Co-Editor In Chief
In news that shook the Catherine Wheel community, lead singer Rob Dickinson announced that longtime manager Merck Mercuriadis had passed away Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, this is something all of us have to face,” Dickinson read from a prepared statement. “At first, we were in denial about the fact. But now is the time to deal with reality.”
According to the statement, suspicions had arisen when contributions from Mercuriadis to the CW email list, Texture, had begun to taper off.
After posting a warning to a counterfeit Dickinson in February, Mercuriadis was eerily silent for months. This silence persisted even amid the revelation of the solo careers of Dickinson and guitarist Brian Futter, and the continuing successful development of the Catherine Wheel Cover Compilation.
It was Texture resident-cynic [and ICBINF Co-Editor] Brittany H. who first noticed something amiss.
“I finally decided that something must be terribly wrong with Merck,” H. said. “In addition to that, I thought he might be dead.”
H. alerted the police, who conducted a search of Mercuriadis’s New York apartment. They found nothing but a large pile of hair and cobwebs on a chair in front of the computer.
“We poked the pile with a stick, but got no response,” deputy Tony Delacruz stated. “Actually, no, that’s not quite true. We did get a couple of one-word responses, such as ‘No.’ and ‘Bollocks.’ but we don’t typically consider such empty statements to be a sign of life.
“We assumed the mass was Mercuriadis, and have now pronounced him dead. Or perhaps it’s not him and he’s somewhere else, dead. Either scenario works for us, frankly.”
“Many of us were wondering why Merck was online all of the time,” H. noted in a typed statement. “We see now that he was simply unable to log off. Well, maybe he’s happy now, managing Guns ‘N’ Roses up in heaven. HAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!1 I’m so funny.”
What brought about Mercuriadis’s presumed demise has not yet been determined. However, an examining physician has listed acute apathy as a possible cause. Mercuriadis had not been vaccinated against that particular malady since 1995, when the Catherine Wheel’s “Waydown” received significant radio airplay.
After reading his statement to the press, Dickinson kept his composure for several minutes. In a interview afterward, however, he broke down.
“Oh, my goodness, this is terrible!” Dickinson said, shedding tears and blowing his nose on his shirt. “I don’t know what to do! What are we going to do without a manager? Merck, how could you do this to meeeee?”
CW drummer Neil Sims attempted to comfort Dickinson—”Rob, we’ve got to try not to loose our heads”—to no avail; Dickinson continued weeping.
“I’m helpless without Merck! Who will watch over me? Who will defend me on the Texture website? There’s no possible way we can continue with our music careers now…
“…Unless, of course, Merck has a twin brother. That would fix everything.”
Suddenly Dickinson brightened up. “Hey, maybe he does have a twin brother! That would be great! And if Merck’s still alive, even better! Two Mercks! Merck in stereo! What fun!”
Other band members wondered whether the loss of Mercuriadis truly would signal the death of the Catherine Wheel.
“To be honest,” Futter said, “I’m not quite sure what Merck did in the first place. I mean, he was always hanging around, and his name’s always in the credits, so I guess he did something. I know he always used to finish off the Doritos backstage before any of us got to them.”
“I dinnoo, oddn’ ‘erd froom ‘m ‘n moonths,” CW bassist Ben Ellis added. “Matt’r fac’, I niv’r mit th’ booger.”
“Oh, you guys just weren’t paying attention!” Dickinson said, “It’s all the little things he did. Little, tiny, generally unnoticeable things—”
When Dickinson was asked what Mercuriadis had done for his career that he couldn’t have done for himself, Dickinson stared vacantly at the wall for a few seconds. Then he slumped in his chair and said, “Let me think about it. I’ll get back to you.”
Six hours later, police started poking him with the stick.