Oh sit down with the middle-aged, new-age new-romanticsism of Tim Booth, lead singer of 90s superstars, James, on this week’s Born Optimistic podcast. From his middle-class beginnings in an English town to his back-to-nature role in Big Sur, California, Tim Booth’s career in pop music spans four long decades of, he hopes, progress.
James sing about far out places to go. Tim Booth seems to live in a far out place every day, on the fringes of a national park in California where mountain lions, bobcats and rattlesnakes go with the territory and where you’d better be sure to lock up your goats!
Revealing hitherto unknown details about his upbringing in a small village in Yorkshire to his rural idyll at the fringes of a national park, Tim has battled bullies, isolation, boarding school and illness to forge a successful career spanning four decades of hits at the top of the pop charts with perennial favourites like Oh Sit Down (1989) and the recent Girl At The End of the World (2016).
“The establishment doesn’t know its arse from its elbow”
Oh Sit Down next to a near-death experience
It nearly didn’t happen. A near-death experience as a youth alerted him to the need for transformative action in his life. He explored alternative therapies, took up yoga and began to mediate. After a failed diagnosis nearly cost him his life, Tim realised “The establishment didn’t know its arse from its elbow”. Instead he had to pull himself back from the abyss and embarked on an personal journey – inside the mind and towards healing. “All the things you might call spiritual, I came to by necessity,” he says.
Download Born Optimistic Podcast Ep2: Tim Booth
Find out how Tim gets inspired every day and what, if anything, ties him back down to earth. There is, according to Tim, an evolution of consciousness that’s still going forward despite recent setbacks that provide ample challenges. “There are forces working to separate us from our humanity,” he says. He also talks about the need to connect to the “horror” of daily life and the strange phenomenon of his self-fulfilling lyrics. Find the brand new podcast via the Born Optimistic Facebook post.
Oh Sit Down – James (1989)