I used to sell The Big Issue way back when.
I had a drug habit and insecure living, etc.
Things had become really bleak, and one day I found myself at the The Big Issue offices. A friend had told me you could get food there sometimes. I saw what was going on and signed up for a badge.
It really became a lifeline and stabilised my situation in a way that I could become independent from the other flakey drug addicts and that whole dismal scene. Just that alone made enough of a difference for me to figure out how to move on.
It’s a long story but I have been miraculously lucky, and come a long way since those days, with hundreds if not thousands of amazing musical journeys behind me and right now, again, it’s an incredibly exciting time. I’m about to get rolling on what’s going to be a fantastic tour, the first UK tour for Jim Jones and The Righteous Mind.
I have the greatest new band, I mean really supreme, and we’re at the start of another music-life journey – digging away, grooving further down, looking for the core of what makes music live and breathe, and everything else that goes with that.
Ultimately it’s been music that’s saved my life and always has done in one way or another, time and time again, but there was a certain point back there when The Big Issue was the only thing that seemed to be able to break that horrible vicious circle.
I’ll always remember that and always be grateful for the difference it made for me at a time when I really needed it.