What a journey. After two months of perplexing chats via Facebook messenger, ridiculous cliff hangers and sharing my confusion for the lovely readers of GGA, I feel as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. This weight, in the form of a British man with green skin, was snatched away in my final chat with Murdoc on Friday (Oct 26th).

Was I emotional? The only emotion I was feeling was exhaustion. This was due to the graveyard shift at work, then needing to wait another two hours for a demonic bassist to get online before I could go to bed. So…yes and no. Without giving too much away I should let you know that he confessed. Murdoc admitted why and how the #FreeMurdoc trend became a hoax. He even insists the entire experience has made him a better person.  Do I believe that? Of course not. But it’s a nice thought. 

The conversation started with Murdoc greeting me warmly as though we were friends. Naturally, I was suspicious. But it’d been over a month since our last update so I carried on. I was pleasantly surprised to see him not beating around the bush. “Now, uh, I hear Noodle told you i may have…somewhat exaggerated my crime. I guess you’re a bit wanged off with me for all those porky pies (lies). So go on, tell me what you think of me. Really LET RIP.” But before I could ‘let rip’ he carried on. “Lovely. COULDN’T AGREE MORE. The old Murdoc was a total wanker BUT! Judge me not until ye hear all, for I have a remarkable story to tell. A story I’m calling: The Glorious Tranzformation of Murdoc Niccals (working title). So…will you hear me out?” Why not? This was the very last time I was going to speak to Murdoc. May as well figure out his reasoning for all the nonsense. I gave the okay. 

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“Smashing. Right, well, in short, everything Noodle told you…IS TRUE. My wrongful imprisonment story was mostly bollocks. Was just meant to be a bit of banter, but it got out of hand. I was happily doing my time (parking fines. Guilty!)… when I hear fans outside screaming for my release. They’d even started this ‘Free Murdoc’ campaign. Maybe you started it?”

Absolutely not.

“Anyway, the Free Murdoc thing went straight to my head, like one of my famous Columbian Bloody Marys. I was drinking at the bar of my own ego, saying ‘hit me again’ repeatedly to the barman (who was also me). So I started… sexing my story up a bit. Smuggling, NOT-guilty, etc. Also chucked in the name ‘El Mierda’ I’d heard in the prison yard. He sounded like some Keyser Söze myth. How was I to know the bastard really existed?”

My main suggestion would be Google but I am just a simple, not famous person. So, there you have it! There was no big conspiracy. No cover up to replace Murdoc in the Gorillaz forever. Just a whiny Murdoc letting a little extra attention go to his head. That wasn’t the end of his story though.

“Fast forward a few months, Noodle’s off hunting El Mierda, and I’m doggy-paddling through raw faeces…I was looking for a number. Anyway, I’m giving myself 10 out of 10 for bravery in the face of terrible odds / turds. But as those turds hit me in the face, so did the TRUTH. I’m about to die, I’m swallowing logs, they’re going up my nose, in my ears… For what?! NOTHING! To make HEADLINES! At my lowest ebb, I finally realize what a bastard I am. But it was too late. Or WAS it? Cos then something happened… Just at the point of death, I saw… well, I dunno. Can’t put it into words. But it was beautiful and terrifying. I did a sketch of it…”

I have no idea what that is supposed to be. Honestly, I have no interest in knowing. But if this epiphany or hallucination was what saved Murdoc from death then I can only assume it is meant to depict something truly glorious. After awaking near a sewer grate in an Aldi car park, Murdoc rushed back to Gorillaz HQ to have a ‘flannel wash’ then got on the next plane to Argentina. He was going to take advantage of his second chance; he was still convinced that El Mierda was still a major criminal so he feared for Noodle’s safety. Upon his arrival, and to nobody’s surprise, absolutely no one would help him on his quest. “Best I could do was buy this demonic yak off some old warlock. He said it was once human, turned into a yak by Mierda. Tragic really. Well, I named her after someone who’s never let me down… MADONNA! I was told Madge knows the way, so I had the warlock rope me on cos I knew it would be a gruelling journey. And even if I didn’t make it there alive, this letter I was carrying would…”

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It wasn’t long before Noodle stumbled upon the duo, dragged Murdoc to the nearest hot spring to thaw him off and explained about El Mierda’s health spa. Noodle was unhappy. But her lack of sword use on Murdoc made him assume all was well again. As for 2D and the whole soul harvester thing? Just another misunderstanding. It appears shortly before the Gorillaz comeback 2D suffered a rollerskating related injury. “An Accident! They fell off the top of his wardrobe and hit him on the noggin.” Murdoc explained. While recovering in El Mierda’s spa for a few days, Murdoc began work on a new ‘Murdoc Manifesto’, a list of ways for him to become a better person. Currently the list includes: “Stop sending hate mail to Ed Sheeran. Switch to low-alcohol beer every second Thursday.”

So in conclusion, YES, the Free Murdoc movement started as bollocks. But if you think all your hard work was for nothing, you’re dead wrong…Cos in the end, the experience DID free me. Not from Wormwood Scrubs – but from that other, far worse prison I was in…I was in a prison of my own making, but thanks to you – I’ve busted out. This long, long journey has made me a better man. Now I truly am a FREE MURDOC. So, here’s a little token of appreciation…”

Okay, even I have to admit that was pretty fun to get. It’s a tiny gesture. Yet enough big step for someone like Murdoc that I’m almost convinced he seriously wants to be a good person. All any of us can do is hope. “Right, I better shoot off, Madge needs feeding. Not Madonna, the four-legged one – had her shipped back as a pet for 2D. I’ll leave you with this – a moving little tribute to my amazing journey from sinner to righteous man. The gold is coming. See ya!”

And as quickly as he entered my life he was gone, hopefully he’s a better and more compassionate person. So, what did we learn? To take everything Murdoc Niccals says with a grain of salt. To not assume every strange man you see in a music video is connected to criminal activity. Oh! And to always read the fine print on those pesky visitor passes.    



Fallon Marie Gannon