Stuart Cable pulls no punches as he talks about fame, drugs and his sacking from the Stereophonics in his autobiography.
Demons and Cocktails tells the drummer's story behind the band's rise from Valleys obscurity to rock stardom.
Cable confirms he was planning to leave the trio before he was sacked in September 2003 by bandmate Kelly Jones.
He says he has no regrets about leaving the band, only that they never worked with a leading record producer.
Stereophonics were formed in Cwmaman near Aberdare in 1992 by school friends Kelly and Richard Jones along with Cable, who was four years older.
Within five years they were rising stars, supporting bands like the Rolling Stones and U2 and meeting many of their idols as equals.
"It was incredible - everyone we looked up to was into the Stereophonics," Cable told Mal Pope and Louise Elliott of BBC Radio Wales.
He recalled a surreal experience visiting a club with Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson following the MTV Awards in New York.
"We just got dragged in through this door - in there was Steven Tyler from Aerosmith, David Bowie, Tommy Lee, Pamela Anderson, Paul McCartney, Lennie Kravitz. You're standing there going 'what the heck is going on?'
"Steven Tyler came over - I thought I've got to phone my brother because he's never going to believe this, never in a million years," he added.
"It was kind of weird just being accepted - we were sitting there on cloud nine."
End of the road
The autobiography also sheds light on the growing rift between Cable and Stereophonics vocalist Kelly Jones which eventually led to the drummer's departure.
The traditional band dynamics of the vocalist as frontman with the drummer in the background were already being strained by the garrulous Cable's growing media profile as a TV and radio presenter.
But he reveals the split was primarily sparked off by the singer's desire to produce the band's third album JEEP.
Richard, Kelly and Stuart had played together since childhood
"My biggest regret is that every major record producer worldwide wanted to work with this band," said Cable.
"The things we could have learnt from those guys' experience, obviously money couldn't buy that sort of stuff."
"Although we made a great record, and he (Kelly) wanted to produce the next one ... I didn't really see where my place was any more."
"From my point of view he locked himself away and wrote on his own whereas that didn't happen with the first couple of records - we all sat in a room together and worked out ideas."
Cable confirmed that he'd privately decided to leave the band at the end of their tour to promote their fourth album You've Got To Go There To Come Back, due to culminate in a headline show at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in December 2003, but had told no-one about his plans.
However, when illness forced him to pull out of the tour's American leg, he returned home to Aberdare to recover and within 24 hours had the fateful phone call telling him he was out of the band.
Cable said Kelly agreed to draft a joint statement when the band returned home citing "musical differences" as the reason for the split.
But two days later the drummer was shocked to hear that he'd been sacked while he was in London visiting a lawyer.
"I was in a hotel and my phone rang - it was Owen Money (from BBC Radio Wales) saying I'd been sacked from the band," he said.
"I said no, but he said that's strange as I've got a statement in front of me from Kelly and Richard (saying so)."
"That was the day that all the friendship between myself and Kelly went out the window, really. After all those years I think I deserved more respect than that."
Off the rails
Cable revealed that his use of drugs, already prompted by his growing estrangement from the band, took a turn for the worse.
"When you start going on tour with those types of bands it's around you everywhere if you want it," he said.
"It was probably doing that last record I went into it really badly - lack of involvement, sitting in the studio, maybe a bit of boredom.
Cable's career as a TV and radio presenter began with BBC Wales
"And obviously when I left the band, I had time on my hands, money in the bank, what do you do?
"I was going through a divorce at the time - I ended up living in Cardiff, got friendly with a couple of people down here and every night was party night. It was really difficult to sit in the house and not go out."
"I just had to go and buy a house back up the Valleys where I couldn't get my hands on that sort of stuff."
Cable says he was so disillusioned with music that he didn't play the drums for about eighteen months, but the Stereophonics' former manager tempted him to form a new group, Killing For Company.
The band soon won a support slot for The Who at Swansea's Liberty Stadium in 2007, and is currently working on a debut album.
Cable is also forging ahead with a career as a TV and radio presenter which began with BBC Wales, and says his life is in a "much better place" now.
Following the rift in 2003, Kelly Jones has arguably led the Stereophonics to even greater success.
But Cable says he has few regrets and fondly remembers the good times.
"We achieved so much - headlining Glastonbury, Reading, playing the Morfa Stadium, Cardiff Castle, the Millennium Stadium ... if I'd made a wish list when I was 16 and all those were on there, I'd be a very happy chappie."
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