BOOZED out of his brain in the early hours, legendary dance DJ Paul Oakenfold found himself surrounded by Hollywood’s elite.

Partying with him in a Los Angeles hotel room — where a bottle of absinthe had left him a “wreck”, unable to see or speak — were Keanu Reeves, Jack Nicholson and Sean Penn.

GettyPaul Oakenfold is a legendary dance DJ[/caption]

Some of Paul’s wilder years came with Happy Mondays dancer Bez — better known more recently for Celebrity GoggleboxRex

In his new autobiography, Ready Steady Go, he recalls the high and low notes that saw him stand up to MadonnaRex Features

“I wish to hell I hadn’t brought the absinthe,” Paul, 59, tells The Sun in an exclusive interview.

“It took all my legendary poise and restraint not to stand there, open-mouthed, and say something like, ‘F*** me! Hello, boys. How are ya?’.”

The boozy bash hosted by the late US journalist and hellraiser Hunter S. Thompson was a night that characterises the chaos of the world’s first superstar DJ.

In a career that spans four decades, Paul has twice been named the world’s best DJ.

Read more on Paul Oakenfold

Playlist

Paul Oakenfold looks forward as he marks 30 years of Ministry Of Sound on Saturday

Playlist

An eclectic selection of music from legendary DJ, Paul Oakenfold

In his autobiography, Ready Steady Go, he recalls the high and low notes that saw him stand up to Madonna, turn down Paul McCartney and watch a failed seduction by Julia Roberts.

He says: “I’ve seen a lot. I’ve seen everything. When you’re invited into a room full of supermodels and rock stars, you have to own those moments.

“I’d have to remind myself I’m here for a reason — I belong here. But, oh my God, I’d look around and think, ‘This is f***ing amazing. What’s going on here?’.”

Supporting U2 on their 1993 Zoo TV world tour was a definite high.


Paul recalls bassist Adam Clayton was dating model Naomi Campbell at the time and that “every night a supermodel or three would turn up.

“Being on tour with U2 was just crazy,” he says.

‘BEZ IS A LIABILITY’

“One night on the tour it was Naomi’s birthday party and all the supermodels were there. It was this wonderful moment of celebration.

“At one point I had Claudia Schiffer, Kate Moss and Christy Turlington in the DJ booth, rifling through my record box, saying, ‘Can you play this please, Paul?’.

“They were all wanting to hear different tracks so I said to them, ‘Just pull out what you want’.”

It turns out Johnny Depp and Jack Nicholson were at the same party.

“Of course, I’m wondering how the hell I’d got there,” he says. “It doesn’t happen often in my world.

“I loved it. I wasn’t part of that scene, I was just the support DJ.

“When I finished that tour, I went back to South London and carried on doing what I do.”

Paul’s rise came in the late Eighties when, as he saw it, “most kids were thinking, Where is my life going to end up?’.

“Suddenly, there was a moment where the youth of Britain could go to nightclubs, be euphoric, enjoy music, dance and have fun. Out of that shift came Britain’s dance music culture that went around the world.

“I never in a million years thought I’d end up in Hollywood, writing music for $100million movies and going on world tours with Madonna. But it all came out of one moment in the Eighties in the UK”.

Suddenly, there was a moment where the youth of Britain could go to nightclubs, be euphoric, enjoy music, dance and have fun.

Prior to fame, Paul worked as a promoter and agent for US rock rappers Beastie Boys.

He went on to support Madge on three world tours and remixed a string of her biggest hits, including Sorry and Celebration.

He says the Queen of Pop is “very polite” and “extremely charismatic” with “little attitude” — even during the daunting process of telling her she’d “sung something wrong”.

He says: “It’s difficult to say no to M. But you have to do it to have integrity. If you say yes to everything, you’re just gonna get watered down and eventually get cut. I always strive for quality and integrity.”

Some of Paul’s wilder years came with Happy Mondays dancer pal Bez — who turned down a night with Julia Roberts when she invited him back to her place.

“He had no idea who she was, hilarious,” Paul says.

It was shortly after the release of 1990 film Pretty Woman, starring Julia, when the actress hit on Bez at legendary Hollywood club The Viper Room.

Paul recalls: “He wasn’t really interested but out of politeness he asked her what she did for a living.

“‘I’m an actress’, she said. ‘Well, I’ve never heard of you’, said Bez.

“He lost interest and started talking to her minder. In the end, she did the sensible thing and just gave up.”

Paul described Bez as “a liability, plain and simple” — notably proven when he crashed a rental car that he obtained despite not having a driving licence, and later “borrowed” a car.

Bez was “forbidden” from getting behind the wheel, but recalls his pal “not taking any notice of the ban”.

He had no idea who she was, hilarious.

Paul recalls: “Bez found a vehicle with some keys in it, went for a spin, took a wrong turn and ended up driving the wrong way down a freeway.”

One of Paul’s greatest regrets was having to turn down Sir Paul McCartney for a collaboration. After performing at a birthday party for one of the singer’s daughters, the Beatles star let Paul hold the bass he played for Hey Jude.

He then put on some new material he wanted the DJ to remix.

Paul says: “It was good stuff but unfortunately it just wouldn’t have worked on a dance floor and so, reluctantly, I had to decline.

‘REALLY DARK PLACES’

“I didn’t want to be associated with something that didn’t work and I’m sure Paul would be the same.”

Paul credits his long and successful career to an ability to keep his partying under control.

 “Working in music, it’s a fine line,” he explains. “You can cross that line — and we all know people in music who have become alcoholics or got heavily into drugs — or you stay on that line. I’ve had colleagues commit suicide and friends who died in Ibiza on drugs. Some end up in really dark places or in rehab.”

He thanks his parents for keeping him grounded for all these years and in the book he talks openly about his battle with dyslexia.

Bez found a vehicle with some keys in it, went for a spin, took a wrong turn and ended up driving the wrong way down a freeway, as you do. Or as Bez certainly does.

But his message is simple: “If I can do it, you can too.”

He adds: “The book is about my struggle and how I overcame that. I’m a working-class guy from London. I’ve got dyslexia, I suffered at school, things were tough. And out of it, I found a path that led me to success.

“You can overcome anything. If one kid picks up this book and it helps him, then that’s all I want.”

As a DJ, Paul has remixed songs for more than 100 artists, including U2, Madonna, Britney Spears, the Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson. But despite hanging out with the Hollywood elite, winning three Grammys and touring the world on private jets, he still questions whether it was all worth it.

Paul says: “I’m a single man, I have a failed marriage behind me, which has upset me and my family. Relationships haven’t worked out.

“I walk on stage in front of 50,000 people and get invited to all these parties, but later you end up sitting alone in your hotel room.  You’re on a plane all the time. So I enjoy it, but there are ups and downs.”

Paul’s father died of a heart attack an hour before his 60th birthday party. And he lost his brother David and sister Linda to heart attacks within two years of each other.

But the star says grief has changed him for the better: “Life is too short. That could happen to me tomorrow.  When I lost my brother and sister I sat with my mum and I said, ‘It’s just me and you now. You’re 84, let’s go and do things. What are we waiting for?’.”

Part of his changing mindset means Paul is now ready to take his foot off the accelerator with his career.

He says: “I used to upset a lot of people, saying I can’t come to things because of work. But I want to take a step back and not work as much.

Read More on The Sun

BEDDER

I’ve got two daughters who have to share a room…so I used a budget Ikea hack

AIR WE GO

We test the best air fryers that can save you a fortune in cost of living crisis

“I am trying to live my life now. I’ve got nothing to prove any more.”

 Ready Steady Go: My Unstoppable Journey in Dance, by Paul Oakenfold, published by Welbeck, is out now.

One story he recalls is Bez turning down Julia Roberts when she invited him back to her placeRex

Paul recalls bassist Adam Clayton was dating Naomi Campbell at the time and that ‘every night a supermodel or three would turn up. Being on tour with U2 was just crazy’Rex

One of those blockbuster models was Kate MossRex

Paul has now released autobiography Ready Steady Go

Similar Posts