Thursday, 16 June 2011

Anet Mook: 19?? - 2011

Anet and I argued constantly. After a particularly vicious fight Paul, our then manager, phoned me to check that I was ok. He told me the famous story of Charlie Watts being summoned by Mick Jagger who demanded 'his drummer' come to him. Watts punched him in the face and said "don't ever call me your drummer again. You're my fucking singer."

I'm still not sure what point he was trying to make. Maybe he was encouraging me to punch Anet in the face when she made me angry. Probably though it was just a funny story to try and cheer me up in the midst of what were obviously the final days of Cay.

The last time I saw Anet was around 2002. It was at a bus stop on Tottenham Court Road in the middle of evening rush hour with people scurrying around us and the din of central London making conversation difficult.

We'd not spoken since I'd left Cay 2 years earlier. It had all come to a head with Tom and I having to withdraw the remaining 7 thousand pounds of the band's funds via several full books of small £200 cheques. A few days earlier I'd looked at the money spent in the previous month (a month of no tours, no studio time, no rehearsals even) and saw that Nick and Anet had withdrawn £17,000. When challenged they gave me short shrift, so to this day I can only guess what they spent it on, but I think it would be a fairly educated guess. 

Tom and I had realised then that we were going to have to do something drastic to stop what little was left going the same way. We took the remaining money and used it to pay a few outstanding debts; roadies who'd been patient enough to wait; our soundman on the last tour; the people who really needed it. What little remained would have to last us until we found work.

This was when I realised, with much anger and a lot of sadness, that Cay was finished. We'd been dropped by our label and no one else would touch us. Our managers had dropped us by this stage too. Relations in the band had sunk to an all time low.


I can't actually remember if I called Anet and told her directly I'd had enough or if I passed the message on through a third party. Maybe I posted a letter through their door, I just can't remember. Tom left shortly after I did.

I must admit in my foolish arrogance I was surprised to hear they intended to continue with a new drummer and bass player. In fact for a brief time it looked like things were going well for them. They played at Glastonbury that summer and released a single (Ressurrexit) which got a fair amount of airplay. My new job was in the stock room of a department store so hearing them played daily on Radio 1 while I sat stickering products I couldn't afford to buy myself make me feel sick with jealousy. For a while I thought they'd got it together and would make something of the band after all.

But that was it. After summer 2000 I heard nothing more of either Cay or Nick and Anet for a long time. Like many others I got wind of the occasional sighting of them but nothing that was really confirmed. Were they still together? Still using drugs? Still alive? I had no idea until I saw Anet at that bus stop.

I wasn't sure how this sudden unexpected meeting would go. Anet looked good, healthy. She smiled. We passed pleasantries and talked about mutual acquaintances. There were awkward silences. It was a difficult conversation. I think both of us were silently willing our buses to hurry up. 
 
I should be honest here: I'm not sure I can say that I even liked Anet. I did in the early days but that excited, enthusiastic girl gradually disappeared to be replaced with someone a lot less pleasant. It's been said elsewhere that Anet was absolutely passionate about her music. It's true that she was driven, to a fault in fact. But there's something about a passionate determined nature that doesn't sit well with the drugs she took. There were certain times that Anet would be intolerably aggressive and abusive.


As time went on we made foolish decisions, problems came up that we dealt with badly and things started falling apart. All the while Anet became worse and worse. She was happy to vent her frustrations at a variety of people but I was a favourite target. It was not uncommon for her to scream at me for 20 minutes or more because of some perceived slight on my part. I could recount endless stories of her angry and violent temperament and the abuse she meted out, but I haven't felt any bitterness in a long time.


I wish I could say that our music reflected our tempestuous relationships but we really messed it up. The early days were wonderful - small clubs, crap equipment, a real passion to be heard. The recordings of early gigs far outshine the big money album we did. The album is competent but sterile. Live we fucked up lots, but there was a real love of playing and an energy that is lacking on the album. Those days of Org singles, Student Radio sessions and possibilities were infinitely better than the reality that followed: a bad album; infighting; management disputes and of course drugs now that they could be afforded.

Towards the end I learned just to shut the fuck up when Anet gave me shit, but for the longest time I insisted on fighting my corner. I never let her get away with the insults she threw at me. We were both very neurotic and highly strung. Both passionate. I'm not trying to suggest we were similar or to make out that there was some profound connection on any level between us. On the contrary, it's probably fair to say that by April 2000 when I left we both quite genuinely hated each other.

Then, at that bus stop she apologised: for "you know, everything, all that shit" (it's been so long I can't remember her exact words, but it was something like that). I got embarrassed and said it was fine, don't worry about it. I think I conceded that I was probably a bit of a dick as well and we both lit cigarettes and willed our buses to hurry the fuck up.

I'm not sure whose bus came first, but one did and we parted company for the last time.

After 8 years of hearing very little I managed to learn some of what she and Nick had been doing since. Drugs remained a problem it seems. Anet had gone back to Holland to try and clean up. From what I understand she hadn't been entirely successful.

Now I hear that she died last week back in in Holland. Her funeral was today, Thursday 16th June. *

I probably have no right to say anything about Anet to be honest. I doubt she'd thank me for it. The brief time we were in a band together was a fraction of her life. But it was an intense time, that's for certain.  Cay ended up in bitter acrimony but there were great times before that. I remember well the gigs we played in tiny venues around the country. I loved being on stage with Anet, especially straight after an argument. We were an angry band and it didn't hurt to sit behind the drums full of frustration with those suppressed feelings of violence finally finding an outlet. Those were some of the best gigs I've ever played, and afterwards for an hour or two we were all unified by a sense of achievement and excitement. 


It breaks my heart that Anet is dead. Not because I'll miss her personally or because she and I were ever best friends, but because with her death goes a great deal of passion and possibility. Things really didn't turn out for her the way she'd hoped. It reminds me too that we're all getting older and those dreams we all shared will never come to pass. For a brief moment the world was ours and we were partners in all the exciting possibilities.

I may not have particularly liked her, but I had a lot of respect for Anet. She was my fucking singer, and I'm sorry that I'll never get to hear her voice again.

Anet with Dermot,our friend and roadie, and Nick in the back of the 
tour van we lived in for a year and a half.





* Edit on 20/06/2011: There are a few causes of death being presented as fact online so I'd like to clear this up. Anet was struck by a train. I'm reliably told that she was sober and of sound mind at the time.

38 comments:

  1. I would personally like to say I love nature creates freaks. i saw cay at the riverside in Newcastle supporting three colours red. One of the most memorable gigs I've been too. RIP Anet x

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  2. A fantastic eulogy Mark! Condolences to all concerned.

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  3. was genuinely choked when i heard this morning.id always wondered what became of her.that her final years seemed so desperate makes it all the more sad.i hope u finally find peace anetxxx

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  4. Paul - Monkey Boy17 June 2011 at 06:26

    Very sad to hear the news about Anet, Mark. We also still look back on those early days more than any other, thinking how lucky we all were to find one another, share a laugh, music and a stage together. Much love, brother.

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  5. Hey, Mark....Sean Organ just told me. Very sad. Have been talking about the band the last week or so, how proud - and surprised! - I was when we won the KERRANG! Award when I was managing you guys, the thrill I got every time John Peel or Steve Lamacq would ring me asking about the band... I hope people listen to the album now and realise what a truly great band Cay were... Nik Moore

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  6. Hey Mark..Som from My Vitriol here.. such sad news man. I hope you are well, it's been far too long x

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  7. Working in a venue on the upcoming circuit we always looked forward to Cay coming through, I don't recall any issues and remember everyone in the crew being pleasant company for a day. By far one of our favourite bands of the time. It was always good when we knew Cay were going to be in town that weekend.



    Andy Parker
    Formerly - Tunbrldge Wells Forum.

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  8. Som told me the news-I'm genuinely sad to hear Anet's died. Cay were one of my favourite bands. I saw you live in JBs in Dudley and met Anet - she was really friendly and the photo of us together is one of my favourites.
    xxx

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  9. Richie Mills of Cable.19 June 2011 at 17:30

    Sad news indeed.
    Fond memories of Cay in and around Camden.
    At least we can hold on to those.

    Rx

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  10. It saddens me to hear of Anets death, my work with Cay was some of the most exciting experiences of my early days in London i had been selling the big issue for a while and was homeless so working with cay saved me from where i was going.
    There were tentions but i was respected by all the band and people we had the joy of working with, i considered them all family and was lucky to have been there at the hight of everything.

    much love Dermot cays ever faithful roadie

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  11. Thank you very much for writing that up, and all the very best to anyone who played a part in Cay's short all to brief existence.

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  12. Very sad news.

    A truly great insider story from Mark. What might have been, eh?

    Anet, I hope you've found peace.

    Beano.

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  13. I saw Cay play at King tut's wah wah hut in Glasgow and it will always be a gig I remember, dancing on the stage at the last song will stick with me! The show was brilliant and seemed genuinely exciting and new. My vitriol were supporting and these two bands I always feel never got the breaks they should have. I have been to hundreds of gigs and that one will stick in my mind, I heard about Anet's drug problems and its all such a shame. Thoughts and prayers with you and Anet's Family and loved ones.

    David

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  14. Mark,

    What a heartfelt piece. I'm really sorry to hear about Anet. You rightly reflect the loss above brutally honest, but I think that it's a fitting tribute from someone who was at the heart of it all.

    I remember the days and weeks we spent in Cay's company with a lot of affection - we had some fine times!

    I, too, have lost a former band member in Keith, and been concerned for former band-mates who have become a little too involved in drugs. I have some small inkling of how you're feeling now.

    All my sympathies to Anet's friends and family.

    All the very best to you, brother.

    Ben, 3CR

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  15. "I would personally like to say I love nature creates freaks. i saw cay at the riverside in Newcastle supporting three colours red. One of the most memorable gigs I've been too. RIP Anet x"

    I think I was there. It was awesome.
    Saw them at Leeds Fest as well.

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  16. First of all rest in peace Anet, from what I understand she had a lot of potential.

    I don't mean to be rude, but I'm Dutch, and recently a book appeared about a borderliner dutch girl with severe drug problems who sang in a London-band by the end of the 90s.

    When I recently learned about Anet's death (which is not in the book or anything) I immediately thought about the book. So just to check, can anyone awnser any of these questions:
    Was her father rich from working for Shell? (the dutch oil company)
    How long did she and nick stay together after Cay split?
    Did she study Ancient Greek/Latin in London?

    I'm sorry if anyone takes offense in my trying to still my curiousity.

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  17. So sad. I knew Anet a little. She used to hang at Waterstones in Notting Hill ('08/'09) when I worked there. She was amazed when I first recognized her. It hadn't happened for a while, she said. She took me for coffee after I told her I saw Cay open the Leeds Festival in 2000 and blew most of the bill offstage. She was a massive Kate Bush fan and got very excited when I told her about a biography that was coming out. I got it in for her and called her when it came in. She rushed over and she was like a kid in a sweet shop. Looked very content and chilled generally.

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  18. Saw Cay play at the Gloucester Guildhall back in '99 on tour with with Muse, and Cay blew 'em off the stage! All my friends were there to see Cay. Wish they had kept going for longer and that Anet stayed in music. A real inspiration to our band who was starting out at the time: www.orchidfever.co.uk
    Peace love and sympathy
    Olly

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  19. Hey Mark. I'd love to hear a bit about how the band got together etc - what bands you were all in before Cay and all that. I gotta say, you can put your stories across really well!

    Beano.

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  20. Only just heard - so sad to hear. My first ever gig age 15 was watching you guys support Feeder at the Cambridge Junction in October 1998. You were fucking awesome. I understand how big production albums can be sterile compared to the early days, but Nature Creates Freaks & Princes and Princesses are amazing songs I remember from that gig, and I still enjoy those recordings today.
    Thanks for this blog post.

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  21. I'm a liar, it was October 1999, I was 16. Showing my age.

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  22. We first heard "Nature Creates Freaks" after finding it at a small record store in Melbourne, Australia in 2002. We were immediately blown away by a band that we couldn't believe we'd never heard of. We've been covering "Princes and Princesses" ever since as a tribute and always hoped that maybe one day Cay would tour Australia and we'd get to see the band live. We are deeply saddened by Anet Mook's passing... Such a great voice... Such excellent songs... Thank you Cay. Thank you Anet Mook. God Bless. Rest in Peace.

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  23. Cay were a great band and had this real fire of energy on stage.They played a few shows with us and Mark played drums for us on a Muse tour in Australia . John Lee was getting married at the time in Miami and he needed to be there to arrange everything so Mark filled in. It's very sad news and my thoughts are with her friends and family. R.I.P
    Grant Nicholas (Feeder).
    ps. Take care Mark and you did a good job in OZ...

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  24. Sorry to hear the sad news, I was at the same Feeder gig with Jez Kemp in 1999. We were blown away by the energy and aggression. Thanks for sharing such an honest blog Mark, all the best.
    Matt.

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  25. I was very sad to hear of Anets death. I found out today and have managed to get some tunes from their 2000 performance at Reading uploaded to youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfTIFSOhG_Y
    I will always remember her amazing voice and proper rock and roll attitude. She will be missed!

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  26. Mark, do you know if there is any memorial in Amsterdam?

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  27. Not that I've heard of. Her funeral has passed and that was just a family affair. I think Nick is going to organise a memorial in London at some point, hopefully in the near future. At the minute I don't think he's quite up to it. I'll post any details when I hear of them.

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  28. Thanks Mark. I will keep checking back.

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  29. Only found out this news yesterday.. :( I remember seeing Cay support Silverchair at the Electric Ballroom in 1999 and they were totally rocking. 'Princes and Princesses' was a cracking tune.

    RIP Anet.

    Dean B
    x

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  30. Only just seen this - sadly never got to see Cay live but what a band! Still listen to them now. RIP Anet x

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  31. Anet and I enjoyed a brief romance of ideas and excesses after meeting at the Red Eye on a cold February night in in 1998. From the first words we exchanged there was a goading on of each other to a path that almost everyone around would warn us from. I remember our many walks between Camden and Kings Cross and how in those moments nothing and no one else mattered, we felt that the world was ours, but in fact our world was shrinking. Anet would sit in some of my bands rehearsals, I cannot recall ever feeling more in tune with my music than when she was sitting there smiling into a storm of distorted guitars and feedback. My band hated her being there, but in all honesty I did not care, I felt a deep love for Anet that has not waned over these years. There was something about her that was both inspirational and challenging she was a very special human being. like many others before us and many since our love for the extremities in life came with a price tag that we did not imagine possible, soon the very thing that seemed such a expression of freedom, revolution and love became a self enforced cage and the outside world no longer was something we saw ourselves as part of. We wanted to change the world but our voices became muted.

    Anet and i slipped off each others worlds as our addictions took us with their tides, i will always remember those 24 months where anything felt possible, Anet imprinted herself on my soul, I thought we would sit together again and laugh about the absurdities of life I will always regret that we did not. x

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  32. Jamie?

    Whoever you are; beautiful words from a perspective I can only imagine. I hope you are well and the creativity that once burned in you has had a chance to re-emerge.

    Mark

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  33. Hi Mark, I've only this week heard of the death of Anet, and having seen that you did upload lots of Cay stuff on your blog (which I have now missed!) I was wondering if you would mind either re-listing them, so i can download them, or Emailing them to me, I have joined as a member of your blog, and my Email is: nathanross1984@gmail.com
    Also any other cay recordings you have i would loveto hear/receive.
    Many thanks & all the best,
    NathanRoss.

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  34. I remember seeing you with Cay in Exeter a couple of times, (I must have been about 14/15 years old at the time!) Once supporting 3 Colours Red & possibly Feeder, and also at Exeter Cavern, I seem to remember you guys were supporting Muse!

    I got your album when it came out & have been listening to it alot this week, since I found out.

    Anyway, would love to hear the Cay stuff you posted last year (and anything else you may have)
    Email:
    nathanross1984@gmail.com

    Thanks again.
    N

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  35. Hi Mark, I heard about Anets passing and read this blog post not long after it went up, tonight I've found myself listening to some old Cay material and remembering some fantastic shows I saw you lot play back in my teens. Two things I'll never forget about Cay were those acerbic and cutting guitar sounds and the sheer weirdness of some of the songs (Seven Schizo's Sat On A Bench anyone?), but over 10 years later they still sound fresh and awesome.

    Prior to Anets death I'd often wondered what'd happened to her and like many of us I'd also heard of her descent into a bad place, whenever I was in London I'd always have an eye peeled incase I bumped into her, my band even named a song 'Where Are You Anet Mook?' in some vague hope that she might hear it and reinform the world that she was still about and kicking. Sadly though, as we all found out, that was simply not to be.

    RIP Anet, Cay made amazing music but, sadly, nothing lasts forever, all we can all do now is listen to the past, listen to the music, look at the pictures and remember the gigs.

    Stu

    (For the record, we retired 'Where Are You Anet Mook?' from our shows a couple of years back, but one of our new songs carries the spirit of it, there'll certainly be something Mook related in its name.)

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  36. I was at uni in 1999/2000 and had Nature Creates Freaks on loop, they were the band I was looking forward to the most and they didn't disappoint. Over the years I've wondered what had happened to Cay...I never thought that my latest search would bring such sad news...RIP Anet. x

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  37. I am embarrassed that I only found out about this a year after it happened. Great piece and I think it captures a respectful snapshot well without trying to glorify the woman. First time I saw Cay was in 1999 at the Reading festival days after the album's release and it was a great show. Saw Cay again supporting Feeder in Brighton and then again in London with My Vitriol and Trashland as support. Absolutely cracking performances all. I was not able to make it to the following Reading festival performance but the writing was on the wall at that gig from what I was told by the people there and they were all concerned. Had two 'CAY SUK ROK' T-Shirts that I sadly had to throw away a couple of years ago due to there being too many holes in them. A fitting tribute.

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  38. God. There is a sadness in looking back on a band I once loved and realising this, and what has happened.

    I always wondered about Cay, world at their feet etc and they simply vanished, Life is cruel and the game is fixed.

    Thanks for the music.

    RIP Anet.

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