We are delighted to introduce five participants in the Altered Ego project who are working closely with the Identity Creators. They come from a range of backgrounds and with a diversity of experiences.
Adam Lane always knew what he wanted to be when he grew up… a star! Then, it happened. Not all at once. From a young age he was a musical genius. At infancy he was surrounded by instruments – synths, drums, guitars, piano, strings…
When he was 10 he loved making songs with his friends and recording them on video cameras. When he was twelve he started publishing music online – it’s so easy these days, even then, 10 years ago. He won talent contests. He performed in bars. But it wasn’t through that that he got noticed. His mother had him start visiting musicians, producers, managers of studios and music labels. Then, at the tender age of 13, his first single hit the charts…
He took off. He’s world famous, has been for some time. Not Justin Bieber big, maybe, but near there. Each project he did got more ambitious. He wrote hit pop songs, and for a long time that was enough. Now he is 21 and he’s written some seriously angry raps, but he could never publish them. Not through his label anyway. He’s going indie. But the project isn’t ready yet. He’s working on it, it has to be perfect. Then he will win. Then he will show his true self.
He’s been running an angry, acerbic, witty anti-consumerist blog for some time now under the name “more-than-i-could-chew”. Even that is an audience though. He records vlogs every night. Those are private. In those he talks to himself, figures out stuff. Is honest.
In his head he divides his life into pre- and post- music career. Pre-music career is his childhood, his real childhood, full of its own struggles and pains but unmolested and somehow secret. In his head it’s like a Narnia or Tom’s Secret Garden, a safe place he likes to visit often. Then that melted and shifted into his post-fame life, first slowly, then all at once. Since then it’s been a wild merry-go-round of lights and sounds. Having all his desires met and then exceeded and new desires to replace them. He feels he’s coped with fame better than some others – he’s always been a narcissist at heart and initially had an “i’ve got nothing to hide” attitude. “I don’t know what they’re complaining about”, he’d proclaim. “I love seeing myself in the newspaper”. In the newspaper and the gossip magazine and on the billboards and on TV until he can’t see himself in the mirror any more.
Lane has become convinced that the person in the mirror is not him. He won’t admit this to anyone, of course. There’s a lot he won’t admit. Adam Lane is very good at holding on to things. Holding on to pain, holding on to mistakes, holding grudges. He never cries. He thinks he has forgotten how. His pride is incredible.
But he’s about as fragile as a fabergé egg.
Casilda Bright is the third child of the explorer and author James Bright and artist Cleo Sayeed. Her older siblings are twins, Angus and Amora, five years her senior. Her mother Cleo left the family in 1971 to travel and find herself, leaving James and various grand-parents, friends and au pairs to look after the children. Casilda was sent to boarding school at 8 years old. She did relatively well both academically and in sports, but developed an eating disorder as a teenager and did not complete A levels.
She wrote about her illness and treatment for a girl’s magazine and realised she wanted to go into journalism and insisted that her uncle, Sir Liam Bright, allow her to become an unpaid intern with his newspaper, the Interlocker. Whilst there, she broke the story on contaminated bottled water almost unaided, winning the Young Journalist of the Year in 1989 when her mother, hearing the news, made contact again. Cleo was by now on her third marriage
Casilda was one of the youngest journalists embedded with troops in Iraq and has collected a myriad awards and accolades from her peers.
She has never married but had several intense relationships including one with the photographer Gary Layton, who was sadly killed in Libya in 2010.
She lives alone in a small flat on the outskirts of Bath. Her older brother and husband also live in Bath and they are all close. Her older sister, Amora, lives in London near their father. Amora is also happily married with two children, but is close to neither Casilda nor Angus.
Casilda sees her mother rarely, a couple of times a year at most, and almost always falls into a depression afterwards.(Close X)
Nick Bogart aka Humph
Nick Bogart sent us the following statement…
Sometimes, when I’m driving, I just totally zone out. Not if I’m in the city, there’s more to concentrate on there, but on a longer journey or if I’m stuck in traffic. And when I say zone out I mean proper, brain paralysis, totally out there, dream state, zone out. Its completely dangerous. It’s like I’m not real and me and all these cars are just some Scalextric track. I know what you are thinking, and I probably SHOULD have my licence taken off me. sometimes I’m still doing like, 75 miles an hour! They never said anything about it when I told the DVLA I was half deaf and about my head injury and the constant tinnitus. So if anything does happen then it’s just as much their fault as it is mine.
Still, I need my car. So what am I gonna do? Well, I say that but it’s not like I go anywhere or do anything worth talking about in it, all I do is use it for work. Christ knows why I bother; I don’t even need to work. I own my house, and I get enough money from the payout to live on. Yet I still spend all day driving round repping for Bristol Laboratories. When I get home there’s no one there. This house always used to be full when we were kids. Our mum used to mother us four and all our mates too! It changed pretty much when Dean, the oldest, died. Now Mum and Dad have gone too. I don’t even talk to my sister. She’s bitter about how I ended up in the house and she feels she didn’t get what she deserved from the will. She did; just because I’m better with money and she chose to blow all of hers. And little Keith, he’s happily married in Milan, knows he’s always got a place here if wants it. Hear from him once a year I suppose. My mates have now all moved on or are hitched up with their own families. So its work, home, put the music on, repeat.
All that keeps me going is saving for Thailand. I’m back there in 13 weeks and I’ll stay for a month. I’ve loved Thailand since I first went there for a gig when I was young. I must have been back every year since, sometimes more.
Now since this deaf thing, I’ve gotten involved with a deaf school/orphanage there. It amazing. When I see the effect of teaching a few lessons or raising a few hundred pounds can have. I think I get more out of it than they do, it makes me so happy.
It makes me feel real.
A playlist that Humph created, entitled Benny’s mixtape, can be found at:
Lily-May Vesper Charles
Lily-May was the first child born to writer, Alice, and business consultant, Noah. She is named after her two grandmothers, Lilian and Maya. Her younger brother, Victor-Björn (named after his grandfathers), was born four years later after the family moved to England from their mother’s original home in Iceland. Lily-May grew up in Devon and when she was 12 her father had expanded his business in Europe so the family kept their Devon house but moved to Berlin where Lily-May lived until she was 19. After she graduated from school she moved to Cardiff to study music (against her father’s wishes) where she could also be close to her mother and visit her grandmother Lilian (who lives in a village near Chepstow).
Lily-May was a quiet child growing up and her teenagehood caused an unexpected clash of interests between her and her father which is the beginning for their ever-negative relationship. Her parents divorced around the time she finished school and her father continued living in Berlin while her mother moved back to the Devon house, making it easier for Lily-May to move too. Victor-Björn lives with his father in Berlin and is currently finishing his degree in international business relations (with Chinese, and 2 years out in Beijing). During her first year in university Lily-May met the love of her life, Simon Greenwood, who was in his third year of Fine Art. The two fell in love almost instantly and became each others muses. She formed her first music project, 3 piece band Phases, together with coursemate Lou Hunter and friends Daf Jones and Freddie Lewis.
While she was in her third year her grandmother passed away which took its toll on her. She tried to channel her grief into her music but it was not enough. Simon had the brilliant idea to organise a surprise trip around Europe, and for two months they travelled to Iceland where she could see her mum”s side of the family, then around Sweden and down to the south of Europe. While they were in Bulgaria however, she drove through a big hole in the road which caused the car to fall down a steep hillside. She woke up in hospital with numerous fractures and a head injury, but miraculously nothing too major. She was transferred to a private hospital in Berlin after her father found out, and was finally told that Simon did not survive the crash.
She returned to the UK where she started seeing a therapist and taking medication for anxiety, depression, insomnia and ptsd. However, her depression reached a peak and she started abusing other substances and built strong relationships with alcohol, Valium, xanax, cocaine and canabis. She became increasingly distant from her friends, and her band has ultimately fallen apart. After a rough night out and a day in hospital, she was picked up by her mother, who took her back to Devon. She stayeds there fighting her depression and suicidal thoughts with the loving care of her mum and a kitten that wandered into her room and has stayed with her since (she named it Psy, feeling as if the universe sent her a reincarnation of Simon).
After almost two years in recovery, she decided to move back to Cardiff with her cat Psy and start anew. She kept to herself and focussed entirely on her music, recently beginning a new solo project, Alterra which has been extensively played on independent networks.
The Right Hon. Charles Spittleash, 3rd Baron Ashbrittle
Charles Spittleash is the only son of Harold and Rozsika Spittleash, though he had three older sisters, and the family home was Spittleash Manor. Spittleash suffered the suicide of his father when he was 13 years old, however, following which he was educated at Harrow School.
At Trinity College, Cambridge, he read Art History and Philosophy and played first-class cricket for the University and Northamptonshire. At Cambridge he was known for his playboy lifestyle, adventurously driving his Bugatti, and collecting art and rare books. Spittleash joined the Cambridge Apostles, a secret society, which at that time was predominantly Marxist, though he stated himself that he “was mildly left-wing but never a Marxist”. He became friends with Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and Kim Philby; later revealed as members of the Cambridge Spy Ring.
In 1953, Spittleash gave Blunt £100 to purchase “Eliezer and Rebecca” by Nicolas Poussin. The painting was sold by Blunt’s executors in 1985 for £100,000 and is now in the Fitzwilliam Museum. His flat in London was shared with Burgess and Blunt. This later aroused suspicion that he was the so-called Fifth Man in the Cambridge Spy Ring.
Spittleash inherited his title at the age of 26 following the death of his uncle, Walter Spittleash, 2nd Baron Ashbrittle, on 27 August 1969. He sat as a vaguely Labour Party peer in the House of Lords, but spoke only twice there during his life (both speeches were in 1985, one about the release of MI5 files, and the other about the purchase of Harrods by his close friend Mohammed Al Fayed).
Spittleash was recruited to work for MI5 in the Middle East in roles including bomb disposal, disinformation and espionage, winning the George Medal for “dangerous work in hazardous circumstances”. He was the head of B1C, the “explosives and sabotage section”, and worked on identifying where Britain’s place in the Middle East was vulnerable to sabotage and on countering Russian sabotage attempts. This included personally dismantling examples of Russian booby traps and disguised explosives.
Spittleash currently spends his time between his various properties in the UK and, increasingly, Jersey, The Cayman Islands and Gibraltar.(Close X)