“It really was Elvis Presley time again,” the legend said. “[Rock] isn’t a normal life. You get cut off from people, isolated. It’s easy to lose your values and self-respect. I got to where I didn’t know how to speak to someone unless I had a nose full of cocaine. Nothing could satisfy me. I used to complain about everything, right down to the color of the private jet.
“I had to change because I was frightened,” he added. “I didn’t want to die angry and bitter and sad, and that’s what I had become, physically ugly, spiritually ugly, a slob, a pig.”
In 1990 he decided it was time to take control of himself and decided to get help, which didn’t prove to be as easy as he thought as there were no such clinics in LA that treated both addiction and bulimia.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I was thinking, ‘You mean, I finally decide to seek help and they’re telling me no one will accept me?’”
He finally found a clinic that would treat him in Chicago, although entering rehab is when the hard work really began as he found one of the biggest problems was that his ego didn’t like other people telling him what to do.
“I tried to run away twice because of authority figures telling me what to do,” he said. “I didn’t like that, but it was one of the things I had to learn.
“I packed my suitcase on the first two Saturdays, and I sat on the sidewalk and cried. In the end, I knew there was really no choice. I realized this was my last chance.”
The A-lister has now been clean for years and having beaten bulimia he is now more happy than ever. Looking back at those dark times, he told the Chicago Sun-Times: “Despite all the success, I think I just wanted to be loved. I wanted someone to love me.”