My family has been the victim of every single financial crime there is.
I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for us, but some really horrible things have happened – we’ve had millions taken from us
It started a few years before Kurt [Cobain]’s death, in the early 1990s, and only got worse after he died.
Recently my manager and an attorney discovered five forged wills of mine, 67 bank accounts, 102 Mastercards and Visas. There were Centurion cards with million-dollar credit lines – I found one that was being used in 2005 by someone I had fired in 1999!
Basically, they stole every single cent.
I was writing Tweets the other day about it all, but I didn’t publish them: each one sounded like a line of dialogue from Succession. I started realising all this was happening in 2002, and the FBI did a big investigation into it in 2006; but the point at which I realise how fucking stupid I was is an ongoing process.
At its worst, we had lawyers and agents trying to colonise our estate, and they froze my assets. From April to November 2011 I spent a lot of time living in a squat in Hackney. I didn’t even have the Tube fare – but I know how to be poor, because I come from punk.
So when I saw the Financial Times was advocating financial literacy as its charitable cause last September, I was so pleased, because I could really do with being financially literate myself.
I tried the quiz on the article and I got a basic answer wrong; just the other day, my assistant and I were negotiating a multimillion-dollar deal, trying to figure out a percentile on a calculator – and we couldn’t!
Financial literacy is one of the most critical things an artist can have. But it seems scary. It’s scary understanding my fault in all this – in acknowledging my overspending.
It isn’t a big secret that I suffer from the disease of addiction – in particular, financial stress tends to make me go cuckoo-bananas if I’m triggered by it.
A lot of musicians and poets are afflicted with addiction. There are ones that aren’t, and I’m going to name a few I know personally: Lenny Kravitz, Bono, Dave Grohl, Chris Martin.
These are four dudes who are just not addicts. They’re able to hustle and handle their business.
But they’re in the minority.