The Times of London 3/14/98

-Hit Therapy

A weak liver and a bad neck didn't keep James's lead singer Tim Booth sitting down.

"I hurt my neck when I was on stage in Vancouver last year. I was ordered to rest for six weeks but the injury didn't heal. At one point I was looking at being crippled. I've never really gone with established medicine - my healing started after really good treatment from a Tibetan doctor. You can heal anything if you find the right curer.

As a child I was called 'Chinky' because my skin was yellow. It went that colour because I couldn't break down fats. By 22, I was desperately ill and had to be hospitalised. The doctors told me that I had an inherited liver disease and there was nothing they could do. I discharged myself and sought alternative advice. I tried acupuncture, which was enormously healing because the liver affects the mind - jaundice is just a mental condition. The Chinese understand these things much better than us - they've realised that liver conditions can be explained entirely in terms of anger and confusion. My body was full of toxins so I progressed to colonic irrigation. It was the most dramatic treatment. I felt fantastic as soon as I started. I also tried the gall bladder flush which is rather slower. You drink a small dose of olive oil and lemon juice every morning for a year, then suddenly down a litre and a half in one go. I flushed out a jam-jar-full of gallstones. It was pretty uncomfortable for two nights but better than an operation.

Music can be very healing. I know that some of my songs are therapeutic by the letters I get. Our best-known number, Sit Down, touched a lot of hearts. I have been approached to perform in hospitals and psychiatric institutions. I'm very wary of group meditation because of all the gurus involved. When people think they have the power to help people transcend to a higher being, they usually turn out to be creeps. Alternative medicine is all about realising your full human potential - you have to find the right life-system. I've tried all sorts - vegetarianism, teetotalism, celibacy - but in the end you just have to find peace with yourself."