A successful rock and roll musician who played with the stars before succumbing to the perils of drug addiction is coming to Doncaster to put on a one man show at The Regent Hotel on March 5.
Phil Spalding has played bass guitar with Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue, Elton John and Mike Oldfield amongst many others in an illustrious musical career that goes back well over 30 years.
Whether performing on TOTP’s, playing live at Wembley or recording in top London studios, it was all in a days work for Phil. If a bass player was required it was usually Phil’s phone that rang.
You could be sure that ‘Spalders’ would do the job, usually in one take.
The pressures and temptations of the lifestyle that went with the playing eventually took their toll and Phil became slowly dependent on various drugs including, eventually, heroin.
Phil said: “I was already a ‘ready made’ addict from a young age and I took to the rock and roll ‘party’ lifestyle like a duck to water without any consideration for or thoughts about the possible consequences. Life was one long party for many years”
Things inevitably got worse and still worse. In 2005 he eventually made it to rehab and also discovered that he’d contracted Hepatitis C. At this point he realised that he had to totally clean up or die and so began a lengthy period of rehabilitation.
He said: “By the time I got to rehab I was a dying man in an empty shell of a body. It was time to change and start a completely new life if I was going to live. Yes … it was THAT dramatic.”
Since that ‘do or die’ point in his life Phil has totally changed his life and lifestyle and feels far happier and healthier than he has ever been. He no longer uses drugs and has enjoyed tremendous support from all of his friends and colleagues in the music business AND his peers in recovery from addiction. His honesty, self determination and fresh outlook on life has earned him much respect.
Phil now spends a lot of time in his adopted town of Swindon as a Hepatitis C advocate helping other people who are trying to change their lives too. It has become something very close to his heart.
Phil said: “My recovery work now keeps my feet on the ground and in turn helps me enjoy the relative freedom of my music making that much more.”
With successful rehabilitation now over 8 years behind him and with no further traces of Hepatitis C Phil has been doing again what he does best - play his bass guitar.
He has recently completed touring and recording with Simon Townshend, brother of Pete, rekindled his working relationship with Right Said Fred (Phil played on all their original hits) and is ready to unleash his first ever solo project after nearly 40 years in the business.
There is also a new angle on the return to the stage - the one man show.
Primarily a bass oriented seminar for musicians, the show also involves Phil recounting a lot of his experiences of working with the greats and the occasional mad stories that accompanied such iconic recordings.
Doncaster music store Electro Music have organised a Bass Evening With Phil Spalding to take place at The Regent Hotel on March 5.
Bass department manager Mark Taylor recently saw Pink Floyd bassman Guy Pratt doing his ‘one man show’ and suggested that Phil ought to do the same. As it turned out, it was already in Phil’s plans!
‘It’s a real treat to get someone of Phil’s calibre to come all the way to Doncaster and share his incredible experiences and love of bass. I’m sure many local musicians would learn something from him. I’ve been a fan since I saw a jawdropping Toyah tour in 1982. That was one incredible band and I’ve never forgotten it. Since then I’ve watched him deservedly climb to the top and only now do I realise why things went quiet for a few years. You don’t get many happy outcomes from drugs so I think Phil’s story is one to be told. I’m certainly looking forward to the show and I guess I’ll learn a few bass tips too!’
Tickets are priced at £6 in advance available from Electro Music on 01302 369999.