9 January 1995 If Life Is Like A Love Bank... I Want An Overdraft is released as a single (a double A-side with Geordie In Wonderland). The promo video, directed by Philip Richardson, is deemed pornographic and the master copy of the original 'hardcore' version is destroyed. Ginger tells Metal Hammer that the band's UK record company objected to scenes involving masturbation. Two different remakes of the video are issued to the media, one a 'censored hardcore' version and the other a 'clean' version. The video features former Wolfsbane bassist Jeff Hateley as 'stand-in' guitarist, with a brown paper bag tied over his head. The single reaches number 31 in the UK chart.
11 January 1995 Kerrang! publish a news item alleging that the band have "numerous internal problems". The magazine claims that there is a rift between Danny and Ginger. That same afternoon, the Kerrang! offices are visited by Ginger, Danny and Ritch, who proceed to smash up a desk, a computer monitor and keyboard, and "a variety of personal effects", causing over £2,000 worth of damage. Danny tells me in September 1998: "Normally we wouldn't take offence at people saying we'd split up, because we do it all the time. But when it's true it's true, and when it isn't it isn't. It was a fight for fuckin' honest journalism, not fuckin'... It wasn't us just being clever and we weren't looking for press. We just went down 'cos we were fucked off, d'ya know what I mean?"
26 January 1995 Senseless Things frontman Mark Keds makes an appearance as The Wildhearts' 'stand-in' guitarist when the band perform Geordie In Wonderland on Top Of The Pops. Jeff Hateley mimes the song's mandolin part dressed in full Paul Stanley make-up. Interviewed by Radio One DJ Claire Sturgess before the show, he is asked to described his appearance in detail to the station's listeners. "I look like Paul Stanley," replies a deadpan Hateley.
February 1995 Wildhearts fans Dana Immanuel and Leanna Hawkes take over the Ginger Nuts! fanzine due to Tara's excessive workload. Their first and only issue is published later in the year.
15 February 1995 Kerrang! run an interview with Mark Keds, who denies he is joining The Wildhearts.
22 February 1995 CJ and Willie's new band, Honeycrack, make their live debut at Edward's No. 8 in Birmingham, supporting US grungy popsters Weezer.
25 February 1995 XL's Nightclub in Birmingham is host to a Wildhearts album playback party, where fans get to hear the band's new album p.h.u.q. in its entirety before its release. The band attend and are virtually mobbed. Fans are given a free Naivety Play promo CD.
28 February 1995 Danny goes out to buy himself a washing machine for his birthday. He comes home with a fish tank. According to Dante Bonutto, this isn't the first time that one of Danny's shopping attempts has thrown up a surprise or two. Just after the band had signed to EastWest, the bassist went out to buy a pair of candlesticks. He returned home with a pair of candlesticks attached to a piano.
March 1995 Various magazines carry news items stating that Ginger has considered attempting suicide. When he next appears in public, his right arm is scarred by cigarette burns - ironically, in the shape of a smiley face. Ginger explains that the burns helped ease his mental pain by replacing it with physical pain.
28 March 1995 The Wildhearts are billed to play a short set at a Quireboys reformation at the Newcastle Mayfair. However, it's announced half way through the evening that they won't be appearing, as they haven't turned up ("a bit of a pisser," to quote the DJ). It's later reported in the press that the band are in New York. Ginger tells Metal Hammer that he needed to escape the UK because he was finding it very difficult to deal with certain people. While in the United States, the video for the forthcoming single, I Wanna Go Where The People Go, is filmed. The band perform the song on the back of a flatbed truck while being driven around the streets of New York. Ginger's 'Smileybones' guitar is stolen. On the second day, the band are filmed in a room with Victorian furniture and a cast of 'freaks' including dwarves, a bearded lady and a very old woman who mimics every movement Ginger makes with his hands.
April 1995 The band inform EastWest that they have no intention of returning to the UK. They like New York and hope to audition for a new guitarist, having failed to find anyone suitable at home. Ritch accidentally sets fire to his room at the Chelsea Hotel when he knocks a pile of clothes on to a lighted candle while asleep.
24 April 1995 I Wanna Go Where The People Go is released as a single. It reaches number 16 in the UK chart.
26 April 1995 Kerrang! publish a news item in which Mark Keds again denies he is joining The Wildhearts. Mark explains that The Wildhearts need someone who totally lives the band. And, he says, that person isn't him.
27 April 1995 The Wildhearts perform I Wanna Go Where The People Go on Top Of The Pops, surprising fans who thought they were still residing in New York. TOTP producer and Wildhearts fan Ric Blaxill guest stars with the band, playing a copy of Ginger's stolen 'Smileybones' guitar that the band have given him as a present.
May 1995 The one and only issue of Something Weird, my own Wildhearts fanzine, is published. It's the second Wildhearts zine ever to be released, but others eventually emerge, including News Of The World, 5 Miles High?!, Splattermania!, Shitsville (later changed to Boredom, when the editor's mum takes offence at the name), Felix, Broken Hearted and God Bless The Wildhearts.
4 May 1995 The Wildhearts perform I Wanna Go... on Top Of The Pops for the second week running. After their performance, Ginger goes for a wander and gains entry to the Oasis dressing room, only to find himself being shown the door when Liam Gallagher gives the nod to a security guard.
17 May 1995 Kerrang! publish a news item in which Mark Keds explains his reasons for joining The Wildhearts: he flipped a coin.
22 May 1995 The band's new album, p.h.u.q., is released. It enters the UK chart at number six. Some of the inner sleeve artwork (drawn by a friend of Ginger's named Danny Deen, who also draws a self-published comic called Jerka!) has to be redesigned as two of the drawings (a man having his anus held open and a young boy performing fellatio on an elderly gentleman) are deemed obscene in the UK, although the Japanese version is issued with the original artwork.
June 1995 Felix, Ginger's pet rat, dies. An obituary appears in the August edition of Metal Hammer.
16 July 1995 The Wildhearts are due to headline the second stage at the Phoenix Festival at Long Marston Airfield in Stratford-Upon-Avon, but new guitarist Mark Keds fails to turn up - preferring to stay in Japan with Senseless Things - and their appearance is scrapped, along with billed appearances at Glasgow's T In The Park and Dublin's Feile Festival. The band also have to pull out of an appearance at Denmark's influential Roskilde Festival and cancel 14 German dates. Danny tells Kerrang! that he's glad Keds hadn't already been paid.
17 July 1995 Just In Lust is released as a single. It reaches number 28 in the UK chart. Mark Keds plays on the B-sides and is featured in the artwork.
26 July 1995 An advert appears in Kerrang!, asking potential Wildhearts guitarists to contact the band's management company. They are inundated with tapes. Someone even sends their audition tape to me for some strange reason (a very, ahem, 'pleasant' bedroom recording of Suckerpunch).
8 August 1995 The Moodswingers, The Wildhearts' 'secret' alter-ego, play The Stage in Hanley, as a three-piece for the first time. The evening is billed as a local band night. Their set runs: I Wanna Go Where The People Go, Caffeine Bomb, Greetings From Shitsville, Everlone, Caprice, Suckerpunch, Woah Shit, You Got Through, Love U Til I Don't, S.I.N. (In Sin), Lost Highway.
9 August 1995 The Moodswingers play JB's in Dudley. Tonight's set runs: I Wanna Go Where The People Go, Caffeine Bomb, Greetings From Shitsville, Everlone, S.I.N. (In Sin), Caprice, Suckerpunch, Love U Til I Don't, Woah Shit, You Got Through, Lost Highway, Naivety Play, My Baby Is A Headfuck.
August 1995 The trio fly to Europe for some festival dates in Sweden and Belgium, before supporting Neil Young in Denmark.
October 1995 Whatever, the band that drummer Stidi joined after he left The Wildhearts, release their debut EP, Super Stupid. It's announced that EastWest plan to reissue Fishing For Luckies under the title Fishing For More Luckies on 6 November. Additional tracks will be added, including a demo version of I Wanna Go Where The People Go, an orchestral outtake called Saddened, and a previously unreleased song, Underkill. This time, the album will be available through the usual retail outlets.
3 October 1995 New full-time guitarist Jef Streatfield makes his live debut with The Wildhearts at the Buckley Tivoli. Jef, who comes from the Bournemouth area, is a former member of Schmoozer and Farmer Geddon. Ginger tells Kerrang! that Jef was chosen from hundreds of hopeful applicants because he, erm, could sing and play the guitar.
4 October 1995 The band play another low-key warm-up gig, this time at JB's in Dudley.
8 October - 11 October 1995 The Wildhearts play their first ever Japanese tour, beginning at Nagoya's Club Quattro and ending at Osaka's Club Quattro. They tell Metal Hammer that the tour has been their finest moment to date and praise the Japanese audience for their welcoming nature. Ritch even has words of praise for their Japanese record company, EastWest Japan.
11 October 1995 It's publicly announced that Ginger will split the band after their forthcoming tour unless they are allowed to break their contract with EastWest UK and leave the label. The ongoing dispute has come to a head over the label's plans to re-release Fishing For Luckies with three old tracks tacked on the end, and is being compounded by their reported refusal to issue In Lilly's Garden as a single. Ginger tells Kerrang! that there's no point in continuing to make records for EastWest UK when nobody at the label is a fan of the band.
22 October - 3 November 1995 The Wildhearts tour the UK. Sets are long (crossing the two hour mark at the London gig), with plenty of pyrotechnics and audience participation (chants of "fuck EastWest" are encouraged).
20 December 1995 Kerrang! publish a news item stating that the band aren't splitting up. Their mood is said to be positive, although the reasons given for their change of heart are vague. News eventually emerges that the band's records are to be released on their own label, Round Records.