GLENN HUGHES: ‘I’ve Bared My Ass And Beat The Devil’

J.M. Blaine of The Nervous Breakdown recently conducted an interview with legendary vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

The Nervous Breakdown: I watched the recent BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION “Live In Europe” [DVD], and I was blown away by your bass playing and singing. And you look frickin’ twenty-five! Rock and roll was a great comfort to me as a kid and I gotta tell you, it gives us a lot of hope and joy to see so many of our heroes still out there like Gene [Simmons] and Paul [Stanley] and Angus [Young] and Ozzy [Osbourne] — and Glenn Hughes — still doing your thing with that kind of fire.

Hughes: Well, thank you for that, brother. I was buddies with Gene back when he was dating Cher and one thing we shared was that it was impossible to do this unless you had some sort of conviction, that inner — whatever you want to call it — spirituality, love of the music, work ethic — you have to have that inner drive. Or there’s just no way.

The Nervous Breakdown: Yeah, but how do you do it health-wise after forty years in the business?

Hughes: Lots of sleep and plenty of water. I eat healthy and run a lot. Good genes, I s’pose. A lot of my mates died years ago — drugs and alcohol, and you just can’t keep going that way. And I try to stay connected and live in the moment, you know? I let God in and let him run the show. Because when Glenn Hughes runs the show — that’s when the bad shit happens…. I used to watch my dad planting flowers and think, “How boring. How can he stand that?” But I’m 60 now and I spend a lot of time with my dogs and my family, in the garden.

The Nervous Breakdown: You give spirituality a lot of credit for your sobriety after your bout with cocaine. What was the rock bottom point for you?

Hughes: For me, it was that moment in the back of an ambulance. I’ve overdosed — again — and I’m telling the driver, “I’m not like those other people you carry…” and he turns and says, “Shut up, you piece-of-shit drug addict.” The reality of it just hit me. That was my wake-up call. I got into meetings, started reading books like “A New Pair Of Glasses” by Chuck C. and “Sermon On The Mount”. I don’t want to offend any of your readers and some people might think it’s cornball, but I’m alive by the grace of God.

The Nervous Breakdown: Where do you think your career would have gone if not for cocaine?

Hughes: Oh, that’s a tough one, mate. I’ve had a lot of people tell me I could have gone on to do much greater works. But you can’t let that eat you up. Everything’s ordered, I believe. Everything for a purpose. One thing that’s sure in life is pain and change. I didn’t understand then but if you get in enough pain you will change. But you know, I think I’ve bared my ass and beat the devil and proved myself to be honest. I’m not as interested in comebacks or career redemption as humanity and the human experience.

Read the entire interview from The Nervous Breakdown.