Lush Life

With a new CD, Phoenix's Beat Angels prove there's no success like failure

"I saw a girl dance to 'Glitter Girl' at Band Aids and it was a religious experience, it really was," says Smith.

"I cried," Jackson adds.
Smith's a symphony of contradictions that could only exist in a rock 'n' roll world. On the one hand, he wants to live alone like a bohemian and become a great writer, on the other hand, he craves domesticity--the wife, house, kids and dog bit. He loves a good drink but describes the time in 1992 when he stopped drinking for three months as the best he's ever felt.

"The first week was the hardest. But, eventually, I woke up and started running three miles a day," he says with enthusiasm. "I was already a vegetarian anyway, so that was heightened, I got more strict. And I was actually kind of quick-witted for a change. I could read faster and think faster."

So why not become next month's poster boy for sobriety? Smith pauses to reflect. "Sobriety's a damn good thing, but I'm just not ready for it yet.

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