Stuart Cable 1970-2010

By | Published on Tuesday 8 June 2010

It was confirmed yesterday that former Stereophonics drummer, broadcaster and one time CMU columnist Stuart Cable had been found dead at his home in the Welsh village of Llwydcoed. He turned 40 last month. No cause of death has yet been announced.

Cable played in a number of bands in his home town of Cwmaman in Wales prior to forming Stereophonics with schoolfriends Kelly Jones and Richard Jones in 1992. In 1996, they became the first band to sign to Richard Branson’s then newly formed V2 record label, releasing their debut album, ‘Word Gets Around’, the following year. Cable went on to record three more number one albums with the band, but was sacked in 2003, apparently due to a “lack of commitment”, via a statement posted on the band’s website. The drummer only learned that he was no longer a member of the band when journalists and friends began ringing to ask if it was true.

He later wrote in his autobiography that his problems with drink and drugs had in part led to his departure from the band, saying: “We went from a tight-knit rock band who were the best of friends to the two musketeers against the hyperactive junkie clown. The more we started to drift apart the more I rebelled and went my own way”. He also described the split as “the darkest time of my life”.

At this time, Cable was also presenting a TV chat show on BBC Wales called Cable TV, and this was also cited as a reason for his sacking, with his bandmates claiming the drummer’s commitment to the Phonics waned as he focussed on a media career. That new part of his life continued after leaving the band – he went on to present for BBC Wales, BBC Radio Wales, Kerrang! 105.2 and Xfm South Wales – through he continued to drum also, forming a new band in 2006 called Killing For Company, who were due to perform at this weekend’s Download festival.

Kelly Jones paid tribute to his former bandmate yesterday, telling reporters: “I sent him a text last week to say happy birthday and he replied, ‘I never thought I’d make it to 40’. I texted him back and I said, ‘You will live to be 100, mate’. I’m in total shock. It was about 8.30am and I was getting ready to go to my uncle’s funeral when Stuart’s brother Paul rang. I was going to see Stuart today for a pint and wish him happy birthday as well”.

Jones added that, despite tensions around the time Cable was sacked from the band, the pair had patched up their differences in recent years: “We have been speaking to each other for the past five years. When people break up in bands no one really knows what it’s all about. But, between me and Stuart, all our disagreements were solved within one year”.

Eddy Temple-Morris, who was an early champion of Stereophonics via his MTV show ‘Up For It’ in the late 90s, writes in his column on this week: “I got to meet, know, hang with Stuart and his wonderful family a lot in those days; and after he was sacked from Stereophonics by Kelly, we both produced TV programmes in the same building in South Wales. So, I knew Stuart before he was famous, during the height of his fame, and afterwards”.

He continues: “And here’s the point, in all that time HE NEVER CHANGED. Stuart was a colossal character. The embodiment of everything that is great about the Welsh. That huge, booming, baritone voice, the big smile, the cheeky banter, and the ability to light up a room when he entered it. He was a great hair-bear of a Celtic man-god. I was looking forward to his becoming a Welsh version of Brian Blessed, universally loved for his cartoon like character, positivity and ability to take life on with a lightness of heart”.

He concludes: “The entertainment industry is famous for being full of sharks, hyenas, snakes, vermin and pond-scum. Stuart was proof you didn’t have to follow suit. You could be, if I follow this animal analogy, a giraffe. Giraffes have the biggest hearts in the animal kingdom. Stuart’s was huge. He was a genuine, loving, lovable, huggable great galoot with comedy hair and a smile that could light up Wembley Stadium. That’s what he leaves behind, a legacy of niceness”.

Stuart Cable is survived by his two sons, his mother Mabel, and his brother Paul.