I always requested a wake-up call from the hotel operator when I travelled. The thought of missing a plane and the resultant pile-up of skipped interviews for the musician I was accompanying – together with the brays of annoyance from the local record company – were just not worth the extra hour. And this was before mobile phones, so in addition to the alarm clock I always carried, and the one usually in the room, I would have the hotel check I was awake.
One morning in Stockholm I couldn’t answer. I literally could not get my hand to pick up the receiver. I could hardly breathe and when I tried to sit up – I fell back onto my pillow. My face was numb. I thought I must have had a stroke. I lay there terrified. Imagining myself slurring my way through the rest of my life.