Paul Williams, singer and songwriter, claims he “lost” the 1980s because of his drinking at the time.
Alcoholism almost ruined his career, he says.
“I drank, I used, like most people do for about seven minutes, and then by the time I got sober, I had lost a decade,” he exclusively told Page. Six, at the annual Songwriters Hall of Fame induction and awards gala.
“The 80s were over for me,” added the 81-year-old. “I was incredibly productive and lucky and lucky, lucky, lucky in the 70s. In the 80s, I stayed home and alphabetized my canned goods.”
It certainly painted a dark and painful picture.
Williams, who received the famous Johnny Mercer Award at the dinner, was “very busy” in the 1970s, co-writing “A Star Is Born”‘s “Evergreen” with Barbra Streisand in 1991 (winning an Emmy and a Grammy in the process) and “Rainbow Connection” for Kermit the Frog in 1979.
Other written credits include “We’ve Only Just Begun” by The Carpenters, “An Old Fashioned Love Song” by Three Dog Night, and theme lyrics to “The Love Boat”.
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He appeared in all three “Smokey and the Bandit” films and as a guest on “The Odd Couple” and “Fantasy Island”, among others. In addition, the composer was a frequent guest on “The Tonight Show”.
Williams didn’t recognize he needed help until he was 49.
Fortunately, the acknowledgment that he is already in bad shape came with the will to change. He sought help and the community helped him. He said he liked how he was able to recover thanks to them. He did not immediately resume his music career. Instead, he gave back by going at UCLA and get certified as a drug and alcohol counselor. He said he had found his tribe.
He eventually went back to his music and he was able to make a big comeback.
The Grammy winner contributed two songs to Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” album in 2013.
Williams added coyly that he never had a “moment of enlightenment” regarding his alcoholism. Fortunately, things went well for him.
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