GLENN HUGHES On Becoming Sober More Than Two Decades Ago: 'I Was Sick And Tired Of Waking Up Sick And Tired'

Legendary bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes, who has been clean and sober for more than two decades, was asked in a new interview with “The Chuck Schute Podcast” if there was anything someone could have said to him to get him to quit drinking sooner. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Trust me, everybody that loved me or loves me told me on numerous occasions to get it together, to get it together, to get it together. I got it together when I was sick and tired of waking up sick and tired. So many times I tried to stop, and so many times I couldn’t get it together. My suggestion for those out there that may have had one too many drinks, you’ve gotta realize that that high is never gonna last forever. You’ve gotta get a grip on it.

“A friend of mine right now is really struggling — really, really struggling. I pray for everyone that is having problems with any addiction, because it needs to be dealt with. You can’t shove it away and brush it under the carpet. You have to deal with it, because it will take you out.”

Asked if he went to rehab for alcohol abuse or if he just quit cold turkey, Hughes said: “I did [go to rehab]. Let’s just say I had one too many cocktails on Christmas Day 1991, and I found myself in the ER room one more time. And I realized that I had a choice — to go back out and do it again or go into [rehab. And] I went to Betty Ford Center in 1992. I had a few relapses in the mid-1990s, and in 1997 I had my last cocktail — November 23rd, 1997. And that’s when I started this full road of recovery. And it’s been an incredible, incredible journey.

“Somebody said to me early on in sobriety, ‘You’re gonna on to make even greater songs, write better songs. You’re gonna go out and sing better.’ And I said, ‘Well, I’ve already done it.’ He said, ‘No. You’re gonna do even better.’ And I think I’ve had a good, long run of a great lifetime of clean and sober living.”

Hughes wrote about his path to sobriety in his autobiography, titled “Deep Purple And Beyond: Scenes From The Life Of A Rock Star”, which came out in 2011. Glenn told FaceCulture about the book: “In the ’70s and ’80s, I was a very notorious drug addict, I was a very famous cocaine addict. I don’t say that to be arrogant, but I was one of the first rock stars to become, ‘Oh, Glenn Hughes, he’s a cocaine addict.'”

“There are things that I never told anybody until the book,” he explained. “Let’s just say that I disappeared in the ’90s for awhile and nobody knew where I was and I didn’t tell anybody. People thought I was actually on a boat in the Mediterranean and I wasn’t I was somewhere else. I was basically being another person under another name being completely isolated and it almost killed me.

“I wanted to experiment. I wanted to be alone and I wanted to live under a different name and I wanted to travel alone with no one [knowing] where I was. I only disappeared five or six times in three years Let’s just say that I was on my journey.

“When I got sober a long time ago, and let’s just say that I wanted to experiment with other drugs and other things and other people and I wanted to be anonymous,” Hughes added. “I wanted to go under another name and I wanted to travel. I wanted to do it without [being] in the public eye in my hometown in the country where I live; I wanted to disappear and there is no greater city in the world to go dark than Amsterdam. If you want weird, it’s here. And the fact of the matter is, it got so fucking weird that it scared the shit out of me. Let’s just say that I went to the edge of the cliff of insanity. I had this clarity moment where I said, “Well, I can either jump over here and go insane’ ’cause I was really, really going insane and I just turned back and became the man that I am now.”

Hughes made his live debut with THE DEAD DAISIES in June in Boca Raton, Florida. He is joined in the band’s current lineup includes Doug Aldrich (DIO, WHITESNAKE) on guitar, Tommy Clufetos (BLACK SABBATH, OZZY OSBOURNE) on drums and David Lowy (RED PHOENIX, MINK) on guitar.

THE DEAD DAISIES‘ latest album, “Holy Ground”, was released in January. Recorded at La Fabrique Studios in the south of France with producer Ben Grosse, the LP is the band’s first to feature Hughes, who joined the group in 2019 as its new bassist and vocalist, replacing John Corabi (MÖTLEY CRÜE) and Marco Mendoza (THIN LIZZY).

Photo credit: Oliver Halfin

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