It was the experience of his pet cat dying on his 50th birthday that led to Madness frontman Suggs not only realising his own mortality, but writing his life story.
He was lying in the bath on his 50th birthday, nursing an epic hangover from the celebrations the night before when there was the most almighty crash.
“I jumped out of the water and there, lying amid shards of broken glass, was our four-year-old cat, a British blue called Mamba,” he said.
“I’d put up the glass shelf myself and it must have given way. I knew he was dead from the strange angle of his body. I couldn’t believe it. I loved that cat.
“I was 50. My kids had recently left home and now the cat was dead. I was really upset. It triggered a deluge of emotion, an event that somehow tipped me over the edge.
“I began to consider my own mortality and, out of that, the idea for exploring my own past somehow crystallised.”
The result is a new stage show that is calling at Mansfield Palace Theatre on Tuesday 8th April.
“It’s a memoir,” said Suggs.
“It’s not stand-up. It’s not An Evening With… I toyed with calling it Mad-Life Crisis. In the end, though, having gone all round the houses, I’ve called it My Life Story which won’t win any prizes for originality but does at least tell you what you can expect, the good bits and the darker moments.”
An excerpt reveals how there have always been plenty of both.
Suggs said: “Just as I was getting together with the band that became Madness, my father’s time was up.
“I’ve always found that rather poignant.”
Suggs: My Life Story starts at 7.30pm on 8th April. Tickets are £26.14 (including a 2.5 per cent booking fee.)
To book, call the Mansfield Palace Box Office on Mansfield 633133 or book online at www.mansfield.gov.uk/palacetheatre.