Graham Coxon didn’t sleep for months at the height of his fame in Blur because he was terrified by “unhinged” fans who made his life a “nightmare”.
The guitarist shot to fame in the 1990s as part of the Britpop band – fronted by Damon Albarn – and he’s opened up about struggling with life in the spotlight, admitting he became the focus of some scary and “obsessive” followers who left him in a state of constant anxiety.
In an interview with The Idler magazine, he said: “You get unhinged people. People who are obsessive. And until it happens to you, you don’t quite realise just what a nightmare that is. Months and months of not sleeping. Worrying every day, every hour of the day. It was awful.”
Graham explained he was also plagued by men who targeted his girlfriends because they wanted to be the guy to steal a pop star’s lady.
He added: “You’d be on tour and your girlfriend would have all these suitors, trying to get with your girlfriend. Because fair enough, if they like your girlfriend, but if they’re trying to get with her because she’s with you … well, I found that a world of super meanness that I didn’t realise was there.”
The ‘Coffee and TV’ hitmaker has previously been outspoken about his battles with mental health and alcoholism, but he’s now been sober for eight years and has undergone therapy to help conquer his demons.
In the interview, Graham reveals he’s turned a spare room at his home in North London into a sanctuary where he can be alone and work undisturbed.
He says it gives him the time and space to feel free, explaining: “It’s a very small, spare bedroom … My own space became very important to me over the last few years. It was a place of peace and quiet. I knew who I was in there. I really needed it. Because out there it’s out of control. It’s not that I’m a control freak. It’s just that it’s stabilising to be in a place where nothing really changes and you can be creative and you can feel reasonably safe.”