I freely admit that everything I was going through at the time was affecting me deeply, I’d withdrawn into what I now know was my first spiritual retreat into myself. My creativity was my solace, and I absorbed my time with creating artwork for the night, a flyer and poster that only I could properly read in the end!
Meanwhile at Scream, Dan & Louis were booking all the DJs that I’d refused to pay for, the big usa ones for the mega bucks and the night started to fail. I felt like they were destroying everything good that we had done with Scream and Relax, it was painful to watch, feeling powerless to do anything. For the first time in my life I felt the pain of the deep injustice being done to me, the feelings of frustration, that you’re being silenced and that few people care, that the morals I lived by did not matter to these people. I’d always called Dan the Prince of Darkness, that name took on a whole deeper meaning for me now.
On the 4th of May 2002, Star Wars Day, I launched Gelz at Lakota. I’d thrown all of my pain and suffering into its concept and design; the flyer is most symbolic to me. It’s me being whipped on the front, in a photo that was shot for the first Scream shoot, and all the script is me being let loose in creativity, it is far too complex and cryptic for most people to make sense of, but it helped me release my feelings onto paper and publish them at that time.
The party started well, hundred or so people turned up at the beginning, my 14yr old sister was with me, but I soon realised that only the pre ticket sales and the guest list were coming, not enough for me to even nearly break even. Everyone was in the front bar, I went into the main room where the DJ was playing, panicking about what to do and how to pay everyone. I was holding a bottle of Smirnoff Ice as I walked down the stairs off the stage, when I slipped…
While holding the bottle in my right hand I instinctively reached to break my fall with the same arm, the bottle smashed as I hit the ground and sliced into my right forearm.
As blood started to spurt on to the dancefloor I ran with my little sister in tow to the empty toilets, the deep cut in my arm was causing the blood to literally spurt up the mirror and the walls, it was a scene from a horror movie, and I hate horror movies. My sister was wearing a tie, she grabbed it to use as a tourniquet and ran for the bouncers, next thing I know I’m being lifted up, the fire escape kicked open and taken out of the doors.
An ambulance was called, I left the club 2hours into my first night. I spent the next 6hrs in A&E being stitched up, while my sister sang along to the Radio to me all the way through it.
I faced the next week knowing my time was running out, having had my access to the Scream income cut off and no money in the bank I was now struggling big time. I couldn’t pay my rent, and was now in debt for the night I was trying to put on.
I was sitting with my head in my hands when I got a phone call from one of The Sport journalists, normal line “got any stories, shagged any footballers”
I’d never done a so called “Kiss and Tell’ it’s what they were all looking for, but I was desperate, I told her about my night with Shane Lynch from Boyzone. Boyzone had recently disbanded, but he was now in another group doing a student night down in Plymouth. I was a massive BOYZONE fan, no shame I know, ha, but he was my favourite for years, so when a local student night promoter invited me down, I’d jumped at the chance.
I’d not seen Shane again though, didn’t expect to, and I needed bailing out financially big time.
I agreed to sell them my story of my night with Shane Lynch, she went off to the papers and the News of The World bit. I went up to London to meet them, a photo shoot and to go over the story, the fee they were offering was £10k.
Back in Bristol with a bandaged arm I faced the 2nd party, always the hardest, but the story was supposed to be breaking in the paper the day after, so at least I would get paid and have some funding to keep me going.
The party was not busy, I think I shut it early, left the club, and went straight to the garage to get the early morning Sunday papers, opened it, frantically looking on every page, only to find I wasn’t in it, my story hadn’t been run. The scoop of the day instead, was a story about Angus Deaton of Have I Got News For You TV fame, allegedly he’d been doing cocaine with hookers, far juicer and bigger than my story.
As it didn’t run, I would not get paid…this was the final blow.
That week, I made the decision to run away, I had no other choice. I was just 28, and I felt like I’d lost everything…
When “the boys” at Scream ganged up on me I now realise I had no chance. The things they had said to everyone about me were pure nasty and completely untrue. I’d literally never done anything but help everyone, to tell people that the HIV wasn’t true, that I was crazy and had lost it, and to not speak to me had destroyed my faith in people, if they couldn’t use me, abuse me, or screw me I was worthless to them. I could not understand how they could live with themselves. It was so sad, we’d created something special at Scream, and I know the love I put in week in week out was a large reason for that. Everything good about it, even the memory was now destroyed.
My saving grace in this time in Bristol was one very special lady, a beautiful woman that I am eternally grateful for to this day for, I now call her my guardian angel.
When “the boys” banned me from the office, that I had been working in every day for a year, I had been missed by someone who I didn’t even really know at the time. I had walked past her every working day, in fact she put the Scream calls through as she was the receptionist for the whole of Park House serviced offices, but we had not yet become friends.
I was sitting in my new flat when I got a call, from the black lady receptionist, Gloria Wigmore.
Very matter of factly she said
“Where are you, what’s going on?
I told her, very quickly, it all spewed out, her reply was
“I never did understand what you saw in him? he’s very strange”
I was a bit taken aback, she hardly knew me, but she was bang on right.
We arranged to go out for lunch, I’ll never forget how this lady ,who is originally from Jamaica and the oldest of 10 siblings, pushed a £10 note across the table, as I had nothing, and she wanted me to be able to eat, I was living on super noodles.
I look back and see someone who materially has very little, but was so caring and kind to someone she hardly knew, quite the opposite as to what I had been dealing with the boys at Scream.
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