Q (UK) - - Incoming - SYLVIA PATTERSON

You don’t so much have a lunchtime con­ver­sa­tion with Goldie as grip onto your seat through a one-way, tur­bu­lent jet stream. Within seven min­utes of Q’s ar­rival he’s sum­ming up his sin­gu­lar life. “Kid from the ghetto, dyslexic, does good, chal­lenges every­thing, mar­ries a strip­per, takes more co­caine than Al Pa­cino, loses every­thing, the scenic route, right!?” We’re sit­ting side-by-side in a restau­rant booth of Lon­don’s Sanc­tum Soho Ho­tel where the golden-toothed, multi-force mav­er­ick – graf­fiti artist in late-’ 80s Amer­ica, UK drum’n’bass pioneer in the ’ 90s, ac­tor (in­clud­ing a stint in East­End­ers), re­al­ity TV sta­ple and com­poser ever since – is hastily cram­ming in Bar­be­cue Sticky Ribs’n’chips. No won­der his lat­est, cin­e­matic dou­ble al­bum is called The Jour­ney Man. “I’ve sur­passed my­self,” he blares, squash­ing Q’s shoul­der in a crunching clinch. “It’s a com­ing of age!” Goldie, 51, is now an MBE, friends with Prince Harry, a self-styled mu­si­cal “al­chemist” liv­ing in Thai­land with his sec­ond wife, Cana­dian Mika Price and young daugh­ter (his fifth child with five dif­fer­ent women). A waiter ap­pears, prof­fer­ing two He­ston Blu­men­thal-style test-tubes of le­mon grass liq­uid, pour­ing over with smoke. “That’s alchemy right there,” he cack­les. “Chin chin!” On he bur­bles un­stop­pably, un­fath­omably, about Eastern “af­fir­ma­tions” and “quan­tum in­fin­ity”, about his ’ 90s girl­friend Björk, “I broke her heart… did she for­give me? No!” Soon, he’s prof­fer­ing in­for­ma­tion you did not seek, about the months he pur­sued his wife with let­ters (four daily, in cap­i­tals, on scented Ja­panese notepa­per) be­fore they had sex. “And then we did it,” he’s roar­ing, “OK, let’s get the sticky slugs done!” Sud­denly, his jeans are down, show­ing Q a huge scar, pelvis to thigh. In 2006, on sport­ing re­al­ity TV ca­per The Games, he bru­tally broke his leg in a wa­ter-ski­ing ac­ci­dent, spend­ing three months in hospi­tal. “Mis­er­able, ba­si­cally on smack,” he notes, of his mor­phine-based re­cov­ery, “I was still us­ing [ co­caine] ev­ery day in hospi­tal, any­one who could get me drugs!” With his mid-’ 90s high-speed drum’n’bass tri­umphs (in­clud­ing Saturnz Re­turn, fea­tur­ing the hour-long opus to his es­tranged mum, Mother), came a colos­sal co­caine ad­dic­tion. Wasn’t he, you know, fast enough? “It does the op­po­site to me, y’see, the bi-po­lar ef­fect,” he muses. “It was a search, to find out why I felt hered­i­tary trauma. I was look­ing to see through the translu­cent sil­ver fish. I work only at great depth!” Goldie’s trauma be­gan at birth, born Clif­ford Price to a free­wheel­ing Ja­maican dad who dis­ap­peared im­me­di­ately and a Scot­tish al­co­holic mum who put him up for adop­tion aged three, raised in care homes across the Mid­lands. Three years ago he watched his mother die, “fuck­ing tongue went black”, by then a pres­ence in his life who’d re­quested Mother as her fu­neral song. “It’s too long!” he scoffed. He played it, in­stead, in the mor­tu­ary. “On the slab five days,” he blinks. “She’s mar­ble, fuck­ing stone cold, I’ll never for­get it. I was sat with the body in the Chapel Of Rest and played Mother. It was made for that rea­son.” He now blurts out a men­tion of “the brother I hate”, who slept with the mother of his first child, Jamie, when she was preg­nant in the late ’ 80s. “That’s why I went to Amer­ica, threw my­self into hip-hop,” he notes. “I was dam­aged goods. It broke me. I’d come out of a home and then that, I was fucked. I did what my mother and fa­ther did.” He sips his ex­pen­sively smokey drink. “If I’d never done the art, I would’ve been a bum.” Jamie, mean­while, is cur­rently in prison for gang-re­lated mur­der. Like Goldie own’s dad, he la­ments, “I wasn’t there, I lost him, he’ll be out when I’m 64.” By the end of our rapid-fire lunch, it’s felt like two decades of East­End­ers time-lapsed into 47 min­utes. His psy­cho­log­i­cal chaos, he in­sists, is now be­calmed, through the Hoff­man drug ad­dic­tion re­cov­ery pro­gramme a decade ago and, to­day, Bikram Yoga. “I’m chilled,” he de­clares, un­fea­si­bly. “Yoga’s rinsed me out, I can drink and smoke when I want. There’s 12 peo­ple in there [ taps head] but now they all agree with each other. Peo­ple go, ‘You haven’t aged’ and I go, ‘I’m Ben­jamin But­ton, I am!’ As long as I don’t go back to nine and my willy goes all small and my mis­sus is dis­ap­pointed.” He bolts for the door where an Uber is al­ready revving. His speedy jour­ney con­tin­ues, re­lent­lessly.

“I broke Björk’s heart... did she for­give me? No!”

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