The Beach, Meon Shore
Since having been fired from the Who in May 1981, I have had a rough ride indeed. In 1979 I had seen my dreams become reality, and 2 years later they vanished in a haze of alcohol, drugs and wild rock and roll behaviour. I thought that's what rock stars did! But they didn't do it as much as me. I could drink anybody under the table, and become a complete ass-hole in the bargain. I was rude, insulting, violent, and was prone to knocking people out with one huge punch, and always when they weren't looking, so I guess we better throw in coward too. Even the Who couldn't take it so they fired me. Dreams washed away, I had even more excuses to get drunk now. So bring on the booze, I got something to moan about. This year's Diary is gonna be a bit sketchy.
JANUARY 1982 - No work, can't get hired, my reputation is fucked, so it's down to the Pub for all of January, just generally insulting people. I'm amazed no one has killed me yet.
FEBRUARY - More of the same in January.
MARCH - More of the same in February.
APRIL - More of the same in March, but I was getting no help with my drinking and drug use, so I was really a head-case, no, a 'basket-case. I still had no job, no idea if I would ever work with the Who again, and no prospects. Everytime I went out drinking I would come home having destroyed my reputation even more. It was going around all over town, "You know that Texas guy called Rabbit. Whatever you do, don't give him a job. Don't hire him for anything. He will get drunk, take over the session, and ruin the whole thing. Avoid Rabbit at all costs! " So, one day Sue mentioned this beach place she used to go to when She was a kid, and that we should drive down there to get away from the bars and Pubs and the hectic London life. On April 29th we drove down to Meon Shore, near Gosport and had a little Holiday. What did I do? I immediately went out and located the closest Pub. Oh well, at least I would have a strong stiff ocean breeze hitting me in the face, instead of London car exhaust fumes for a change.
MAY - We're having a long holiday here at Meon Shore, right on the beach facing the Solent seaway. I'm getting to be well know at the Pubs by now, especially with my bragging that I was a one time member of the Who. The pub regulars would just listen and say, "Yeah, sure you were, and I am really the President of America. I just act like a drunken bum so nobody will know I'm important" I let them laugh at me, but I knew who I was, or least who I wished I was again. It was hard not being in the Who now. My self-esteem was at an all time low.
JUNE - More of the same as May. No better, but getting worse.
JULY - We were starting to like this beach-bum recluse idea of living on a beach as out-casts. It sort of gave me that rebel outlaw attitude. I was getting brash and bold again with my drunken behaviour, and started insulting the locals again. I got hit a few times for my comments in the Pub, and it hurt, but not as much as the pain of how I had thrown away my Who career for a few grams of coke and the booze.
AUGUST - We're still at the beach house. This holiday is turning into a marathon, or is it that I'm too drunk to drive back to London? On the 12th and 13th I saw 15 shooting stars up in the night sky. It was amazing. It made me feel awe-inspired, as if it was Pete and the rest of the Who guys travelling through time, waving to me as they flew over on another one of their epic journeys, while I was going nowhere, stuck in time. I thought a lot about myself and my situation after seeing those shooting stars. On the 17th Me and Sue drove back to London. We had to try and get back to real life, and face the world again. We couldn't hide out anymore. It's time to face the music again. It didn't work though, and on the 27th we drove back down to Meon Shore for another break. We'd been there for so long the first time, that it was beginning to feel more like home that London did, and we enjoyed the Sea. So we went back for some more sea air. This time the trip was only for a few days, and on the 31st it was back to London again. I think we went this time just to see if we really did enjoy it so much that first time, sort of double checking if it was a dream, or if we really did feel good on the beach.
SEPTEMBER - I think we are feeling at home on the beach, because we're off again to Meon Shore. London is really becoming a chore to be in, and the beach house is much more in line with our lifestyle now. Me and Sue took another break there on the 11th until the 20th, and we were seriously thinking about moving there and leaving London for good. There was a beach hut up for sale, and it was tempting. But when we went back to London on the 20th, I think we knew then that London has had it's day and we were looking for a way out. We'd been to the beach house enough to know that it was an option, so we stayed back in London for quite awhile on this return. We knew our options and were well used to just getting in the car and leaving when we wanted, knowing that the beach house was there to welcome us. A friendly house had been found.
OCTOBER - Wednesday Oct 27 1982 me and Sue went to 'Franks' all night drinking bar in Camden town. I drove the Volkswagen there, and Terry Slessor ('Crawler's singer) and Frankie miller (well known Scottish singer) were there. I got completely drunk! When we left, at 4 am, me, Sue, and Bunny (the dog), and Frank (owner of the bar) were driving down Hampstead high street, back to my house. We passed the Hampstead police station, and, as I was driving, I was looking at Frank in the back of the car and talking to him at the same time. I then turned back around to the front and saw a quick flash of somebody's face flash by. it was a policeman. There was a policeman standing in the middle of the road attempting to flag us down, and I obviously didn't see him cause I was driving the car, but looking behind me at the same time. I almost ran over the policeman, in other words. I was so scared, and only about 2 blocks from home, so I tried to escape and get home and out of the car before they could catch me. The police gave chase though, and pulled me up about a block from home. They pulled up right next to my car door, so I thought I might as well get out. The policeman was standing there, and as I opened my door I just fell out of the car at his feet. There was no question about it, he said, "You're Nicked!" While all this was happening, Frank quietly snuck off to avoid any hassle, and left Me, Sue, and the dog, Bunny, to be led away to the police station, where all 3 of us spent the night in jail. It was horrible! They did me for being 3 times over the legal limit! So I was in big trouble for that, plus, having almost killed one of their 'Bobbies'. Here we go again! Get ready for court! They let us out the next day, and, when I went to the car and opened the door, a great! Whoosh! of old alcoholic stench came gushing out of the car. It smelt like a blown up brewery. Yuck! Anyway, we knew I was in trouble, so we drove home and tried to get some rest and sober up, and generally get ready for another day in court, and possibly a stint in prison. Pete Townshend came to the rescue in the end, by loaning my solicitors the money to beg the court not to send me to jail, because 'the Who' needed me for work. (What?..am I gonna get my Who job back? Not for several years I should think). What a friend! So, I did get off with a 3 month suspended jail term, a 5 year driving ban, and loads of Pete's money, which I have paid back in full. I had a woman judge, and when she sentenced me I was almost in tears, and I think she knew the situation with 'the Who', and the fact that I was an American, so her worst threat was really to scare me. As she sentenced me she said, " I don't know why you Americans think you can come to our country, break our laws, and expect to get away with it, but, under the circumstances, this is what I have decided. 3 month prison, suspended, plus a 5 year driving ban, and, the next time something like this happens to you, don't even bother coming to court. Just go straight to prison and someone will be waiting for you with the keys to lock you up!" What a relief, no jail, thanks Pete!
NOVEMBER - After the events of October, I was in a mess. Paranoid, panicking, still no job, complete chaos. How did I ever get to this Stage? I was always a shy little Hippie, smoked a little pot, the occasional bottle of Red Wine on a rainy Sunday afternoon, and my Music. Now I've turned into this Japanese Monster Dinosaur like Godzilla, ready to take on the world, and eat and destroy everything in my path. Who is this guy inside me, taking me over? He's an ass-hole, that's who.
DECEMBER - This month is no better than all the other months this year. It's been a weird year for the Rabbit, and for Sue. How the hell has She put up with me in all of this? My actual court case from the events in October took place on the 21st of December, and that's when I found out my sentence. Just think, I've been living with this nightmare and what the outcome would be everyday and night since it happened in October. Three long months of self-imposed torture. After all, it was nobody's fault but my own. No one to blame, just me. It was my bed, and I had to sleep in it. Once we found out that I was off the hook 'Sentencing-wise', sort of, thanks to Pete Townshend, we breathed a long sigh of relief and knew we could now put it behind us. Thank you God, for Big mercies! On the 29th me and Sue headed back down to the beach house. We saw it in a different light now, and it was becoming very apparent that this place may become our next home. At the end of my 1982 Diary I have written 'Happy New Year', Yeah, Right!