1990-91 Pat Walters (aka Patrike Panache, ex-Soho Roses) replaces Stidi, who returns to Newcastle where he joins God's Little Devils (who in December 1991 become The Babysnakes).
7 August - 13 August 1990 Ric Browde produces Wild Hearts demos at Jacobs studios. Five tracks are recorded: Please Baby Please, Unsociable Emotions, Wild Wine & Whiskey, Viva L'Amour and Kiss My Arse Before You Say Goodbye. Snake has recently left the band, and it's his replacement Duncan (aka - ahem - Dunken F. Mullett, ex-Mournblade) who sings on these demos. However, Snake soon returns, ousting Duncan.
late 1990 The Wild Hearts play a low-key support slot at the George Robey in Finsbury Park, London. The gig is billed as a 'Sleaze All Dayer'.
13 December 1990 The Wild Hearts support the Dogs D'Amour at a Christmas show at London's Astoria (the show is my own personal introduction to the band). They look and sound like a heavier Guns N' Roses. CJ, particularly, does an uncanny Slash impression.
1991 Radio Moscow release their debut album, World Service. Their drummer is Ritch Battersby.
29 March 1991 Ginger, CJ, Joolz and Pat play Nottingham Rock City as a four-piece, Snake having left the band the previous day. Eventually, after numerous auditions fail to turn up a new vocalist, Ginger takes on lead vocal duties permanently.
mid 1991 Danny McCormack (ex-Energetic Krusher) replaces Joolz on bass.
July 1991 The Ginger-fronted Wild Hearts record four tracks with producer Mark Dearnley: Turning American, Love U Til I Don't, TV Tan and Crying Over Nothing.
mid - late 1991 Dante Bonutto, an A&R man for the EastWest UK label (another Atlantic offshoot) hears the demo and signs the band. Dante tells RAW in August 1995 that he signed the Wild Hearts because he rated Ginger very highly as a songwriter.
October 1991 Bam (ex-Dogs D'Amour) replaces Pat on drums. The Dogs are currently inactive, with lead singer Tyla having recently cut his chest open on stage in Los Angeles.
November 1991 Bam makes his live Wild Hearts debut in Wolverhampton. The band are opening for New Wave Of British Heavy Metal heroes Diamond Head. The Wild Hearts go on to play a few more shows with Diamond Head, a proposed six-date UFO / Red Dogs having fallen through at the last minute. EastWest A&R man Dante Bonutto recently reminisced about the first date of tour: "All I can remember of the show was that the band were incredibly loud, incredibly energetic and incredibly exciting. There weren't many people watching them, and those that were had a look of confusion / terror on their face. But the band absolutely went for it. Danny, in particular, seemed to be in the air whole time! I knew then that we had something very special on our hands."
December 1991 The Wild Hearts (with the line-up now stabilised as Ginger, CJ, Danny and Bam) support Wolfsbane on a UK tour. A typical set list from the tour runs: Nothing Ever Changes But The Shoes, Turning American, Crying Over Nothing, Weekend, Liberty Cap, Love U Til I Don't. Two leading British rock / metal magazines barely mention Wolfsbane in their reviews of the London date (Astoria, 10 December), a show that sees the band adding Church Of The Broken Hearted to the set list. The band also return at the end of Wolfsbane's set to join the headliners in a rousing rendition of the Rolling Stones' Honky Tonk Women. Wolfsbane's bassist, Jeff Hateley, does a mean, pouting and strutting Mick Jagger impersonation.
December 1991 The band go into the studio to record tracks for their first EP.
31 December 1991 The Wild Hearts play a New Year's Eve Party at the London Marquee with Wolfsbane, Atom Seed and New England.
January - February 1992 The Wildhearts (note the one-word name) support the Manic Street Preachers on the first portion of their UK tour.
March 1992 The band support Love/Hate around the UK.
20 April 1992 The Wildhearts' debut EP, Mondo Akimbo A-Go-Go, is released by EastWest. Notoriously, Neil Jeffries only gives the EP three Ks in his review for Kerrang! magazine, singling out the mix as a problem. Shortly afterwards, Jeffries is sent to interview the band. He walks out when Ginger accuses him of trying to stifle The Wildhearts' career.
9 June - 25 June 1992 The band embark upon their first major headlining tour of the UK, playing mainly small clubs (hence its title, the Welcome To Shitsville Tour 1992 A.D.). They are the first band to headline the weekly rock night at Wokingham's Phoenix Plaza, when they play the newly opened venue on 18 June.
19 June 1992 The Wildhearts support the Manic Street Preachers, a band with whom they've often played in the past, at the Town and Country Club (now The Forum), London.
24 June 1992 The band play a gig at Nomis Studios in London and record their performance for possible use as B-sides. The set runs: Weekend (5 Long Days), Shame On Me, Nothing Ever Changes But The Shoes, Greetings From Shitsville, Splattermania, Liberty Cap, Love U Til I Don't, Something Weird (Going On In My Head), Pump It Up (Ginger : "Has anybody heard of a guy called Elvis Costello? A little fucking speccy twat..."). After recording this main set, the band return to the stage to re-record certain songs.
November 1992 Bam leaves the band to rejoin the reformed Dogs D'Amour. Ginger tells RAW that although he's still good friends with Bam, the drummer's heart had always really been with the Dogs D'Amour. Stidi is re-recruited as a temporary replacement.
November 1992 'Double EP' Don't Be Happy... Just Worry is released. It consists of four new songs recorded at Rockfield in Wales, with 'Anti-Dance' remixes (by Terry Date) of the Mondo Akimbo A-Go-Go tracks. (Kerrang!'s Neil Jeffries grins a knowing smile.)
November - December 1992 The Wildhearts lay down some pre-production demos at Wessex Studios, which turn out so good that they end up being properly mixed and used as the final versions on the Earth Vs The Wildhearts album.
December 1992 The Wildhearts are unceremoniously kicked off Izzy Stradlin's tour after the first date at Nottingham Rock City. The press speculate about the reasons for the band's ousting. Rumours include: The Wildhearts outsold Izzy on the merchandise stand; the ex-Guns N' Roses guitarist was none too pleased at the audience's lukewarm response following an amazing set from The Wildhearts; and Izzy took offence at his support band's backstage, ahem, herbal relaxation techniques, having only recently fought his own battles with substance abuse. However, Dante Bonutto recently told me that the band's ousting from the tour had something to do with an argument between Ginger and Izzy, and involved a woman. Said Dante: "I'm saying no more... except that The Wildhearts' response to this unceremonious booting-off was to print up a black and white flyer referring to Izzy Stradlin' as 'Izzy Strugglin'. Needless to say, this didn't go down well with the Izzy camp!"
1 March - 6 March 1993 The band replace Screaming Trees as support to Alice In Chains in the UK and Ireland.
20 April 1993 Willie Dowling's new band, Cat People, play The Marquee.
30 April 1993 Mick Ronson dies from cancer of the liver. The former Spiders From Mars guitarist and Ian Hunter collaborator was working on a solo album entitled Heaven And Hull. One of his last recordings was the guitar solo for My Baby Is A Headfuck on Earth Vs The Wildhearts. Ronson was originally considered for the role of producer on the album, but was not well enough to take up the position.
May 1993 BBC Radio One's Friday Rock Show broadcasts a session by The Wildhearts. Four songs are played during the show: Pump It Up (the Elvis Costello song), Everlone, Something Weird and Liberty Cap. All of the tracks were specially recorded for the BBC.
Summer 1993 The Wildhearts make a cameo appearance as themselves in the first episode of the Lynda La Plante drama, Comics (shown on Channel 4 in the UK). The drama is about an American stand-up comedian, Johnny Lazar, who goes to London to revive his career after his addiction to drink and drugs make him unpopular with US television audiences. Just as he is about to get his big break in the UK, he becomes embroiled in a murder investigation after he witnesses a gangland killing in Soho. The Wildhearts are seen both on stage in a club and backstage in their dressing room, where their music can miraculously be heard playing in the background as if the band were still on stage. Ginger tells Kerrang! that the band got their part in the drama because the producer's son is a Wildhearts fan.
31 August 1993 The band's debut album, Earth Vs The Wildhearts, is released.
21 September 1993 Having recently replaced Stidi, ex-Radio Moscow drummer Ritch Battersby (from Cannock, near Birmingham) plays his first gig with The Wildhearts, supporting Wolfsbane at The Marquee.
1-5 October 1993 The Wildhearts headline the Norwich Oval and Dudley JB's before going on to play with Alice In Chains at the Brixton Academy on 4 and 5 October. EastWest give away a free promo 7", with Suckerpunch on the A-side and fellow support act Clawfinger's War Fair on the flipside.
6 October - 22 October 1993 The band tour the UK in support of The Almighty (Kerbdog are third on the bill). It's The Wildhearts' first high profile tour, and the eyes of the press are upon them. The last three dates are cancelled when The Almighty's frontman, Ricky Warwick, collapses from nervous exhaustion. Danny later tells Kerrang!'s Morat that he had been having a few health problems of his own during the tour. The bassist had apparently suffered an acid trip that lasted three and a half months, and came close to being admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
18 October 1993 Greetings From Shitsville is released on 7" brown vinyl, backed with The Bullshit Goes On (later retitled And The Bullshit Goes On and added to the Caffeine Bomb single). The original design for the sleeve (a photograph of producer Simon Efemey defecating into a piece of pitta bread held by the band members) is never released. Instead, the single is issued in a transparent sleeve with a picture inlay depicting a nightmarish morning's post: gas bills, electricity bills, council tax demands... and a postcard from The Wildhearts.
8 November 1993 TV Tan is released as a single (the TV EP). It reaches number 53 in the UK chart.
November 1993 The Wildhearts support Steve Vai's band VAI on their European tour. Ginger strikes up a friendship with VAI vocalist Devin Townsend, and they challenge each other to see who can go for longest without washing. The two bands are due to play London's Hammersmith Apollo on 24 November, but The Wildhearts pull out when Danny reportedly falls ill.
10 December 1993 The Manic Street Preachers' Brixton Academy gig, a show at which The Wildhearts were to have supported, is cancelled following the death of the Manics' manager, Philip Hall.