Damon Albarn has revealed he’s now glad his unsympathetic parents always automatically blamed him when he was mercilessly bullied through school.
The singer, 53, admits he made himself an ‘easy target’ because he played the violin and ate ladybirds, enjoyed olives and halloumi, and came in with an earring.
Damon explained how his parents, Keith and Hazell, accused him of bringing the trouble on himself without even asking why he’d been attacked.
Looking back: Damon Albarn, 53, has revealed he’s now glad his unsympathetic parents always automatically blamed him when he was mercilessly bullied through school
Blur and Gorillaz star Damon said on the Changes podcast: ‘I probably came across sometimes as a bit difficult and odd.
‘I used to get bullied at school a lot. My parents never had any sympathy for me, ever. Never. They would just say “it’s your fault”. They said “you bring it on yourself”.
‘It was very good for me. I’m really glad that they were like that in a sense.
‘At times I remember thinking “it just wasn’t fair I wasn’t afforded that kind of sympathy”. They were like “what did you do to get hit?”‘
Family affair: Damon’s parents Keith and Hazell accused him of bringing trouble on himself (Damon, Keith and Hazell pictured with Damon’s sister Jessica at his birth place in 2014)
Damon said after regularly eating handfuls of ladybirds at primary school, his problems escalated when the family moved from inner-city multi-cultural London to a conservative village.
Years later he was annoyed by comments made by Oasis members, who wrongly branding him a public schoolboy when Blur and the Gallaghers were at loggerheads in their ‘Battle of Britpop’.
He said: ‘The problem with me was I’d been a very ordinary standard East End London kid up until the age of 10. I’d come from a very multi-cultural school in Leytonstone. I was just one of many. I lived in a small terraced house, had a Jamaican family on one side and a Pakistani family on the other side.
‘Then I went to Turkey. I didn’t go with my parents, I was with a friend of my parents. I travelled all around Turkey and became quite feral really.
Unique: The singer admits he made himself an easy target as the boy who had a violin and ate ladybirds, enjoyed olives and halloumi, and came in with an earring (pictured September 2021)
‘When I get back my parents had moved with my younger sister to rural Essex. They bought a dilapidated medieval bakery in a little village. I was cast into a completely white quite conservative society and I didn’t fit in at all.
‘I think one of the idiotic things I did on my first day at primary school I ate a ladybird. Stuck with me until I was 18. He’s weird, he eats ladybirds.
‘I created my own Gollum. When I started playing the violin it was “he eats ladybirds and plays the violin”.
‘Food sometimes, I’d bring in my sandwiches – “he eats weird food”. I never forget the day there was a Syrian kid who came into the school, the only person of colour in the school, and I remember in his lunchbox he had halloumi and olives.
Troubled times: Damon said his problems escalated when the family moved from inner-city multi-cultural London to a conservative white village (pictured December 2021)
‘I said “these are things I eat, we’ve got to be friends, I’ve got someone I can relate to. It just went on and on like that. I was in school productions – they didn’t like that.
‘The thing that broke the camel’s back I started going out with the head girl who was two years older than me when I was 16. That was it, “he even does that”.
‘There was another crucial moment I remember I went down and got my ear pierced in Carnaby Street and I came back to school and when the teacher left all these lads got me against the wall and started roughing me up and ripped my earring out my ear. There was a lot of “you’re gay”. There was a lot of that.
‘But two or three weeks later they all had earrings.
‘All of this bullying and this sort of outsiderness, and with my parents not indulging me with any “poor Damon”, I actually turned into a very positive energy.’
He added: ‘You kind of need that sort of weirdness too to stand out and force yourself.’
But he said it proved frustrating when he became characterised as a posh, spoilt brat when Manchester band Oasis rivalled southerners Blur in the charts at the height of Britpop.
Damon: ‘It all came back to me. Part of my indignance when Noel and Liam tried to cast me as a public schoolboy was based on “if you only knew what a shitty school I went to and not get anywhere near anything private”.
‘It’s still a perception of me that I went to private school.’
Daamon said of his childhood: He added: ‘You kind of need that sort of weirdness too to stand out and force yourself’ (pictured at Glastonbury in 2016)
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