THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER INTERVIEW
21ST MAY 2002
"MY 10 LOST YEARS ON BOOZE & DRUGS
- OSCAR-WINNING MUSIC GURU BATTLES BACK FROM HIS PRIVATE HELL"
BY ELLEN GOODSTEIN
Last Updated 15th June 2002
(When you click on the underlined red/green below you will be taken to a page with more detailed information. If you click on the song titles mentioned, you will be taken to a list of Paul Williams' albums/singles/TV shows where that song appears. When you click on the images of the Paul Williams' albums, you will be taken to the track listing, and other information on that album)
Paul Williams - best known as Little Enos in the "Smokey and the Bandit"
movies - is making a giant comeback after spending nearly a decade hooked on alcohol and
"You know you're an alcoholic when you misplace a
says 61-year-old Williams, who barely remembers the '80's.
An Oscar, and Grammy winning singer/songwriter, Williams just
finished writing a song for the upcoming movie "The Sum Of All Fears",
staring Ben Affleck - and will be appearing in the soon-to-be-released "The Rule
The 5-foot-2 tunesmith - who penned such '70s classics as The
Carepenters' 'We've Only Just Begun' (click here for the lyrics of this song)
and Three Dog Night's, 'An Old Fashioned Love Song' (click here for the lyrics of this song)
- started drinking as a teenager. As he grew older, he turned to drugs.
At 46, he left his wife and kids for a 22-year-old college
student. "She was the love affair of my life, and
I wanted desperately to keep her",
Williams says of the pretty psychology major.
did what a lot of alcoholics do: I told her I was sober and I continued to use. After she
would go to bed, I would sneak out the pet door and score more drugs". Williams
was afraid to use the front door because it squeaked and might wake his girlfriend.
"I had an Oscar on the piano and a star on the Hollwood
Boulevard, and here I was sneaking out on all fours",
WPaul told an interviewer. The relationship did not last...and his
life spiraled downhill.
In September 1989, high on cocaine and waving a gun at
imaginary enemies, a panicked Williams called his psychiatrist for help. Though he didn't
remember making the call - he made it during a blackout - his psychiatrist did and
Williams soon entered a 28-day rehab program in Los Angeles. Since then, he's been clean
and sober and has turned his life around.
At the suggestion of a good friend, the gifted entertainer enrolled in night classes
at UCLA, received his drug and alcohol counselor's certificate and began volunteering at
his nightmare years behind him, got involved again in the lives of his son Cole, 20, and daughter
"I was a total
failure as a father", Williams admits. "I
had to hit bottom before I did anything about it".
As he pulled his life together, Paul started to feel passionate about his music, and
the last year he was inducted into the "Songwriters Hall of Fame". (See
here for more details about Paul's
His most recent album "Back To Love Again", (See
here for more details on the album)
has new songs and remakes of past hits - and with a song back in his heart, he's happily
performing and writing again.
Email me, David Chamberlayne, at:
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