Graham McPherson


Madness Discography - Graham (Suggs) McPherson


Nickname: Suggs

Full Name: Graham McPherson

Date of Birth: 01/13/1961

Place of Birth: Hastings, England


Graham McPherson was born on 13 January 1961 in Hastings to a Scottish father, William Rutherford McPherson (1935–1975) and Welsh mother, jazz singer Edith Gower. The couple had married in the Paddington area of London in 1960 and Suggs was raised in Hastings by his mother. His father had left by the time Suggs was three. Suggs got his nickname from randomly sticking a pin in an encyclopaedia of jazz musicians (hitting Peter Suggs) while he was still in school, to avoid being labelled as the member of an ethnic minority owing to his Scottish surname. To capitalise on the name he went as far as to create a myth about it, writing lines like “Suggs is our leader” on the walls and only answering to that name.

After leaving school, he worked at a butcher’s shop for eight months, his first proper job. He also worked as a painter and decorator. The first gig he went to was the Who supported by the Sensational Alex Harvey Band in 1976.

In 1976 Mike Barson, Chris Foreman and Lee Thompson formed the North London Invaders, which later became the band Madness. The original members recruited were John Hasler, Cathal Smyth and vocalist Dikran Tulaine. This six-piece line-up was stable until 1977, when Suggs took over the lead vocals and Tulaine left the band. After a decline in hits, the band broke up in 1986.

In a music career spanning 40 years, he came to prominence in the late 1970s as the lead singer of the band Madness, which released fifteen singles that entered the top 10 charts in the United Kingdom during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.


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