Johnny Black, MOJO, February 2004
Just turned 22, Spirit guitarist and figurehead Randy California stands on Chelsea Bridge, staring down into the grey waters of the River Thames.
It's April 1973, mid-afternoon, and baffled pedestrians stare at the painfully thin figure as he balances precariously on the edge. His mental state, precarious even at the best of times, has lately been shattered by a combination of personal traumas, drug abuse and creative frustrations. The child of a broken family, he's tethered to a band he no longer wants to be part of, with a new album that his record company doesn't want to release. His band should be about to embark on a tour of Europe. Except that it can't, because the tour van containing all of their equipment has been stolen.
Total word count of piece: 5554