Graham Coxon says he was destined to become an alcoholic: “It was ready and sitting there”

The guitar icon says he started drinking to combat a lifelong struggle with anxiety

Blur‘s Graham Coxon has opened up on his past struggles with alcohol abuse, admitting that he was “destined” to become an alcoholic.

The band’s guitarist checked himself into rehab in 2001 during the middle of recording sessions for 2003’s ‘Think Tank’.

Speaking on the Blank podcast, Coxon argued that his lifelong struggles with anxiety meant that becoming an addict was a predetermined fate.

“I do believe that I was probably an alcoholic when I was five or six, it was ready, it was sitting there, just because of the sort of person I was, the mind I had, I just had to wait 10 years to find the thing that went, ‘Whoa, that’s fantastic, I’ve just had two glasses of wine and all of that has disappeared, I feel absolutely cool as a cucumber, I’m a success at parties…’ Well you kind of think you are,” he said.

Blur
Blur in 2015 (Picture: Getty)

“I think the reason I drank in the first place was because of anxiety, I think I always suffered from anxiety….I didn’t know it was anxiety, I just thought that mild buzz of embarrassment and nervousness was what it felt to live, I thought that’s what being alive felt like. But I realised at some point in my teenage years that a bottle of wine just shut all of that off, shut it down, stopped the negativity.”

He has now been teetotal since leaving rehab by following the 12 Steps of AA.

Coxon added: “It was pretty innocent really for a good while. I suppose I was drinking every day, in a nice, normal sort of way, with friends, down the pub. That would be from six o’clock, we’d start playing pool, and after the pub shut I’d go home and that was fine for me.

“A few years later, ‘No the pub is shutting, there has to be something else,’ or, ‘My hangover is so bad I might drink to knock the edges off earlier than six.’ It does creep up on you until, I think this was 2001, perhaps, I couldn’t stop, it was as simple as that.

“I was more of a binger, I could go a long time without it, but once I started, I couldn’t really stop, I could go on for days. In 2001, before the end, this was months. I started to think, ‘Oh my god, I better do something about this, this is getting a little bit scary.’

“For me, it’s 12 Steps, I’ve totally lost the compulsion to drink since 12 Steps.”

Meanwhile, it was revealed earlier this week that Coxon is among the leading contributors on Duran Duran’s next album ‘Future Past’.

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