Patron: Robbie Williams

 

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Woody’s Story

I have been the drummer with Madness from the beginning, playing small pubs and clubs, to touring the world, and packing out arenas, and festivals. I’ve been involved in every aspect of the music business from song writing, and arranging; video and film making; sound engineering, producing, and even running my own record label.

I even spent 4 years teaching Music, Media Studies, and Design and Technology at a local secondary school.

I’ve had an incredible life, but it hasn’t come without it’s struggles.

One thing I’ve learnt is that happiness is definitely “An inside job”, all the money, glamour, success, adulation and outside “stuff” won’t fix me.

I’m a big fan of the 12 step program, and talking to people with similar experiences definitely helps. Getting out of self is a big one for me, and asking for help is where it all starts.

Apart from the music business I’ve had experience dealing with mental health issues, as my brother Nick has schizophrenia.

Nick and I are really close, and we’ve always played and written songs together, we even put out an album together a few years ago.

Because of the experience I’ve had with Nick I want to dispel the stigma attached to his condition, and talk openly about the positive side of Nick, and give people with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses some hope. Nick is an amazing song writer, and has already proven his worth in this world, by writing some cracking tunes with me for my band Madness. Nick has often joked saying how ironic it is that we have both been affected by Madness.

With the help of the charity Rethink Mental Illness, I’ve been able to talk to people in the press, and radio about changing the perception of people with mental health issues, and break down some of the misconceptions surrounding mental illness.

There are some great people with valuable experiences out there, and we can all be so much stronger if we reach out.

Woody