Boy George Bounces Back From Rock Bottom
Boy George Bounces Back From Rock Bottom
‘80s icon Boy George chats with Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Access Hollywood Live about his return to the music scene. Are there any of his hits that he doesn’t enjoy revisiting? Plus, he’s been sober six years; how difficult was it fighting addiction? And why does he not have any hard feelings about his community service sentence?
Oh, I love that. Culture club. One of the biggest bands of the 80's. After 20 years dj boy George making music again with new album this is what I do boy George with us right now. That is such a hot song. Can you just, when you see people singing the words because they them so, for so long and so intimately does it make you feel great. It does actually. Show in L.A. Because we do a long version of the opening of do you really want to love me. We stretch it out and it was literally like you build up and mental. I look at the crowd and you are in saint. It's classic song in your set, they are great. Put them in the right place. Are they always make the show special. I will never sing that song again are you up there like you got to be kidding. Do you know what it is certain things you grow in and grow out of. I'm going to do culture club this year so I have to tumble. You have to do you have to find new way of doing the songs because they are coon of cute when you are 24. When you are 52 going on 53. We are going to tumble. The fact that it continues the test of time. It's wonderful to see the reaction of people to songs. It's beautiful. Especially when you are doing a live show and people sing. That's something one of the most beautiful things when you hear a crowd carrying the tune. It's almost like a religious experience. Even if somebody else song. Bands live and you hear the crowd sing it's just magical. Take a life of its own. Are you amazed that you are sitting here today as making a new album and it was wild for you then wasn't it? You were partying a lot. Well I have been sober 6 years so it's not such a surprise now but you know and -- Were you sober before. I haven't always been a mess. I just had sort of -- I think when you are in the public eye when you are a mess it's so blown up. So it gets exaggerated to the point where like this new stiviano thing it's everywhere all the time you know what I mean. And if you want to put the finger up for V you know what I mean. . At the height of my successive Mr. Goody good. I was clean I didn't smoke. I started drinking at 26. I did it the wrong way around when even lake out of control I was being really sensible and working hard. I think for me when the band finished and too much time on my hand that's when. Money. The money. Being around the wrong people. You know. All of that. I think what it is when you are in the public eye you grow up in front of the camera and when you are famous in a way you are sort of development is slightly stunted because you are not really living in the real world. You are not living like Normal people. People don't say no. Do you know what I mean. Extra time on your hands. You have money. You can get into it. I see you fall into it. Getting out of it is the hard part. How did you, what was rock bottom how did you get out. Well the funny thing for me, you know, I had I just woke up one day I decided I had enough. That was really it for me. The extreme thing that happened to me it didn't make a difference it was just reaching a point where I realized, you know there was no happy ending to it. I thought this is not this is not the way I want to live. And since getting clean what I have achieved, not just as a person. I think for me at this stage, you know, being a successful person is much more important than anything else. You get that right, you knowyou get that right, you know, because you have a bubble with that stuff when I was younger. Don't think about it when you are young. The plaster over the crook and go on with it. I do dedicate quite a lot of time to sort of personal happiness. I do actually think about what is going to make me happy and I sort of enjoy my work in a way that I couldn't when I was younger. I feel kind of gratitude for things I have rather than sort of taking it for granted. Thinking I'll have it forever. Did sobriety lead to the album. Sobriety led to everything. It's the starting point for change. Because people talk about reinvention they are talking about having a new stylist or a new hat. Real reinvention takes time. You can't rush it. You know what I mean it takes as long as it takes and that's what you have to do. I remember when you were doing xunt service working on a road crew or something. Scraping stuff off the street with my bare hand. And paparrazi photograph taking of you all the time in the jumper cleaning up the streets. Did that help. I did it with gris. I came and because I wanted to come back to America. So I knew if I didn't come and do it I wouldn't be able to come back here. So I was looking for a big adventure. It was a week of hard labor and actually I have to say the people at the New York sanitation department were so fantastic to me. The people that worked there were just so sweet. Any friends lasting friendship. I talk about doing a gig for them. They would pick me up from the New York airport in a rubbish truck and drive me. It would be amazing but I have to say they were so great. The thing is the anything you do is people and when I went to did my community service they thought I would be like a nightmare. But they were quite amazed I got on witness. I knew what was expected of me so I kind of got on really well with even. So I left there see you next week. Is that from your family your brothers your Irish catholic childhood. I think it's an Irish thing. I grew up in an Irish family and you know we are explosive. Not so much now. Everyone is older but when we younger. Christmas or celebrations were always quite rowdy, you know. Obviously now days where a bit more since and I think we are actually in some way a better family because we sort of get together. In the old day it was crisis together now we get together for like civilized dinner and things like that. It's lovely you know. I think about just with the last week we heard Billy Joel in the throw of addiction he tried heroin and things like that. How bad did it get for you? Was it cocaine that kind of thing. I don't weren't to get if specific. I think all addiction is bad. No one thing is better than the other do you know what I mean. Right. I think in way talking about that stuff doesn't necessarily help people. Talking about how you got clean is much more productive because people are out there in active addiction really don't know how to stop. You know. Reporter: Rehab for you. No. No. Reporter: Cold Turkey. No cold Turkey. I wasn't doing the sort of drug that would give me cold Turkey. I basically did it through alcoholic anonymous that you are not to talk about. Anonymous. Reporter: Most important. Can't talk about it. I would say if you are having problems the answer is to kind of reach out. Not isolate and to kind of talk to other people and organizes like Na are great you are with people who understand what you are going through. Ordinary people don't get it. They just of judge you because they don't really understand it. So you federal to be around people who understand that it's an illness but not a vocation. It's not a career move just something that you fall into. I think in my business, you know, what happens is you are around it and there are some people very strong and they can take drugs and whatever and then move on from there and never do it again but not everybody is that lucky. Reporter: 6 years so keeping up with it. 6 years. Reporter: Still go to Na meetings. Yes. Reporter: Congratulations. You are not done. You look so cle You look so clear. So happy. Reporter: George sit tight when we come back we hear some of your new music. Looking forward to that. Thank