In November 1985, Jarvis Cocker (pictured below right) was at a party at bandmate Russell Senior’s flat above a Sheffield sex shop called Sven Books.
While attempting to impress a girl by crawling out of one window and in through another, he fell and fractured his pelvis. Six weeks in hospital and gigs in a wheelchair followed. “It was just senseless bravado”, Cocker conceded.
When The Stone Roses were forced to pull out, Pulp took Glastonbury’s 1995 Pyramid Stage headline spot, where they played Sorted For E’s & Wizz for the first time.
When the song was released as a single, the CD inlay included a diagram which allegedly showed how to fold a drug wrap from a piece of paper, which led to a front-page Daily Mirror headline proclaiming “BAN THIS SICK STUNT”
In response, Jarvis was quoted in the paper the following day saying “Drugs? I’d rather pedal my bicycle”. He also elaborated in a separate interview that “origami does not lead to drug addiction, as far as I know – I might be wrong”. The single went to #2, giving Pulp their equal-highest chart position alongside Common People.
When Cocker jumped onstage at the 1996 Brits and shook his tiny tush at the sickening spectacle of Michael Jackson‘s God complex, Jacko’s people exposed the flimsiness of their pretensions by overreacting completely and accusing Jarvis of pushing the stage-school children off the stage.
By the time they realised the whole thing was being filmed and that the little British have lawyers too, Jarvis’s tilt at the windmill was a national cause célèbre – the blunt Yorkshireman taking on the might of the American multinationals and winning a craven climb-down.
The band documented their 2012 farewell concert (held, appropriately, in Sheffield) in the movie Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets.