John Oakes was born on 1st
October, 1976 in Perivale, West London, the son conveyancing
lawyer and a linguist. He grew up in Poole, Dorset(he moved there
when he was five). Richard had "a quiet childhood, with
no crap to deal with. All the crap's happening now". He
spent most of his life playing his guitar. He was good at playing
by ear, which was "useful when I had to learn Dog Man
Star in two weeks, to go on tour".
1994, Bernard Bulter left Suede. The 17-year-old Richard grabbed
the chance and wrote an extremely confident letter*
to the fanclub with a four-track demo tape of him playing some
Suede songs including My Insatiable One to apply for the
audition. Soon, he was invited to an audition(his parents were
away on holiday at that time, his cat was the first to know of
his success) and not long after, in September 1994, he played
with the band for the first time in a secret gig, as the new
guitarist. At that time, he hadn't been playing the guitar for
more than 5 years. His reputation as a guitarist started building
from then on, touring around the world for Dog Man Star,
finally, co-writing** his
first album, Suede's third album Coming Up, also the latest
album, Head Music.
is the only one in Suede who is not a vegetarian and a smoker,
though he is quite a drinker. Same as Simon, he enjoys punk music.
Richard wears glasses normally, except when he's on stage or
shooting videos(he wears contact lenses then.) He used to dye
his hair black to "fit in" the band's image, he doesn't
do that now.