A drummer who first discovered love in New Orleans. After 10 years in America this artist came home, to Britain, to rehabilitate. His controversial lifestyle does not taint his opinion toward the value of healthy social interaction. He now works supporting others to overcome their own damaging psychological barriers. 

Curious? Read on …

Have you ever been interviewed before? If so when and why

Yes, I have been interviewed for assorted job type situations.

Most interesting fact/s about yourself

I spent some time as a stand-up comic. This is amidst a long history of drug use and recovery, and using again; it been up and down a bit recently.

Lived in America for ten years. There I made a young, celebrity comic friend. We met at a nearby event. After ten minutes of talking he asked for heroin. It was a bit late that night; my dealer wouldn’t come out after 9pm. So he met me, with his wife the next day. We scored. He liked my humour. I joined him and his wife, who was also a comedienne, on tour for six months. These gigs were in arenas seating twenty thousand. He was a wealthy and a well respected guy. Drugs curtailed his career though. Eventually our relationship changed; using got heavy and I returned to Britain to get clean.

In San Francisco we’d go out and he’d put five g’s on the table for drugs. He’d fly over especially. My dealer never knew he was associated to the purchases – he thought it was me buying the drugs. This left me in some trouble with an almost unlimited credit account, left in my name actually. After consuming fifteen grand of stuff I couldn’t afford to pay for, I did a flit back to Britain in 2000.

I self-detoxed at first and then two years later I went into rehab.

View on current societal behaviours – prominent attractions/ concerns

I see a mental health crisis in the next ten to twenty years bought about by psychological isolation caused by use of mod cons. The youth are constantly on social networking sites, not playing with one another outside and interacting properly; learning the skills necessary to create and manage relationships. Humans are social by nature and depend on interaction to be healthy.

There is a deep seated self-centredness, arrogance and sense of entitlement in the younger generation. They are virtually unidentifiable from five generations past; when mother, gran and child shared the same environments. Now gadgets have come about and diffused family connections too. In the time I have been on the planet none of this resembles my time growing up. Technology came about when I was in my twenties and I adapted. The IT era is totally abstract from the generation before me; they remember life before IT when there was more interaction between families. Now there is a lot of shit coming through.

Trying to get an apology from someone is unreal. When a product is defective and you return it to the store and explain the problems, no one cares or accepts responsibility. There is no sense of responsibility, just a bullish arrogance.

What is you main pet-peeve?

Arrogance. Lack of humility. Ego. These traits are becoming increasingly evident on a daily basis.

Have you experienced love? If so when and was it worth it

I think so. I like to think my wife and I were in love.

I married a girl from New Orleans. She was qualified in theatre and I was a drummer. New Orleans was a great town to play in as a working musician; sets were open, long and in twenty-four hour bars. The town was good for earning money. In order to get signed though; for a contract in a band, to aim for rock star status, we needed to expand. So we went to try our fortune in other parts of America.

I loved New York. Our comic friend had an apartment at The Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan; where Dylan Thomas died and the girlfriend of Sid Vicious was murdered. The establishment had bohemian rooms to let and very wild, strange people rented them. The hotel had no real rules, or service even and as order repels creativity, this hotel attracted many famous artists; William Burrough’s a famous writer and heroin addict, Allen Ginsberg too. They found their inspiration in Chelsea’s walls.

LA was a shit hole. We moved onto San Francisco. Divorced shortly after getting there; about six months after arriving.

Drug use was a part of my life well before I got married at twenty. I took all sorts as a teenager; acid, pot, ecstasy, speed. When I was married powdered cocaine came out and by twenty-seven it was heroin and crack; these two I have struggled with ever since.

I have had love with a couple of girlfriends since then too. So from the age of twenty I have been in love three times.

Was it worth it; yes. Love is no bad experience. When it comes to an end it doesn’t feel great but that’s all part of love.

My parents passed away in close succession; 2009-2010. At around the same time I also lost a close friend. Again I span off into addiction because it was hard to deal with the times. A difficult childhood left me with poor understanding of boundaries and self-care.

My dad was a musician; a banjo player in a Dixieland Jazz band. He was touring in Scandinavia just five years before his death. Mum wasn’t a creative. My mum and stepdad were alcoholics with moods and reactions that dramatically fluctuated from one day to the next. What was acceptable yesterday wasn’t today.  I never really learnt how to maintain positive relationships as a result.

I would have liked the opportunity to have been responsible for someone and sometimes envy the idea of having the anchor of a family.

What would you recommend to improve social matters?

For some kind of regulation to limit the time spent engaging with information technology (IT) in all its guises. In particular limitations in place for under eighteen year olds. Whether it could be made illegal is questionable but firm boundaries are needed along with an emphasis on the importance of human interaction. I don’t know what would work but we really must see the damage IT and social media is causing to our society.

If you found the interview interesting please feel comfortable commenting or asking a question below. For more reading of this colourful life please read Tim’s blog, also on WordPress: https://drummerboy1970.wordpress.com/

LJ Reel

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