The incredible claim that Richey Edwards is hiding out in the Geordie capital was laughed off by pub owners.
Rob Day, manager at The Rock, Cambridge Street, said: "He's definitely not been to this pub - I would know because I know everyone here.
"I think I probably would recognise him.
"Newcastle's a good place to hide - but then, you can hide anywhere."
And Patrick Cassia, assistant manager at Luckies Corner Bar, said: "Well he doesn't play here for a start and I don't think anyone round here has seen him. I think a lot of people would recognise him - I wasn't a huge fan, but I've read up on him.
"There are a lot of buskers here, but I haven't seen him in the street either."
While Eleanor Gardner, a barmaid at the Northumberland Arms, said: "I haven't heard anything but he certainly wouldn't be here - we get a lot of people here and it's right in the centre of town.
"He would more likely go to one of the pubs on the outskirts where they have a lot of bands and he would be less well-known.
"I wouldn't know him from Adam!
"But I have noticed that recently there have been one or two buskers who have been really good, but I couldn't say for definite if one was him."
Dan, a bar man at Trillions, Princess Square, said: "I've never seen him. This is a rock bar so I'm sure he wouldn't come here - too many people would recognise him. I was a big Manics fan when I was 15, but not any more. I think I would still recognise him though.
"He could be anywhere - but then so could Elvis."
[Originally published: Wales On Sunday, 29 September 2002]