Glenn Hughes said he regretted leaving funk-rock band Trapeze in 1973 to join Deep Purple.

While the move offered him access to a new level of success, it also led to a two-decade battle with drug addiction, which he argued wouldn’t have happened if he had remained with his former group in his hometown of Cannock in the West Midlands of England.

“I’ve lost a lot of people in my life, but the man I’ve become because of it is really about letting go of expectations and resentment.,” Hughes told Guitar World in a recent interview. “I had so much attachment to things and people and places – and when you have to let go of them, it’s difficult. ... I’ll say this to you now: I really should never have left Trapeze. I should have stayed on that boat. That’s the way I feel these days – truly. Leaving Trapeze has been the torment of my life, but I had to let it go.”

Asked if he might have avoided his addiction issues if he’d stayed, he replied: “I really hope so. … It might have caught up with me later, but I only ever drank the odd half-pint of cider when I was 18 or 19 – I never craved the devil’s dandruff. When cocaine popped up in America in 1971, I just didn’t want it. If I’d stayed in Cannock all my life, I would probably never have found it – so I don’t know the answer.”

With a career that includes stints with Black Sabbath, Black Country Communion and currently the Dead Daisies, Hughes was clear about one of the best moments of his life. “I’m most proud of getting clean and sober,” he noted. “I’m 23 years sober now, I’m happy to tell you. If I hadn’t done that on Nov. 23, 1997, I’d be dead. That’s when the light went on.”

Despite his regrets, "what a life I’ve had," he said. "All these years later, at the age of 69, I can do this – because I work the spiritual lifestyle. It’s really saved my life.”

 

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