FIRST TASTE OF ALCOHOL AT 10 YEARS OLD
I was brought up in a Christian home and became a Christian at an early age of 7 years old but as I went through school, smoking and drinking was all around me from about 10 years old. My parents did not drink but my grandparents did and they kept a stash of alcohol in their front room. As all my friends were drinking to look tough, I decided to start sneaking into my grandparents front room when we visited and with no one looking I often took swigs from different bottles. Some were nice and some blew my head off or made me feel sick.
SECRET DRINKING - SCHOOL AGE
Then my friend at school started selling me little bottles of alcohol that his dad brought back for him from frequent trips abroad. I now realize that they were probably not for him but he used to steel them to sell to me. I used to drink these little bottles and then top them up from my grandparents cupboard upon visiting them. I never got drunk with these little bottles but often felt sick at the taste of some of them.
You see, I did this because I knew I shouldn't as all kids do. My friends did it so I did it. I never got into the smoking thing though because I could not stand my grandparents smoking as it was horrible to breathe in their smoky air.
FIRST TIME DRUNK - SCHOOL AGE
However, my secret drinking went on and when we had our often huge family get together parties for one reason or another, I used to go round with my cousin drinking up all the half empty glasses of alcohol. It did not matter what they were - they were drunk. One party I drank so much that I got really dizzy and drunk but as this looked like it was the first time, my parents sort of laughed as they thought it would be the first and last time I would do it and it would be a lesson learnt. They did not realize what I was doing as I was meant to be in the care of general family and no one stopped us doing it. If mum and dad had seen me doing it they would have hit the roof but the damage had been done by the time they saw. We got up to the car park above the party and I ended up in a puddle after falling over from dizziness.
My secret drinking went on for a few years but not that frequent after the drunk episode as I was quite embarrassed for my parents being as my dad was joint pastor of a church. I was not addicted which was good but thought it was cool to drink like my friends.
DRINKING AT CONCERTS WITH FRIENDS
As I got older and into the heavy metal scene with my friends, drinking and smoking was all around me. To be honest, whatever music you got into it would be the same, before anyone jumps on heavy metal for being a bad influence. I started going to concerts with friend where they would frequently down pints and pints of beer.
One concert, I decided to have a beer whilst we watched The Dogs D'amour at the Astoria in London, England. Incredibly one beer made me paralytic and I could not stand up. Somehow, my body can take spirits but not beer. We sat down at a table overlooking the stage with a table with a light on it with a glass ball as the cover for the light. As I was so drunk, the light hurt my eyes so I unscrewed the light fixing and took out the bulb which was red. As it was a cool colour, I stole the bulb for my room. Then the glass globe looked cool as well so I stole that as well. It must have looked funny me staggering out of the concert like I was pregnant with a glass globe stuck up my shirt.
EMBARRASSING LOSS OF A FRIEND DUE TO DRINKING AT CONCERTS
Another time I decided to have a drinking competition with some other friends at a gig at Hammersmith Odean in London to see W.A.S.P. 2 beers and 2 ciders later I was out my head again. This time it was more embarrassing. On the way out I decided to pinch the bum of a lady that was in front of my friend so she would think it was him. At that, she swung round and floored my friend who she thought had done it. We were all in hysterics laughter but needless to say, that friendship soon ended along with our band as he was the drummer and he vowed never to play drums with me again. I never did repair that friendship but what would you expect with behaviour like that? I still can't believe I did it and am not proud of it either but the drink was leading me.
THE FINAL STRAW TO DRINKING AT CONCERTS
As if the last story should have taught me a thing or two about drinking and the trouble it can get you in, the next drunk story put to end my concert drinking days and was at the Marquee in London to see I think The Almighty play. I had a drinking competition with some friends and only had 2 beers before I could not walk. I was carried to the underground train and we all got in. I started to feel violently sick and ran to the sliding doors as it pulled into the station. As often happens on underground trains, the doors stuck and I did not have time to get them open before I vomited all over them. They then opened and I fell out the train onto the platform in a heap. My friends nearly wet themselves with laughter and we had to get off the train as we all now needed to have a slash. We walked out the station and over to a block of high rise flats as we decided to wee under the stairs. My friends carried my to the stairs and then let go of me. All I could see was the floor coming up towards me. I still remember the feeling because as far as I was concerned, I was standing up and the floor fell over. However it was me falling flat on my face and I went out cold, The next thing I remember is my friends knocking on my mum and dads door and saying to them we are just delivering your son but he is a little drunk. They carried me upstairs and dumped me on the floor on top of all my guitar effects peddles. I woke the next morning for work at 6am with a bad back, bad breath, sick and in a very bad way but wanted to get to work to stay out of my parents way and also because I never had any days off sick and then walked to the train station. After getting to work via the 37 underground stops on what is called the misery line and 2 hours later, I was seriously ill and spent the day being sick in the workshop (I was a mechanic at the time fro Mercedes Benz) or in the toilet. That was it. No more drinking.
During all this I was still a Christian and went to church but had backslidden and did not get involved in much church stuff because I came in for a lot of stick from a lot of Christian for listening to heavy metal. Mum and dad were pretty ok with it as they thought it was just a phase but I doubt they were really that happy with it as they thought it was satanic as well. But my dad normally let me make my own mistakes so I could learn from them so the drunkenness that they saw they did not hound me for. They probably realized it was a mistake I had to learn for myself and were there if I needed them. I am sure my mum and dad have their own stories before they became Christians. Maybe i'll ask one day.
THE FINAL TIME TO GET DRUNK - ON HONEYMOON OF ALL PLACES
The last time I got drunk was my wife's fault. She comes from a family of drinkers and although they would always be drunk, she never did and ended up with a high tolerance for alcohol. We were on our honeymoon in the Bahamas in 1992 and went to a casino. The drinks were free and she introduced me to burcardi and coke which is the nicest drink I have ever had. Needless to say I downed so many of these free drinks, she ended up carrying me home. At the hotel I was out of it and walked on my hands down the corridor. Being drunk and walking upside down is a recipe for disaster and ended up falling through someone's door at 2am in the morning. I got up and we ran to our room where I spent the rest of the night talking to dumbo a soft toy my wife brought a week earlier in Disneyworld Florida, USA. I thought dumbo was my friend Trevor as I was so out of it. I never got sick but was no company so my wife whilst I talked to Dumbo all night so she went to bed on her own - but did see the funny side - to be honest, it was her fault anyway.
That was the last ever time I drank like that and got drunk as it was costing me time I could not get back and making me miss out on remembering concerts I paid a lot of money to see and half the time it was only done because friends did it or egged me on to do it to make a fool of myself. I have drunk alcohol since but don't need it to get by and often when I do drink it, it makes my cheeks feel really sore and sometimes unbearable. Not sure what that is all about but may it warns me not to drink.
QUESTIONS FROM MY YOUNG DAUGHTER ABOUT DRINKING
I took my daughter to her first heavy metal concert when she was 11 years old to see Iron Maiden. It was an awesome concert and one that taught her about drinking. She did not drink but what she saw did shock her and get her to ask some good questions. She never saw either me or my wife drink or anyone else for that matter as we left family back in England so the bad influences of others drinking has never been there. At the concert, first she saw a couple of lads out of their head on dope and just being 'happy' so I explained what that was all about and then she saw a guy a few rows in front of us whilst we waited for Iron Maiden to come out, smashed out his head drunk and acting like a complete dick. She turns to me and asked what was up with him. I explained he drank to much and this makes you do stupid stuff and then pass out. She then asked what the point of that was as you miss the concert. Words of wisdom from an 11 year old. He passed out and we made our way to the standing bit when Iron Maiden came on. Shortly after it started, a young guy passed out drunk followed by a woman also smashed out of her brains who threw up all over my shoes. We enjoyed the concert however and it taught her a good life lesson about drinking. She has recently finished Alice Coopers book which describes his out of control drinking so I think she hopefully sees the downfalls to it. Whether or not she chooses to pursue drinking in the future is up to her just like my dad left it up to me but I hope she does not do it due to peer pressure like I did. It is everyone's personal decision to drink or get themselves off drink and no one can stop you. It has to be from within and for those that do not have enough strength to do it themselves..... - if they are lucky they will turn to God to get him to release them from it.
IS DRINKING WRONG??
Drinking is not against God or anything but when it is done it needs to be in moderation and not more than your body can take. Most of us don't know when to stop as our bodies do not have a emergency stop button so we keep going till we hit full and fall over.
Guys like Dave Mustaine of MEGADETH, Alice Cooper, Fieldy and Head from KORN all realized what was happening to their bodies and lives and needed to get out of the cycle of drink or drugs. Rehab did not work for a lot of these guys but it does for other. These guys found faith in God and got released from their addictions and have never gone back to them. Sometimes you nearly need to destroy yourself before you turn to God for help. Just make sure that if you are destroying yourself, you do not leave it too late to turn to God because if you ignore a calling to God and then overdo it and leave this world, there is not get out of hell free card. There is no purgatory for people to pray for your sole to be released to heaven. There is no reincarnation or any other type of afterlife except heaven and hell and there is only one way to get to heaven but endless ways to get to hell. Also look at the cost to families. My wife comes from a pretty much destroyed family due to excesses in drinking and suffered abuse from it as well so both of us do know what it is like between us even though we came from completely different backgrounds.
I would recommend reading any one of either Alice Cooper, Dave Mustaine (MEGADETH), Brian 'Head' Welch or Fieldy from KORN's books to see how they got released from drink and drugs and destroying their families. It is inspirational and a lesson to all of us that anyone can be accepted by God and get out of the cycle of addiction.
Click on any of the books below to go to their page.