Question 6: Locked-Up Abroad Raving Arizona

For the next 5 days, I'm going to post a question about the episode and my answer.

What did you learn about yourself during the many years of incarceration?

In prison, I went on an amazing journey of self-discovery. Previously, I’d been zipping through life without considering the consequences of my actions, including the harm drugs cause to society. Prison forced introspection and sobriety. After years of drug use, I felt a cloud lift from my mind. The clarity of vision made me wonder how on earth I was still alive after taking so many drugs and putting myself in so much danger. In jail, Gerard Gravano – the son of Salvatore ‘Sammy the Bull’ Gravano, a Mafia mass murderer – told me he’d once headed an armed crew dispatched to take me out to the desert. Prison forced me to grow up. I saw how emotionally immature, selfish, and foolish my behaviour had been. The pain I caused my family made me ill, but added extra motivation to my soul searching. My mum had a nervous breakdown, which haunts me to this day. I regretted sending people down the road of drug use, which inevitably devastates not just users, but also their families. Shocked, I set out to try and make sense of my behaviour. I submerged myself in psychology and philosophy books. I had counselling with a brilliant neuro-psychotherapist Dr. O, who helped strip the layers of my personality down in order to analyse my inner dynamics. I learned that the bad decisions that led to my arrest stemmed from anxiety and my addictive adrenalin-junkie personality. I started doing drugs as a shy student to socialise because I lacked the strength of my mind to enjoy myself at a party sober. Dr. O said the key to staying out of trouble is to channel my energy into positive things, which is what I do now via writing, karate, gym classes, yoga, and meditation. To this day, I fall back on what he taught me and I’m forever grateful. Meditating for hours on end in prison, going deep inside of myself, gave me a great insight into my personality, especially how my brain manufactures excessive worries and anxiety through thoughts. Over time, I learned to stop such thoughts by concentrating on breathing, which short-circuited my anxiety. We have the ability to heal ourselves with a powerful tool called the brain. Thanks to yoga and meditation, which I practice daily, I’m still tapping into that power.    

I now have a Wiki page.

Shaun Attwood

Question 5: Locked-Up Abroad Raving Arizona

For the next 6 days, I'm going to post a question about the episode and my answer.

Did the police ever catch up with Sol, your ecstasy supplier in Los Angeles?

No. But they caught up with another one of my LA Ecstasy suppliers, DJ Mike Hotwheelz, an Englishman who served federal time and was deported for mailing drugs across state lines. I presently live with Hotwheelz near London. Three times a week we jump around to thumping dance music in a mirrored room with 60 sweaty women – but not at a rave – at an aerobics class called BodyCombat, taught by Tony Coker and Tracey Debenham. We’ve both realised the error of our ways and become fitness fanatics. Our friends at the sports centre find it hard to believe Hotwheelz’ stories about me, such as the time he played at one of my raves, and afterwards in a Scottsdale Hilton villa, he opened the refrigerator in the hope of getting a drink, and found an Uzi submachine gun.

Shaun Attwood

Question 4: Locked-Up Abroad Raving Arizona

For the next 7 days, I'm going to post a question about the episode and my answer.

When you decided to give up the drugs business and get back to trading stock, where did you go? Did you tell your friends or just leave town, knowing that the Mafia was after you?

After separating from Amy, I fell in love with Claudia and moved into an apartment in Scottsdale with her. She talked me into quitting the Ecstasy business. I never let anyone from the drug scene know where we lived. I enrolled in Scottsdale Community College to study Spanish. Unfortunately, my addiction to the drugs and the lifestyle was such that I still heard wolves howling for me to come out and party on the weekends, and I’d sneak off with Wild Man, getting high on GHB, which was my downfall. The evidence the police used against me was mostly calls around that time when I was dumb and desperate enough to talk about personal use on the phone. Although I’d quit dealing Ecstasy by the time the police caught up with me, I’d committed a lot of crimes over the years, so I certainly deserved to be punished. I take full responsibility for putting myself behind bars. 

Shaun Attwood

Question 3: Locked-Up Abroad Raving Arizona

For the next 8 days, I'm going to post a question about the episode and my answer.

At the height of your Ecstasy-dealing career, what was a typical day in your life like?

Waking up late morning involved jumping in the pool with my wife, Amy, swimming laps and frolicking around. We’d head to our favourite Indian restaurant Sher-E-Punjab in Tucson – where I once dropped $30,000 cash on the floor in an envelope and the owner found it, contacted me, and returned it. Later in the day, my right-hand man, Cody Bates, would arrive to discuss my illegal business, including how much cash he’d collected and secured in our safe house, which workers needed more Ecstasy, who was having problems paying for their drugs… To avoid police detection, we only discussed these things in person, never on the phone. If everything was running smoothly, I’d go to a fancy restaurant with my wife such as Anthony’s In The Catalinas or The Gold Room. But when problems arose or key business associates such as the New Mexican Mafia wanted a face-to-face meeting, I’d head to Phoenix, pick up my two tough friends, Wild Man and G Dog, and try to fix things.
Cody Bates is one of several friends I’ve lost to drugs. He hung himself in rehab, an example of the horror of drug use that I tell young people in my talks to schools.   

Question 2: Locked-Up Abroad Raving Arizona

For the next 9 days, I'm going to post a question about the episode and my answer.

When the money started rolling in from selling Ecstasy, what did you spend it on? Any extravagant trips, investments or goods?

Although I had fun spending it, I regret the enormous waste of money. I started using limos like taxis, and spent thousands on clothes. When I first arrived in America with only student credit cards to survive on, I lived off cheese on toast, and bananas, and shopped at Ross Dress For Less, whereas at the peak of my wealth, I’d jump on a plane to go clothes shopping on Melrose Avenue, LA, or Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Most of the money went on raves and lavish after-parties at resort villas that lasted for days. I gave drugs away for free because it suited my ego back then, which was as big as the Grand Canyon. I bought cars and rented apartments for my friends to show off, too. The cost of living in a million-dollar mountainside home with all of my other payments on apartments and cars raised my bills to $20 - $30 thousand per month. I invested in a rave clothing/music store called Sound Factory in Tucson. The Phoenix New Times reported that I flew my ailing grandmother over from England and smuggled money out of the country in the frame of her wheelchair. This is untrue. Not only did I lack the smarts to save any, my grandmother never had a wheelchair. After prison, I was deported back to England with no money or assets whatsoever. Rebuilding my life in the UK, I’m still scratching my head, wondering where it all went.  

Click here for yesterday's answer 

My story in Vice Magazine with pics from my new book Party Time. 

Question 1: Locked-Up Abroad Raving Arizona

For the next 10 days, I'm going to post a question about the episode and my answer.

What was going through your mind as you drove to Los Angeles to pick up your first supply of 500 ecstasy pills? Did you just have the $7,500 cash payment in the car with you?

Driving to LA, not knowing what I was getting into, I was terrified of getting robbed at gunpoint, or kidnapped and held for ransom, or even shot. I thought the police might have Sol’s place under surveillance as he was a known Ecstasy supplier, and maybe follow me, pull me over, search my car and find the drugs, or track me all of the way back to Phoenix, and arrest me there. I was concerned about Sol selling me pills cut with something other than Ecstasy, which is why I insisted on testing one by chewing it. Driven by greed for fast cash, I put myself in a lot of danger. It was foolish and selfish of me not to consider the harm that drugs cause. 

In the car apart from the $7,500 cash was my best friend, Wild Man, twice my size and not lacking in fighting skills. He had instructions to smash Sol’s door down if I didn’t return in fifteen minutes. I had a Sasha and Digweed CD, Renaissance, which I listened to on the way home.

My story in Vice Magazine today with pics from my new book Party Time. 

Thank You Locked-Up Abroad Viewers!

A massive thank you to viewers of Locked-Up Abroad “Raving Arizona.” I just woke up in London to almost 500 messages from America, nearly all offering praise for my family and support for my activism against Sheriff Joe Arpaio. My blog hits have exploded and all of my social media is flooded with comments. Thanks to Nat Geo and Raw TV, I’ve finally realised the dream I set when I stated blogging 10 years ago of showing what really goes on in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jail to the American public.  

Click here to read feedback from viewers and questions I answered on my Twitter: 

The most common questions I’m getting asked:

Where can my books be purchased in the USA?

Do I have Facebook?

Are there more videos of my stuff on the Internet to watch? 

Yes, my YouTube channel includes videos of me talking in schools and videos of guards and gang members murdering prisoners in Arpaio’ jail: 

What is my website? 

Last night, I dreamt Arpaio watched the episode, and didn't like being exposed as a criminal. Please bear with me as I aim to reply to every single message today. I really appreciate all of the interest in my story. 

If you live in Phoenix, Arizona here's a petition to recall Sheriff Joe Arpaio and get him finally booted out of office:

Thanks so much!

Shaun Attwood

Treating Spider Bites in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Jail

Excerpt from Hard Time (featured tonight on Locked-Up Abroad "Raving Arizona").

Someone decided the Russian prisoner, Yordan, was the closest thing we had to a doctor because he'd been in the military and knew how to dress wounds. Inmates from all of the races inundated him with demands for medical treatment due to a menace from the insect world: spiders that crawled on us during the night and bit while we slept. The culprit was rarely seen. Some thought it the brown recluse, others the Arizona brown. Whatever the spider, the result was always the same: during the first few days, the bite would slowly expand from a small white blister to a pus-oozing sore; over the next few, tissue would slough away from the abscess leaving a sunken ulcerated crater, exposing underlying tissue. These holes were sometimes as broad as the palm of a hand. Other side effects included fever, chills, vomiting and shock.

  Alejandro was so big, his flab crept up and down the wall as he breathed during his sleep. With scant room for spiders to manoeuvre around him, he was inevitably bitten. His written requests for treatment were ignored. When the pus began, and Officer Mordhorst rebuffed his pleas for help, inmates from all of the races began to sympathise.

  “Give him treatment!” Gravedigger yelled at Mordhorst in the day room.

  “He must go to Medical. Look at his damn back! He must see a Yankee doctor,” Yordan said.

  “It’s getting worse and worse,” Alejandro said, his face pinched.

  “It’s growing. Look! There’s pus coming out,” OG said.

  “I already told you guys: the Medical Unit does not treat insect bites. That’s the jail’s policy,” Officer Mordhorst snarled.

  “That’s fucked up, dawg,” Troll said, playing spades.

  “You’re shit outta luck,” Tracy said to Alejandro.

  “You’re burnt,” Gravedigger said.     

  Later that day, Yordon entered my cell. “These damn Yankees think I am a doctor.” He seemed strained, yet proud. “Now they want me to take care of Alejandro’s spider bite. Will you help me?”

  “How?” I asked, honoured to be included. 

  “Gravedigger and the others are going to hold Alejandro, so the big bastard doesn’t move, while I squeeze the pus out, and I need from you some salt, and perhaps you will help me put salt on the wound?”

  Revolted by the pus aspect, I didn’t think twice about helping my friend: “Count me in.” Plagued by outbreaks of mouth ulcers due to stress and malnourishment, I’d been collecting the tiny salt packets served with the chow because gargling salt water temporarily relieved the burning sensation the ulcers caused. I retrieved the salt packets from under my mattress, and followed Yordan into the day room. 

  The bullet-wound scars on Alejandro’s back paled in comparison to what looked like a baseball of yellow plasma trying to exit his body. I was flabbergasted that a spider had caused that. When Yordan fingered the wound, thick yellow pus ran down Alejandro’s back, triggering my gag reflex.

  “That’s fucking gross!” Tracy said.

  Gravedigger smiled. 

  “It hurts like fuck! Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” Alejandro asked.

  “Trust me. I was in the Russian military. This wound is easy for me.”

  “He ain’t no doctor!” yelled the big hillbilly, George, sat with the TV-watching crowd. “The commie bastard’ll make you worse!”

  “The irritation will be less when I am finished. Someone bring me toilet paper!” Yordan caught a toilet roll launched from the balcony, unspooled some and swabbed up the pus. “Men, I need you to hold him steady,” he said in the tone a commander reserves for troops entering battle.   

  Gravedigger yanked Alejandro’s right arm and locked it between his forearms and biceps. Two men secured Alejandro’s left side.

  Yordon pressed his thumbs against the wound.

  Alejandro moaned. The wound gushed. “It hurts,” he whined.

  “It hurts! Ah good! It will hurt less when I am finished.” Yordan pressed harder, freeing more pus. I wondered if he knew what he was doing.

  “It fucking hurts!” Alejandro said, his face scrunched.

  “More toilet paper!” Yordan’s eyes followed the pus streaking down Alejandro’s back like egg yolk.

  Sweat was streaming from Alejandro’s short black hair, converging on his neck, branching into tributaries on his body, and coagulating with the baby powder coating his skin.    

  Passing Yordan toilet paper, I hoped that was the last of the pus.

  “We done yet?” Alejandro asked, swaying, destabilising the men holding him.

  “Keep him steady! We are not done! The poison is still coming out! More toilet paper please!” Yordan boomed.

  I quickly unspooled more toilet paper. “Here you go.”

  Yordan cleaned up the fresh pus, and applied pressure to the rim of the lesion. 

  Groaning like a dying elephant, Alejandro shifted, dragging along the men holding him.

  “We need more guys to hold him,” Gravedigger said.

  Everyone in the day room stopped their activities to watch more volunteers steady the big man.

  “I think that is it. One moment! Let me see. No! No! We are not done.” Gazing like a fanatic, Yordan discovered a new region of pus to finger.

  Alejandro groaned and shifted again, he looked as if about to faint.

  “More toilet paper!” Yordan yelled.

  “That must be it,” Alejandro said, sweat dripping from his ears and chin.

  The prisoners eased their hold on Alejandro.

  “Wait, men! Let me see.” Yordan thrust his fingers into the sore. The ejaculation of pus, the largest so far, surprised Yordan, delighted Gravedigger, and shocked the rest of us.

  Alejandro stumbled forward, tugging everyone holding him. They steadied him again. It seemed a pint of pus had come out by now.

  “More toilet paper!” Yordan massaged the area, exhausting the supply of pus. “Now I will apply the salt.”

  I tore open the tiny packets, tipped salt into Yordan’s palm, and cringed at the prospect of what he would do next. Yordan sprinkled salt onto the wound, and rubbed it in. Alejandro wailed so loud the hermits rushed from their cells.

  “There. Thanks to my Russian military training and the solidarity of my Yankee and Limey assistants, you are all fixed up now.” Yordan smiled.

  With their bee stripes stained by a combination of pus, sweat and baby powder, the men released Alejandro to much applause. Alejandro swayed, but didn’t collapse.

by Shaun Attwood author of Hard TimeParty Time and Prison Time 

Other than untreated spider bites, US prisons present various threats such as gang rape and beheadings as told in this video:

And lets not forget gang warfare and riots. The riot I got caught up in, I describe in full here. 

Entering jail feels like this:

That video is from my full Locked-Up Abroad episode:

My jail survival tips:

There are many more prison videos on my YouTube channel.

Links to some of my most popular blog entries over the years:
Rapist on the Yard by Warrior

Chapter 1 From Party Time

We approach two drug dealers, lads about our age, twenty, skulking in a corner of a dark nightclub, skulls shaved. 

“Can we get two hits of Ecstasy and two grams of speed?” my friend asks. 

My fingers and legs start to shake.

“E’s twenty quid. Tenner a wrap of Billy Whizz.” 

“Here you go.” My friend offers our money. 

The dealers exchange looks as if pondering whether to rob us. My body stiffens like plaster setting in a cast. The biggest snatches our cash. The other passes the drugs imperceptibly. They vanish. I worry about getting arrested for possession. It’s 1989, and drug deals rarely end happily on my TV. Bracing for undercover cops to grab us, I spin my eyes around the room. 

My friend yanks my arm, rushes us to the toilets, locks us in a stall. He reveals two white pills and speed meticulously wrapped in little paper rectangles. “You put the Billy Whizz in your drink,” he whispers, tipping white powder into a bottle, “and neck the White Dove.” 

Committing to do drugs is one thing, taking them another. Will I be hooked for the rest of my life? My fear of ending up in an ambulance and my parents finding out recedes as the thrill rises. I can experiment a few times, have fun, quit whenever I want… 

“Come on, get on with it,” he says, having taken his.

I dump the speed into a bottle of Lucozade, pop the pill, take a swig, and gag on the chemical aftertaste. Oh my God! What happens now? I turn to my friend. “How long before I feel it?”  

“Within the hour.”

My friend, tall, blonde, pointy-nosed, is a fellow Economics student at Liverpool University. Raves are making headline news, so I’m at The Thunderdome in Manchester to find out what all the fuss is about. The bare square room with a stage at the front is unimpressive. Only a few people are dancing to music that makes no sense. Repetitive beats and beeps like signals from outer space. Most of the ravers are stood by the walls, gazing at the dance floor as if expecting an elephant to materialise. Nightclubs intimidate me. I feel shy in them. I don’t dare talk to anyone other than my friend. Convinced I’m about to overdose – die even – I spend the next half-hour checking my pulse, timing the beats per minute. 

An expression blossoms on my friend’s face as if he’s having an orgasm. Exuding the kind of bliss seen on angels in medieval paintings, he can’t stop smiling or stand still. He asks me to dance. I haven’t enjoyed dancing since the days of punk rock. I say no. He bounces off. I regret letting him down. Frustrated at the drugs for not affecting me, I finish my drink. I walk towards the bar. My knees buckle, and the strength drains from my legs. I try to soldier on, but wobble as if on sinking sand, and have to sit down.  

Someone kicks me. “Sorry, mate.”

Staring up at a happy raver in baggy jeans, I break into a smile that wraps around my face, and refuses to go away. There’s a strange feeling on my back. Has a bug landed there? I reach over my shoulder to slap it off. No bug. It’s the sensation of my T-shirt against my skin. Running my fingertips up and down the nape of my neck feels like feathers are tickling my skin. Or are my fingers melting into my skin? A sensation so pleasurable, I massage myself. Breathing feels different, too. Each inhale pulses pleasure through my body as if I’m getting fondled by an invisible woman. Smiling at the forest of legs growing around me, I remember going to the bar – but that doesn’t matter anymore, nor does losing my girlfriend, the engine problems with my car, the calculus-heavy five-thousand-word balance-of-payments essay due on Monday morning… The high is demolishing every worry in my life, leaving me no choice but to be happy with the way things are.

The club fills. Time is irrelevant. Ravers are everywhere, a kaleidoscope of coloured clothing. Hugging, grinning, grooving, jumping happiness machines, raising the temperature with their body heat. My desire to join them gains strength – it’s just a matter of time. My high keeps rising, interrupting the flow of my thoughts, making my eyeballs flutter upwards as if under the influence of the moon’s magnetic pull. Hot, I want to take my T-shirt off – pondering the urge melts it away. The music and beeping noises are making sense now. They’re saying, Get off your arse and dance! 

I’m bobbing my head, playing the piano on my thighs when my friend finds me. He smiles. Our eyes sparkle in recognition of each other’s highs.

“Come on,” he says. 

I follow him into the thicket of bodies. He starts to dance. I jump from side to side, trying to find my groove, and settle into the same rocking motion as everyone else. I’m dancing, loving dancing, surprised by how natural it feels, experimenting with moves copied from those around me. My heart is beating hard and in time with the boom-boom-boom blasting from giant black speakers. My arms are jerking up and down as if throwing boulders at the ceiling when everyone stops dancing. Has someone turned the music off? No. Only the beat has stopped, leaving a soothing sound. Hands shoot up. Whistles blow. A machine hisses out smoke. A black woman sings with beauty bordering on spiritual, tingling my skin all over. Piano notes are struck. We sway, our fingers reaching into the beams of the sun laser. An air horn sounds. Bracing for a lorry to plough through the club, I jump. Such an absurd notion makes me laugh aloud. The soulful woman’s voice fades as DJ Jay Wearden mixes in a Guru Josh track: 1990’s… Time for the Guru… A saxophone solo sends a tremor through my body. My eyeballs shiver. In the square room that had bored me earlier, I feel as if I’m at one with God. I never want the party to end.

Click here to buy Party Time (featured tonight on Locked-Up Abroad "Raving Arizona).

Party Time is featured in the Surrey Ad newspaper today.

Shaun Attwood

Locked Up Abroad: "Raving Arizona" Season 9 Episode 3

Here are videos and photos from National Geographic’s “Locked Up Abroad: Raving Arizona,” featuring Shaun Attwood's story. It is episode 3 (season 9) of the critically acclaimed series. It will have its broadcast premiere on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 9 p.m. ET /PT on Nat Geo Channel in America. The one-hour episode is expected to draw 8 to 10 million viewers in America alone, and over 50 million worldwide in 36 countries. It is the first time the conditions in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails will be exposed to such a wide audience. From 2003 to 2007, over 60 people died in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails.

Click here for preview video 1: Living the Life as an Ecstasy Dealer

The new episode reveals the story of Shaun Attwood who left England in pursuit of his dream to live in America and become a stockbroker. Relocating to Phoenix Arizona, he found success as a stockbroker as well as the pressures and the stress that went with the job.

He had been seeking an opportunity to unwind when he went with one of his colleagues to a nightclub in downtown Phoenix, where he takes the drug, ecstasy, in the company of enticing women. The fateful night and the euphoria he feels changes his life forever; he becomes first a habitual ecstasy user and then, a dealer.

His success as an ecstasy dealer outpaces his success as a stockbroker, and he quits the job and becomes a full-time dealer, with the help of some friends he has recruited. He lives for years in lavish circumstances befitting an ecstasy kingpin: luxurious mansion in the mountains, expensive cars, and all the while surrounding himself with beautiful women and holding “raves” — well-attended parties where he introduces people to ecstasy and gives out free samples.

When he tries to return to his old life as a stockbroker — after having a brush with a rival ecstasy ring run by "Sammy the Bull" Gravano, the former underboss of the Gambino Crime Family, an Italian Mafia mass murderer — it is too late and he is busted and winds up in the notorious Madison Street jail which is one of the Maricopa County jails run by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. It is here that he is subjected to intolerable and inhumane conditions, and danger from the skinheads and other gangs that are rampant in the jail. He becomes an onlooker as some skinheads kill someone, and thus witnesses firsthand how and why the jail has such a high rate of murder of its inmates.

He begins to chronicle his experience in the Madison Street jail in a blog, “Jon’s Jail Journal,” by smuggling out his handwritten entries via his weekly visits with his aunt. As time goes by, the site and his unfolding story of the harsh prison conditions in Maricopa County receive worldwide attention.

Click here for preview video 2: No More Running From The Law

Read more about Shaun Attwood’s story and biography, as well as his book, and the advocacy work he does today at his official Web site here.

This episode "Raving Arizona" is based on Shaun's autobiographies, Party Time and Hard Time.

Click here for photo gallery from the new episode. Click here for background details. An overview of season 9 of Locked Up Abroad — including pictures, video, background and biography of participants is here.

Locked-Up Abroad

Don't be afraid if this face pops up on your TV in America. My friend Stephanie Senn just emailed this from California. The ad for my Locked-up Abroad episode is out nationwide. "Raving Arizona" airs on April 24th at 9pm EST in the USA on N...ational Geographic channel, with 8 to 10 million Americans expected to watch it. Here are the trailers and more info on Nat Geo's site:
Shaun Attwood

Mafia Website Mentions Party Time

Cosa Nostra News: "English" Shaun's Prequel, 'Party Time,' Now Avail...: "English" Shaun Fresh from NatGeo , we present the trailer for Locked-Up Abroad "Raving Arizona," which will air o...

Oldham College Visit

With Danni and Kellyann

Shaun Attwood

Another Phoney Arpaio Bomb Plot?

Someone just mailed a bomb to Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Here's the news broadcast:

Bear in mind the last bomb threat in 2004 turned out to be a publicity stunt by Arpaio himself:

With his ratings plummeting, the latest bomb plot was probably devised by Arpaio and his devious publicity team.

Shaun Attwood

Party Time is Published April 11

Party Time on Amazon UK

Party Time with Free Worldwide Delivery

Party Time Kindle USA

Webpage for Party Time with videos

Shaun Attwood arrived in Phoenix, Arizona a penniless business graduate from a small industrial town in England. Within a decade, he became a stock-market millionaire. But he was leading a double life. After taking his first Ecstasy pill at a rave in Manchester as a shy student, Shaun became intoxicated by the party lifestyle that would change his fortune. Making it his personal mission to bring the English rave scene to the Arizona desert, Shaun became submerged in a criminal underworld, throwing parties for thousands of ravers, and running an Ecstasy ring in competition with the Mafia mass murderer “Sammy The Bull” Gravano.  

As greed and excess tore through his life, Shaun experienced eye-watering encounters with Mafia hit men and crystal-meth addicts, extravagant debaucheries with superstar DJ’s and glitter girls, and ingested enough drugs to kill a herd of elephants. This is his story. 
Shaun Attwood  


I had to pick 7 popular tunes to play and discuss (in relation to my life and how they make me feel) on BBC radio tomorrow as part of the Party Time launch. It’s a pre-recorded show, so I’ll post the podcast next week. Here are the 7. If you have any thoughts that might be helpful, please post them in the comments.  

1. – Although the video is rubbish, this is my all time favourite tune from my raving days. No, the girl in the video isn’t my friend, Jessica Arviso

2. - This Moby classic reminds me of when raving began in the UK and the “Madchester” scene

3. Love this tune and the movie/book Trainspotting.

4. – More recent, but so uplifting with a Manchester feel to it.

5.  - Loved listening to Muse in my jail cell on my Walkman. “Chasing starlight. Black holes and revelations.” I’ve been there!

6. “We’re a slave to money and then we die.” Love it.

7 Love the piano sound. It’s an inspirational song about thriving against the odds. From Wiki: The song's Spanish title, "Viva la Vida", is taken from a painting by 20th century Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, which translates into English as "Long Live Life." When asked about the album's title, referring to Frida Kahlo's strength, enduring polio, a broken spine, and a decade of chronic pain, Chris Martin said: "She went through a lot of shit, of course, and then she started a big painting in her house that said 'Viva la Vida', I just loved the boldness of it."[5]

Shaun Attwood 

First Review of Party Time

Written by the journalist Mike Peake.

Riveting Prequel

I hugely enjoyed Attwood's previous book Hard Time, the author's gripping account of his hellish stay in a US jail following his arrest on drug charges, and Party Time is the much-anticipated prequel that fills in a lot of the blanks.
His story really begins when he arrives as a young hopeful from the north west of England in Arizona with a dream to make a million - but he is soon yearning for the rave scene he so enjoyed back home... and the drugs that went with it. Working overtime to make it as a stockbroker, Attwood begins burning the candle at both ends as his party-mad alter ego comes to the fore, and with the pill-popping comes pill-trading, followed by big money, an entourage, a growing reputation as the town's main Ecstasy-dealer and, inevitably, a cast of nefarious characters lurking in the wings. The ambitious young man from Widnes becomes increasingly paranoid as a succession of people let him down, and when his local supremacy is challenged by violent rival gangs he realises that this is not the world he envisioned. There's no easy way out, though, when so much money and so many friendships are at stake, and his growing sense of unease/desperation is palpable. I'd have liked more information about the amounts of money that changed hands, and I also found some of his 'posse' hard to engage with, but this is a great, cautionary tale about what can happen when ambition becomes entwined with a life of crime - and a seemingly-decent guy finds himself immersed much, much deeper than he bargained for. Recommended.

Party Time on Amazon UK

Party Time with Free Worldwide Delivery

Party Time Kindle USA 

Shaun Attwood