007, with the recording of the album paid for in advance by those who pledged to hear the final product. The campaign met with immediate success, hitting 100% of the funding total within six hours of launching.
Hard copies of the full album, consisting of 3 CDs in a hardbound case, were announced to be strictly made to order for the pledgers at a cost of £20, with only a 12-track single disc – with the songs chosen by the pledgers themselves – to be made available as a commercial release to the public via the usual retail channels. Other media such as a documentary DVD, a deluxe vinyl box set, and assorted signed items were made available also. Regular video updates kept pledgers informed of the progress in the studio.
As the pledges continued to come in, Ginger announced on 18 February 2012 that the title of the triple album would be 555% and that when the pledge total hit that number, the 3CD hard copy of the album would be withdrawn from the campaign and immediately deleted, although the digital download would remain available to all subsequent pledgers. Also, the title of the 12-track version of the release was announced to be 100%.
Three days later, the total reached 555% and the hard copies were permanently withdrawn.
Though Pledgemusic has a policy of not revealing the specific funding totals, it was announced with Ginger’s consent on 22 February 2012 that the campaign for 555% – bringing in over 5,500 individual pledges – had generated over a quarter of a million dollars.
The week 100% was put on general release (week ending 7 July 2012), Ginger was sitting at number 9 in the midweek UK album chart, beating Rihanna and Coldplay. This level of success had not been anticipated and as a result physical CD production had been limited, so stocks were depleted across all outlets by the end of the week. This meant the final chart position for 100% was number 27.
Mutation / Mutation 2 / Hey! Hello!
On 6 August 2012, Ginger’s latest Pledgemusic campaign went live. Mutation (The Frankenstein Effect) and Mutation 2 (Error 500) is a double album of heavier work, featuring members of Napalm Death, Exit International, The Sisters Of Mercy, Hawkeyes, Cardiacs and, most forebodingly, Mark E. Smith and is produced by Kevin Vanbergen.
Hey! Hello! is a “noisy pop” side-project by Ginger and Victoria Liedtke and features Ginger playing all instruments, a feat for which he had to learn drums. The album was released through the same Pledgemusic scheme. The album’s inclusion in the UK’s mid-week top 20 album charts saw it gain widespread press attention – with articles published by The Metro newspaper and BBC Radio 1’S Newsbeat. At the end of the week the album reached Number 37 in the UK album charts and Number 1 in the UK Rock Charts.
The 100% target was surpassed in 90 minutes and as at 13 December 2012 stands at 493%. For about 30 minutes of the 90 it took to reach 100% the server was overloaded causing the message “error 500” to be displayed, Ginger has announced that this will be the name of the second mutation album.
G-A-S-S & Songs and Words
In 2014 Ginger briefly broke away from the successful PledgeMusic model and set up a modern online version of an old style fan club. A subscription to the Ginger Associated Secret Society came with a guaranteed three brand new songs on the first of every month and other features including; rare songs from his archive, diary entries, horror movie reviews, a monthly podcast, competitions, exclusive merchandise and more.
During this time Ginger also toured with the Courtney Love band, and she appeared on the lead song on the August edition of G-A-S-S, titled “Honour”. During his G-A-S-S project, Ginger hinted at a new Pledge project beginning in December 2014. On Christmas Day he announced his intention to write and release a coffee table book detailing his career from the inception of the Wildhearts through to the 555% Pledge campaign. The project achieved its goal and as of 28 March 2015 stood at 405% of its target, with 10% of money made after 100% going to the charity Shelter.
- Valor Del Corazon (2005) – #196 JPN
- Yoni (2007) – #184 UK, #230 JPN
- Market Harbour (2008) – #189 UK, #183 JPN
- 100% / 555% (2012) – #27 UK, #164 JPN
- Albion (2013)
- Year of the Fanclub (2015) #95 UK
- Ghost In The Tanglewood (2017)
- Grievous Acoustic Behaviour (2001)
- The Great White Monkey (2004; special edition 2009)
- Potatoes & You (2005)
- Live Begins at 40 (2005)
- A Break In The Weather (2005)
- 10 (2010)
- “I’m A Lover, Not A Fighter” (2001) – #134 UK
- “Cars and Vaginas” (2001) – #139 UK
- “And This Time I’m Serious” (2002)
- “The Saga of Me & You” (2002) – #151 UK
- “Virtual Love” (2003) – #135 UK
- “Yeah Yeah Yeah” (2006)
- “Holiday” / “Casino Bay” (2007)
This list attempts to bring together the major albums Ginger has released under various guises throughout his musical career and focuses on albums that contain original studio recorded material (i.e. not live recordings, greatest hits or various artists compilations).
- Mondo Akimbo a-Go-Go EP (1992) – The Wildhearts
- Don’t Be Happy… Just Worry dbl EP/mini-album (1992) – The Wildhearts
- Earth Vs The Wildhearts (1993) – The Wildhearts
- P.H.U.Q. (1995) – The Wildhearts
- Fishing For Luckies (1996) – The Wildhearts
- Endless Nameless (1997) – The Wildhearts
- Super$hit 666 EP (1999) – Super$hit 666
- Stop Thinking (1999) – Clam Abuse
- Black Leather Mojo (2000) – Silver Ginger 5
- Riff After Riff After Motherfucking Riff mini-album (2002) – The Wildhearts
- The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed (2003) – The Wildhearts
- Coupled With (2004) – The Wildhearts
- World of Filth (2006) – Howling Willie Cunt
- The Wildhearts (2007) – The Wildhearts
- ¡Chutzpah! (2009) – The Wildhearts
- ¡Chutzpah! Jnr. mini-album (2009) – The Wildhearts
- The Frankenstein Effect/Error 500 (2013) – Mutation
- Hey! Hello! (2013) – Hey! Hello! – #274 JPN / #37 UK
- Hey! Hello! – Too! (2016)
- Dark Black – Mutation (2017)
- Devin Townsend – “Christeen” (Co-Writer)
- Neil Leyton – Dead Fashion Brigade EP (guitar, arrangements, production)
- Backyard Babies – “Brand New Hate” (Co-Writer) from the album Making Enemies Is Good
- Brides of Destruction – “White Trash,” “Never Say Never,” “Tunnel Of Love”, “Dimes in Heaven” (Co-Writer)
- Sensory Overdrive (2011) – Michael Monroe (Co-Writer & Guitarist)
- Halcyon Times (2010) – Jason & The Scorchers (Co-Writer – credited as David Walls)