My ecstasy habit was so bad I nearly descended into real-life madness; SINGER SUGGS ON HIS DRUGS PAIN.
His chart-topping band Madness had called it a day and dad-oftwo Suggs believed it was time to step away from the excess and craziness of the 1980s music scene.
Thanks to hits such as It Must Be Love, House of Fun, and Baggy Trousers, he was one of the most popular singers in Britain and Ireland.
But he soon felt lost as he spent time out of the spotlight. And - almost in an echo of the dad he never knew - he was to develop a serious drug habit.
Now he reveals he had to seek professional help after his recreational use of ecstasy, which floods the brain with feel-good hormone serotonin, spiralled out of control and left him paranoid.
His concerns were especially strong given his photographer dad William's battle with heroin. William died in 1975 when Graham "Suggs" McPherson was only 14. Now 57, the star says: "The band had just split up. I had two young kids and I just wanted to get back to reality. 'F*** being a pop star for a bit', I thought.
Smiling "Because of what happened to my dad I'd always said to myself I'd never take heroin but then ecstasy came along and everyone was doing it, and it just seemed like a bit of fun.
"But then suddenly you realise that actually you've become all the things you didn't want to become.
"I was thinking, 'God knows what else I can do to make a living', so there was definitely a period where I was a bit lost and I started to get paranoid about taking too much ecstasy."
Suggs, who has two daughters Viva and Scarlett, with wife of 36 years Bette, adds: "I started seeing this therapist. The first thing he said to me was, 'stop taking ecstasy'.
"He said, 'you can make your own nightmares come true', because I was getting freaked out and paranoid which was to do with the fact I didn't know what I was going to do next.
"I started pushing away the people I loved because I was testing them all the time. I saw this guy a few times and he said, 'You are just a bit scared', and he was right. I had left the comfort zone of the band and I was on my own again trying to work out who I was. It was scary."
Suggs' new movie My Life Story, directed by Absolute Beginners director Julien Temple, explores his need to discover the truth about his dad, who walked out when Suggs was three and died without beating his heroin problem.
Suggs says: "I hate to use American terms like 'closure', but that's what I was trying to do by finding out about my dad. It was a big challenge emotionally. It's something I'd put off for years because as well as living the crazy existence of being a pop star I was preoccupied with bringing up my children
"Finding out about my dad was always at the back of my mind. When I turned 50 I thought it was time I was more reflective about my life. It turns out my dad was a big music fan and a very nice man but he got mixed up with heroin."
After the band split in 1986 and his brief time in the wilderness, Suggs, resurrected his career with work as a DJ and TV host.
Madness - often referred to as the Nutty Boys - reformed in 1992 and the band are as popular as ever, but Suggs' current focus is on his 36-date one-man tour, What a King Cnut - A Life in the Realm of Madness, when he'll be sharing memories from his career.
The band's triumphs include a show-stealing performance at Buckingham Palace for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, but they were notable by their absence at the Band Aid recording in 1984. What happened? The Londoner says: "I don't know if we got asked. I remember saying, 'Bob Geldof? He couldn't organise a p*ss up in a brewery', so we did our own with The Specials and UB40, called Starvation. It probably generated half a bag of rice."
He soon got to share a stage with Band Aid star Sting - but it was not your typical collaboration. Suggs says: "I've got this thing about invading stages and Sting was playing at Henley."
He adds: "I heard Sting, one of the greatest British lyricists of all time doing a sound check to De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da so up I got before I was unceremoniously hauled off stage by my ankles."
Even more excruciating was his brush with his musical hero David Bowie. "It was the mid-80s and we are driving through France and [Madness producer Clive Langer] went, 'Bowie has rung up we can stay at his house'. So I am with my family, and Clive's family in the Range Rover with all the suitcases on the roof.
"We get to his estate; David Bowie's f***ing James Bond-esque lair on the top of the mountain. There he is, the Man Who Fell to Earth, beckoning us into his garage. Then we hear a crunch as our suitcases fall off the roof and my underwear is blowing around his driveway. "Was it clean or dirty? A bit of both sadly. It wasn't the most auspicious way to meet the man I'd loved for most of my life, scrabbling round on the floor picking up pants and socks."
His underwear-related disasters are in the past but there's more madness to come. "The film is about how I got to the top. The one-man show is going to be all about what happens when you get there. That's when it gets really scary."
I was on my own again trying to work out who I was. It was scary SUGGS ON HIS STRUGGLES AFTER MADNESS SPLIT UP
With his wife and their daughters FAMILY MAN
NUTTY BOYS Madness in 1980, the year after first hit
Film about his search for answers BIG SCREEN
Suggs belts out a Madness classic ON STAGE
ANGELIC Smiling in primary school uniform
POP STAR Suggs has an army of fans