The Scene: A rehearsal studio in the outskirts of London, where Eric Clapton is dining on lamb hotpot.
When you heard about Kurt Cobain, did you think that could have been you at one point in your life?
Oh yeah, he was quoted as saying things that I totally identified with. Like being backstage and hearing the crowd out there and thinking, "I’m not worth it. I’m a piece of shit. And they’re mad—they're fools—if they like me. This is a sick situation. If they knew what the truth was about me, they wouldn’t like me." I’ve identified with that a million times. I just don’t know why that couldn’t have been stopped.
Was there anyone who could have helped you when you were at that point?
No, no. Good point. No, it had to come from inside me. When I did this Rainbow show, Pete Townshend, Steve Winwood, Ronnie Wood, and a whole host of people—friends—were trying to save me from this shit by having me play a concert. I was doing a lot of heroin. They got me to rehearsals. They did everything for me. All I had to do was show up, and I didn’t give a fuck. And it didn’t make any difference.
From Everyone Loves You When You're Dead. Copyright © 2011 by Neil Strauss. Published by HarperCollins Publishers.
For more, visit NeilStrauss.com/elywyd