I rejoin Moby at the last quarter of his autobiography and he is suffering from (musical) performance anxiety. Everything he does feels wrong (probably autosuggested from his 1995 album that has almost the same title); 'for some reason everything I'd recorded so far sounded terrible and unusable' and an admission that both recreationally and mentally, things were becoming unstuck; 'I was drinking almost nightly and experiencing constant panic attacks - (Back) in 1984 when I was a philosophy major at UConn, (the panic attacks) were debilitating, so I dropped out amd moved home [...] I drank and the panic persisted. I took Valium and it persisted. I drove my moped around Darien listening to Echo and the Bunnymen cassettes and it persisted' (p.311).
At this point, you can't help but feel that Moby is lining up for a big crash across every aspect of his life.
Moby hasn't got over his cubicle sex habits; this time with Keith Flint's (The Prodigy) girlfriend. Also the drink habit is ongoing - mega spew sprees followed by murderous hangovers. All great for the tortured, musical soul, but Moby seems detached from himself, even in midly self-deprecation mode;'This was all an experiment for me, or so I decided. I was a former Bible-study teacher getting drunk with my stripper girlfriend in a casino at one a.m. on a Sunday night. I told myself I was a drunk anthropologist, not a frightened alcoholic with an attachment disorder'(p.328-9).
Still, you can't help but feel that far from being happy in full rockstar persona, Moby in himself is unhappy and,more worryingly NOT producing music. Old skool names crop up: his peers - the aforementioned Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Fat Boy Slim etc., are all having a revival from their early nineties trips and (after a lull) were now smashing into the big time. Later, Moby is branded the Great White Wail in an article in a nightlife section of a paper/magazine; 'As the Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim and the Prodigy have risen to rockstar status, Moby has become the techno step-child, left behind to play small bars while his peers fill arenas' (p.359).
Moby admits that a lot of this was true. It initially doesn't curb his behaviour at all. He indulges in public straight sex with his new girlfriend Vanessa (yet another stripper) during the 'Night of a Thousand Stevies' drag night, where they are dressed as the various incarnations of Stevie Nicks (for ref, see p.387). Which, sounds fab actually (the Thousand Stevies, not the public sex bit).He loving refers to Vanessa and her flatmate Jeremy as 'my degenerate guardians, even if Vanessa was passed out and Jeremy was in the middle of a two day coke bender' (p.388). All very avuncular and fond, but the distinct impression that Moby is not functioning in the way that he should be.
Cataloging a continually empty life, trying to find an elusive soul mate, but never really achieving anything. A sense that once-upon-a time-this-was-fun, but now-it's-boring vibe.
However, insights are starting to emerge and it becomes plain as to the ingrained reasons behind the depths of his despair. I must admit, this book has picked up in leaps and bounds. Still think it needs editing, but at least I feel drawn into his life and want to read it now.