Up until about a year ago, I had never considered alcohol to be a factor in the way I lived my life. How wrong I was. I have hung out with a lot of people over the years who like to drink. Not in the ‘oh everyone likes a bit of a drink’ kind of way – I seem to gravitate towards people who like to driiiiiiink.
Now, I hear that it’s socially acceptable to go through this kind of phase, during school or uni, or when you get your first house away from the olds, or when you first start earning enough money to go out to nice bars, but it seems like I’ve been going through each and every one of these phases, one after the other, for the last ten odd years. It also seems that I’ve been able to find people in similar situations along the way, who will drink with me. I’ve not done a lot of drinking by myself; I mean, I will have a couple of beers with dinner, or a couple of scotches after work, or something, but no prolonged binges by myself. On the other hand, I’ve done an awful lot of drinking that involved hanging out with mates, at home, at their homes, at the pub, out at gigs, whatever.
I think being so comfortable with alcohol has been both beneficial and destructive. Beneficial in that I’ve made a lot of mates through socialising at pubs and parties and so on, which is undoubtedly easier two pints in. This isn’t to say that it’s absolutely necessary; but it certainly helps.
The destructive side of it is much more of a worry. I’ve done some very fucking stupid things when drunk. I’m not going to list them all, because we’d be here all fucking day and I’m not interested in dwelling on them, but a few of the stellar things I’ve managed whilst drunk include:
- destroying at least two relationships (if not more, if not every fucking one) with members of the fairer sex for seemingly no reason
- physically assaulting people (my mates, but still)
- destroying public and private property (nothing major, but still)
- insulted and abused security staff at venues (not a lot, but still)
- been sick in every way possible (although I am yet to manage “upside down on the floor of a pub toilet”)
- faced some very important days with hangovers so epic I could barely see, walk or talk
- nearly burning down a best mate’s house after passing out in front of a burning hotplate
…amongst many other stupid, stupid things – not to mention the damage to my brain, liver, skin, weight, etc.
Wow. I’ve just surprised myself with that list. You’re looking at a real upstanding fucking individual here.
Every now and then someone would pull me up on it, tell me they’ve been worried, and my answer is generally the same. “I know, I’m trying to drink less.” Which is now true. In the last year I have become very acutely aware of the damage that I can cause by drinking too much, and have made an effort to control myself a bit better. It’s been hit and miss, but I’m coming to the realisation that there are very specific things that I can do to stop myself drinking too much on any one night, which is a plus.
The problem has been that drinking to escape from life, reality, stress and so on is just too easy. I have a couple of drinks and my problems just seem to float away – and I’ve had some pearlers of problems in the last twelve months. Talking about them is too hard, drinking is very very easy. If this sounds cliche, well, I guess that’s because a lot of people feel the same way. Is it a sign of weakness? Yeah, I guess it is. Dealing with life’s problems helps to build your character and help to define who you are as a person, right? Right on.
It’s not that I’m not interested in self-development. Quite the opposite, it’s very interesting indeed. I think things just get on top of me sometimes.
Hmm, I’ve just read this back and it’s gone in somewhat of a different direction than what I intended. anyway. carrying on. This next bit is partly speculation, so if you’re in a position to correct me, please do…
It was alcohol, I think, that resulted in Tomas Ford asking me to come on tour with him in September of 2009. Well, maybe not alcohol per se, moreso a gig that I played at the Rocket Room at which I was completely blind at. I stumbled through a set, yelling at people through the provided microphone, calling the patrons “cunts”, dancing around like a fucking nutter and generally being an idiot, such as I am after a day of hard drinking (the gig was after midnight, and I’d been drinking all day at a corporate event).
Now, if you know the T-Ford, you might see how this could influence his decision to send me an email the next day about coming along for a few shows. Maybe he could get this loon every night, and maybe it wouldn’t take 20+ beers and on-stage tequila shots to get him going. Makes sense.
The tour that followed was absolutely hilarious. There were ups and downs, as there always are; the gigs were very up and down (up: Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra; down: Newcastle, Adelaide), but I got to know Mr Ford a lot better than I did already, and found him to be a fucking legend. I also got to do a bit of drinking with a couple of my best mates, who are living in Canberra and Melbourne.
One major down was missing a flight because I had gone out and drunk myself stupid the night before. I don’t think I’ve ever had a worse morning. Luckily, the day wasn’t a total loss, because I got the chance to really catch up with my mate in Melbourne, which was awesome. However, the pain that it caused pretty much everyone else involved (including some otherwise uninvolved bystanders, to whom I offer my sincere and utmost apologies) make it a pretty rough memory, even now.
A major up was the Hobart gig. I met some really fucking cool people, made a couple of mates and generally had a good time. I had a few beers, nothing crazy, because I had to drive the hirecar back to where we were staying. My sense of responsibility cut through my ‘cut loose’ persona that is almost always hell-bent on getting drunk. So maybe that’s the key. I should just buy a car and drive everyone everywhere all the time.
So yeah, it was a bloody fun tour, and I am so grateful to Tomas Ford for the opportunity. Not just for the exposure and gigs, but for helping me realise that alcohol isn’t really an effective tool to combat life’s troubles. I still drink, sometimes even with him, although it’s been a month or so since I saw him last.
At least now I know a little bit more about myself and how to stop being so god damn stupid all the time. Baby steps.
Filed under: legends, life, tours