One Step Ahead Of The G-Man

The past four years of my life have been remarkable.

I came out as transgender and started hormone treatment to transition from male to female, and toured the world several times over with the bands Mogwai and M83 as their Front of House sound engineer. 

I moved from New York City, where I had been for a decade, to Los Angeles, into a fabulous little modern house with orange and lemon trees in the garden, and a little white car parked out back, christened Snowflake by one of my beautiful friends.

At Christmas last I and M83 finished off a triumphant year with a little run of arena shows, ending at The Gibson Theater in LA.

The after show party was, shall we say, legendary.

All was right with the world.


New Year came and went and I along with all my friends was confident that twenty thirteen was going to be amazing.

Easter arrived bringing still no work, but I was settling into my new home, relying on savings and credit cards to get me through what seemed just a sticky patch. 

I knew a couple of groups that were looking to hire and I guessed I’d be high on the list.

Unfortunately they passed me over for young men, but I was still sure it was all going to be fine, though my savings had all but run out and my cards were getting close to being maxed.


By the middle of June things were getting fairly desperate.

It was looking like nothing was going to come my way.

I began to look around my little house with trepidation, with a feeling that I was mad to think it would all work out, that this life could be mine.

I started to feel like a fraud.

Then at the eleventh hour came an email with the offer of a high profile tour starting immediately.

I said yes yes yes.

A week later and I hadn’t heard back.

I’d been passed over again.

Now all my cards absolutely were maxed out, my bank account in the red, my rent and bills overdue.

Reality hit me like a punch in the guts.

The dream was over.


What to do?

I’d become the person I always should have been, a woman, living in a place I’d aways wanted to live, LA, and had seen the world.

I decided it was time to go.


I’ve been meditating for a year and realized that I’d let go of my ego, was at peace with the world and myself, had been awestruck at the beauty of our little planet, had found the inner light, and was ready. 

I decided that I would drive out to Malibu to stand for one last time on the golden sands looking out at the mighty Pacific before heading up to Topanga national park where, at sunset, I was going to cut my wrists.

It seemed to make complete sense. 

I said my goodbyes online to my friends, being careful not to let them suspect anything as I didn’t want to be stopped, and went to sleep in my own bed for the last time.


Just as I was about to walk out the door the next morning my cell phone rang.

It was an old friend from London, England, who had clearly seen through my obfuscated farewell message and begged me to stay, saying she would wire me money for a flight, and that I should hot foot it post haste to London and stay with her till I sorted myself out.

It took some convincing, not because I didn’t want to see her or appreciate the love she was sending, but because I really had decided to go.

I was at peace, I was ready to leave this place.

She persuaded me to stay.


I’ve been in London for two weeks, sleeping on my friend’s couch, trying to figure out what the hell to do.

I abandoned everything in LA, just walked away with a suitcase and guitar in hand.


This is not the first time I’ve been here.

In 1991 I was playing guitar and singing in a band and we all decided to move to Amsterdam.

After nearly a year of living in a squat, stealing food from the local supermarket because I didn’t have any money, I sold my guitar getting just enough cash for a bus ticket to London, turning up at the same friend’s house, this time with just a suitcase.


But now I’m 54, a middle aged woman, and it’s really hard.

Capitalism is going through its inevitable collapse and leaving millions of us by the wayside.

I have no money, no home, no history here for a decade so zero credit, and still no job.

My friend, my angel, is helping all she can but the reality has me still gasping for breath.

Being a freelance worker, self-employed, one is always one pay check away from the street, and I’ve lived like that for 20 years.

This time though the paycheck didn’t come.


So here I am, one step ahead of the G-Man.