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Reflections on a Rough Childhood in Glasgow

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For the virtual complete silence I now live in now in rural Wales and city life seems another life time ago. This is where I have been in basically virtual hibernation the last four months and I'm loving it. However, I get about this month a little - weather permitting - as snow sets in deep down in Hay-on-Wye. I'm off to Malmo and Stockholm in two weeks, then the following week I'm going up to Glasgow to see my dad, DJ for my friend Pete Mcleod and go see Noel Gallagher play. Since I'm up there, Paul Gallagher has asked me to play Noel's aftershow with him, so should be a giggle.

Glasgow and my childhood shaped me as the person I am. In truth, I grew up in a violent household, just like most Glaswegian households of that era - no more or less really than any other from that time. I ended up getting 16 stitches in the back of my head after a bit of parenting from my dad when I was 15 for being cheeky. My mum and gran used to smash me about as well, it was just a different time then in the 60s and 70s.

I was thrown out of the house at 16 years old by my dad and by 19, I was living in London. My childhood woke me up and weirdly created the person who I am now, which is the complete opposite to all of that as a parent.

Instead of bitterness, I only have love for my dad, as without that wake-up and childhood I would have never escaped the life ahead being a taxi driver or a bus driver in Glasgow. My dad is 78 now and still an old chancer, but I love him and my sisters to bits. My mum died early at 54 when i was in my 20s and when I got sober in '94, it shook me up and hit me. My gran was different though and went on into her 90s.

Without that childhood I would have been too soft for the music business. The reason I ripped the arse out of the music business with Creation was no matter what anyone said or did to me, it was never as bad as my dad jumping on my head every few months. It was like a training for life.

Me, Bobby Gillespie and Andrew Innes came from that life in Glasgow to London and smashed it. The funny thing was we were allowed to smash it and even if we weren't, that wouldn't have stopped us. Gillespie is still to this day the brother I never had and oddly, we still get on 40 years later. I have new friends in Glasgow now - the Glasvegas gang and Jason McPhail, who's an amazing musical head and the next musical generation. Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting up there to catch up with mates, but mostly I'm looking forward to having a bit of dinner with the old boy.

Glasgow in the Seventies could have broken me, but it didn't. What doesn't kill you kids only makes you stronger and for me, that is a truth. All you need is love.

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