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Changes: Patrick Cox

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Annie [00:00:05] Hello and welcome to Changes. Hello, folks. It's Annie Macmanus here. I hope you're doing good. My big change this week is I have a tiny little kitten curled up by my feet. I never really thought I'd be into cats. I don't know why. I just never. I always thought I was a dog gal. But, yes, since getting this kitten I'm really understanding the pull of having a cat. And if you listen to the episode with Gabor Mate you will have heard me complaining about rattling around the house all day on my own, and this cat has really helped with that. I have to say, it's just lovely to have another sentient being around just to talk to and you know, they can miaow back. So it's really ideal. We've been talking a lot about incremental changes on the podcast, those really small little tweaks that you can make to your life that really contribute to a sense of well-being. And you've been messaging me with what you've been doing, and it's lovely to hear, you know, everything from having cold showers instead of hot showers or getting up every morning and just having a 20 minute walk to yourself. These things are small but can end up being really big in terms of impact to your daily kind of sense of fulfilment, I suppose. So yeah, let's keep talking about change. I'm mad for it. And this week's episode of Changes features some extreme change in terms of our guests life. Let's hear from him. 

Patrick [00:01:39] I knew I needed to change my life completely. It was toxic, my life in London. I was doing way too many drugs, not really going out, not using London, not going to museums, not going to this because I felt the need that I had to perform and be Patrick. The one that they wanted, not the one who was actually really sad and depressed and really didn't want to talk to anybody. 

Annie [00:01:58] That is the voice of Patrick Cox. Patrick Cox was the most sought after shoe designer of the nineties. He created the infamous modern style loafer, the Wannabe, which was wanted and worn by everyone across the decade of the nineties. Every pop star you can think of had them. George Michael, Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Boy George. I mean, the list goes on. As many as 1 million pairs a year were sold. They were not men's shoes, they were unisex and they were completely aspirational and kind of classless too. Worn across raves, across football terraces, as well as the red carpet. Patrick was as famous as his shoes. He lived the high life, was infamously nicknamed by Janet Jackson. You will hear this in this conversation. And he was great friends with Elton John, Kylie, Elizabeth Hurley. Safe to say, Patrick has experienced some extreme highs in his life. Alongside those highs, there has been crippling lows. Patrick now lives in Ibiza, and he is a disciple and facilitator of a psychedelic called Toad that comes from the venom of a specific type of toad, that I think originates in Mexico. So his life has changed dramatically since the nineties, and I wanted to hear all about it. So I was in a Ibiza last month doing some DJ'ing and I called by his beautiful villa and sat on his terrace amongst the wind chimes and the birds and spoke to Patrick about his life changes, including his latest experience with the toad poison. Now I should of course say that this is not an endorsement in any way of toad, but purely a sharing of Patrick's personal experience. I was tempted to ask him if he had any, but I did have a corporate gig that night for a management consultancy firm at Ushuaia, and I didn't think it was probably a good idea to rock up there a little bit loose from this toad *laughs*. But no, in all seriousness, I was fascinated to hear about everything. So, how and why does a man go from being an A list shoe designer with the most bonkers celebrity stories, to working with psychedelics in Ibiza? Let's find out. Well Patrick Cox, hello. Welcome and thank you for being on Changes. 

Patrick [00:04:17] Thank you. And welcome to my home in Ibiza. 

Annie [00:04:19] It's so beautiful. It's going to be very hard to keep my eyes on you and not on the just overwhelmingly beautiful view of the pool and then just the hills stretching into the distance. It's lovely to be here. 

Patrick [00:04:30] Thank you. 

Annie [00:04:30] So let's start, if you don't mind, with the childhood change. 

Patrick [00:04:33] Okay. 

Annie [00:04:34] Tell me about the move and also the moves. 

Patrick [00:04:39] Well I'll lead up to the move, the big move. But I'm born in Western Canada, Edmonton, Alberta, 1963. In 1965, my parents moved us, my real brother, my mom, my dad to Lagos, Nigeria. My dad worked for the Canadian International Development Association, CIDA. So we weren't diplomats, but it was such a small international community way back then. So we were in the diplomatic committee, but we weren't diplomats. We lived there two years. The Biafran War broke out. Essentially, you know, millions, millions died. 

Annie [00:05:10] Can you remember anything from this time? Being like-

Patrick [00:05:14] I mean, you know, it's your reality. 

Annie [00:05:15] It's normal life.Yeah.

Patrick [00:05:16] You know, I remember, you know, we didn't really have TV and things like that back then. So I remember going to the British ambassador's house to watch Batman every Saturday and, you know, having English things and then going to the American ambassador's house and having hamburgers. And, you know, it was a very small little community sort of thing. 

Annie [00:05:31] When war broke out did you leave then? 

Patrick [00:05:32] We didn't leave for a long time. But the people who worked for us were all Igbo, which was the tribe that was fighting the Yoruba and they all had to leave. And then my mom just said, you know, we got to go *laughs* this isn't a place to raise kids with machine guns at night whatever. This is not a place to raise kids. So then we moved to Chad. So out of the frying pan and literally into the fire. Moved into the middle of the Sahara Desert. We lived there a year, kind of as wards of the state. Like this was the president's house and this was the preface house, which is like a prime minister next to it. And this was our house *laughs*. 

Annie [00:06:06] Wow, yeah. 

Patrick [00:06:06] Our whole garden, our whole yard was sand. The servants grew peanuts because that was the only thing that grew in the actual sand. There was a river at the end of the road and we learnt the rule don't go out at night because if you get between the water and a hippo you're dead sort of thing. So there were hippos and crocodiles coming out of the river at night. It was wild *laughs*. 

Annie [00:06:26] And you were expecting this with your brother? 

Patrick [00:06:28] Yeah. 

Annie [00:06:28] How old was he? What was the difference there? 

Patrick [00:06:30] He's two years older than me. 

Annie [00:06:31] Two years older than you. Okay, so you had it. You had a buddy to run around with.

Patrick [00:06:35] Me and my brother never really got along until the last, let's say, three years. 

Annie [00:06:39] Interesting. 

Patrick [00:06:40] So it wasn't really the dynamic you'd hoped for. 

Annie [00:06:44] Yeah. And what kind of people were your parents? 

Patrick [00:06:46] So if you look at my mum and dad's wedding picture from 1959, she's like something out of like ---. She's got catseye glasses, got like a prom dress on. 

Annie [00:06:55] So we know where you got your fashion credentials from. 

Patrick [00:06:58] *Laughing* yeah. And my dad, you know, he was from the east end of London. He moved to Canada, met my mum. So he looks like someone out of the Beatles. He's got this skinny little suit, skinny little tie and just looks so English next to my like prom queen mum sort of thing. And then the sixties arrived and you know, people went one way or the other. My mum just wanted to be a suburban housewife. I mean, she got dragged all over the world by my dad. And my dad- 

Annie [00:07:20] She didn't really love the travel aspect. 

Patrick [00:07:23] Umm. She was still in love with her husband and she loved her children. So she was doing what she could do but it was a lot to throw someone into that.

Annie [00:07:30] It's alot to ask. Because he's going to work. She's the one at home. 

Patrick [00:07:32] Yeah so she's at home dealing with everything. You know and then you know, in Chad she didn't speak French, so that was a problem already. Me and my brother learnt- my father is a linguist. He speaks about ten languages. That's what he does for a living, you know, teaches at university and studies languages. So me and my brother picked up French very quickly, which mainly we would argue in French so my mum didn't understand what we were saying *laughs*.

Annie [00:07:53] And that's isolating isn't it. 

Patrick [00:07:53] It's so isolating. When even your children are isolating you. I can't imagine. I mean, that's something I've learned in my disagreements with my mother of my life is empathy. For their feelings. So we live there and then we left and then we went to Cameroon and we were going to stay a full seven year placing that my dad had booked up for in Cameroon. And within a year my mum announced to me and my brother, we're going home without dad. So that was essentially the divorce. That was, I think 1971. 

Annie [00:08:24] And did you remember any of that? Can you remember anything from that? Was there signs?

Patrick [00:08:26] I remember all of that. Yeah, there was arguing all the time. And my dad was very condescending to my mum. He was an academic. He was an intellectual. So he hung out with his students. He hung out with, you know, university profs. He got long hair, earrings, started smoking pot. My dad listened to Santana, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones *laughs*. 

Annie [00:08:47] Yeah, yeah. 

Patrick [00:08:49] I remember, I met Mick Jagger at a party like, what, early nineties. I can't remember, at a Notting Hill Party I was smoking a joint and he came over into me like can I have some of that? I was like, sure *laughs*. And then we just sat there on the bed smoking pot and my friend's like, oh my God, he's sitting in this bedroom at this party smoking pot with Mick Jagger. So I didn't have very much of a relationship with my dad but I remember how much Mick Jagger meant to my dad so I called him up and told him. And he's just so stuck in his class warfare. He was like, middle class art school ponts. It was all about the Beatles. They were working class. And I went, oh my fucking God, dad. 

Annie [00:09:21] Yeah, that's Mick fucking Jagger. 

Patrick [00:09:21] I don't even care! I was just giving you a story to try to bridge a 20, 30 year gap between us and you still shoot me down. So then we came back, I remember saying to my mom, what's Canada like? And she went to the kitchen, opened the freezer, and pointed inside and went, 'like that!'. 

Annie [00:09:39] Woooow. I mean, that's incredibly accurate.  

Patrick [00:09:42] Yeah. 

Annie [00:09:42] Especially for child. 

Patrick [00:09:43] Especially Edmonton, Alberta, too. We're talking 60 below zero is normal, you know, not every day, but it can happen. So we move back. Somewhere mid-air my father decided to cancel our credit cards and in the seventies a woman didn't exist. She was an extension of her husband. She wasn't Maureen Cox. She was Mrs. Terry Cox. So we landed in safari suits. *Laughing* you know, like literally linen. And it was 30 below zero when we landed. And my mom took us straight to the Hudson's Bay Company, which is like a department store. And went to buy us full snow suits and down --- and everything and they cut up the card in front of her. And that was our welcome, welcome home to Canada. 

Annie [00:10:24] Oh my God. 

Patrick [00:10:25] And that was what I say is the biggest change in my life because, yes, there was all sorts of turmoil going on in Africa and things like that. But it was such a free childhood. You know, I would get sent home from school constantly in Canada for being a fantasist because they're like, he's talking about elephants again. He's talking about gor-, you know, and it's like, no, no, no. We lived in Africa *laughs*. That was one of my biggest changes of my life. It wasn't going to Africa because I knew no better. It was coming back to the stifling conformity of suburbia and to vastly reduce circumstances and having what happened to us, you know, living in a basement flat, me and my brother sharing a room, my mum being a full time worker. It was just the normality of it and the oppressive weather, you know? It's oppressive being in Chad when it's 40 above but you could do things still. You can go chase snakes. 

Annie [00:11:20] Yeah, it must have been a culture shock, I mean, serious culture shock. And also just being around white people *laughs* constantly. 

Patrick [00:11:23] Yeah, yeah. It was just, all of a sudden you're like, oh wow! And I mean, in Edmonton there are alot of black people but the bigger culture shock with me was going to school and having someone swear at me. And you know, I went home to my mom and I was like what does *duh duh duh duh* mean? My mum was like, where the hell did you hear that? Because we were in a bubble in this little international community. 

Annie [00:11:43] Yeah. 

Patrick [00:11:43] So it was just this sense of otherness. 

Annie [00:11:46] Everything around you has been turned upside down. Your family unit. 

Patrick [00:11:50] And then being accused by authority figures of sort of, making it up. Being a fantasist. So there was an injustice to it, which I just started to have this internal rebel system that I was always going to work for myself. I was never going to work for anyone else. I was just all these sort of things because I just believed kind of, the game was rigged. And there was nothing I could do to it, so I had to just do it my way. 

Annie [00:12:14] And you left when you were 17? 

Patrick [00:12:15] Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Annie [00:12:16] Was that always on the cards? You're always getting out? 

Patrick [00:12:18] I didn't know it was going to be quite so extreme as it was. My mother and I had not got along a lot. You know, she was very disciplinarian, to put it mildly. And I've done work since and I just realised she was just reacting to the situation that she had her hand, you know. Because I spoke to my mom recently and she said, 'I was just so angry' and I was like, you know, I get it. I don't get all the things you did, I said, but you know there has to be a sense of empathy, you know, because she wasn't happy with her lot and she had two very mouthy, very intelligent gay children, gay sons. Because my brother's gay too. 

Annie [00:12:55] Right okay. 

Patrick [00:12:55] Yeah. So she had that at home all day long, which cannot be easy. 

Annie [00:12:59] When did you realise? 

Patrick [00:13:01] I always knew I was gay. Probably since the age of about four. Just noticed I was looking that way, instead of looking that way. I wasn't going to do anything. But you just knew something. 

Annie [00:13:10] But did you know what gay was? 

Patrick [00:13:11] Not really. I just knew something was different. I was not doing what everyone else was doing. Well, no one was doing anything, but just not arguing over a pretty girl or, you know, all those sort of things. 

Annie [00:13:21] That's kind of wonderful, isn't it, that you had that self awareness and didn't have to go through that? 

Patrick [00:13:25] Well, it was the- the struggle, and it was my brother's gayness *laughs*. 

Annie [00:13:29] Did you know he was gay? 

Patrick [00:13:30] Well, I think- My mom and my dad went away. And the Rocky Horror Picture Show was playing in town, and I was 15 and my brother was 17, and him and his boyfriend and this guy that was practically a drag queen, very camp, came over and getting ready and I said, I want to go, I want to go, I want to go. And he goes, mmm, my God no way are you coming to see. 

Annie [00:13:46] Were you out at this point?

Patrick [00:13:46] No, no, no, no. He didn't knew nothing at all. And there only was two gay clubs in Edmonton, so he would have known sort of thing. So I took him aside and I said, does it help if I tell you I know you're gay. And he goes, you what? I said, Jesus Christ. *Laughing* It's so obvious, I think I've walked in on you and your boyfriend several times, you think I haven't figured out by now. And so they eventually let me go to Rocky Horror or whatever, and I said, don't tell mom. My brother instantly that night I think told mom. So she became very liberal in that way. So she let his boyfriend stay over because she would say these Shakespearean things like, 'the whole world has shunned them. I cannot shun them in my own house'. And I was like, okay! Calm down momma. 

Annie [00:14:24] Love the drama. 

Patrick [00:14:24] Yeah, drop the drama level just a little. And then when I announced that I was gay, she just kind of went berserk on me. She's like, you can't be gay. Your dad was always like that. She goes, you were good at sports. You're popular. People like you. And I was like, you don't have to be bad at sports and disliked to be gay *Annie laughs*. Like, whoa, and I'm not really good as far as like, I just don't get killed but, you know, lets not get carried away here. And I was out of the house within a few months after that, things just broke. So I moved out. My brother had broken up with his boyfriend. His boyfriend lived in downtown Edmonton, so I moved in with him. We had become friends, so we were friends. And I had accelerated my learning at school because I was kind of ahead anyway. So once I moved out during the summer, I went to Alberta College. It's an adult college, so everybody was adults doing higher education or whatever. And me. And I did my last year of school in six months. I accelerated. I walked down the street, I got a job in Safeway in the fruit and veg department. 

Annie [00:15:29] Love it. 

Patrick [00:15:29] A lot of kinky stuff goes on in the produce department let me just tell you! *Laughs*. 

Annie [00:15:34] I bet. 

Patrick [00:15:34] The things I witnessed, I was like whoa, who knew! *Annie laughs* Who knew! And then as soon as I finished, within six months, then the next year I moved to Toronto. 

[00:15:43] *Short musical interlude*

Annie [00:15:54] So, your second change, of which there's two parts *Patrick laughs*, and we're going to focus on part one now. Tell me about this big change that happened to you with regards to shoes. 

Patrick [00:16:04] To shoes. Okay. So I knew nothing about fashion. I mean, you know, when I finally eventually arrived to Europe and met people like a John Galliano or something like that, I was like, why are they talking? You know, I was you know, I was a kid from the suburbs. To me, fashion was, you know, Dynasty. You know, it was what I saw on TV that was my number one source. And I used to watch a show called American Bandstand, which is, I guess, America's equivalent to England's Top of the Pops. 

Annie [00:16:30] Oh, right. Okay. 

Patrick [00:16:30] And it was disco. And I was obsessed with disco. I was obsessed with platform shoes. All my memories go with platform shoes. I mean, visiting England during Donny Osmond being number one and going to Petticoat Lane. And there was an article and paper about people falling down the escalators in London because they're wearing platforms. 

Annie [00:16:48] Because of the shoes. 

Patrick [00:16:48] And it was the Bieber time. And then my favourite bands were Abba. Platforms. KISS. Platforms. Elton. Platforms. 

Annie [00:16:55] All very extra, by the way. Loving it. 

Patrick [00:16:58] Well, it was the seventies, you know. I didn't go for the Hard Rock guys, I went for the glam ones. I mean, Bowie didn't make a dent in Western Canada, so I'm sorry, but I didn't know anything about Bowie. I will say the Bay City Rollers became quite big and they was a quite a big shoe, too. So I got into the power of dressing up, going to nightclubs after I came out, noticed that I was being noticed. And then when I moved to Toronto, it accelerated greatly. There was more of a scene. There were more clubs. I started to be noticed. I appeared in the paper a couple of times for, you know, what I wore that day, things like that. Then I got asked to be doorman of the trendiest club in town, which was called Voodoo. And then I started working with a clothing designer, not because I knew how to cut a pattern or had even been to one date of fashion school, but because they liked having me around. I knew everything that was going on. I had a great style, what I was wearing. And that man was a designer called Lucas Clay Anthos, which is one of Canada's biggest designers. And he, while I was working on the shoes for a fashion show for him, said to me, 'I went to London in 1976 during punk years. There's a shoe college there. You should go to that'. All I heard in that sentence was London. 

Patrick [00:18:04] *Both laugh*. Freedom. London. Because everything, you know, I liked hip hop and what was coming out of New York in the early eighties. But I much more identified with England, I had an English passport since birth, so it was just calling me. So I flew to London in May 1983 to find the college and do some shopping and do some clubbing. I did some shopping. I did some clubbing. I didn't even think of finding the college *laughs*. And so I got back to Toronto and I went, oh shit I never found a college *laughs*. 

Annie [00:18:31] *Laughs* I was supposed to find a good college. 

Patrick [00:18:33] And I'm moving in September, my lease is up on my apartment. I'm like, what am I doing? So the friends I'd met here in London connected me with the college. Cordwainer's college was unknown of at the time. I mean, now you'd have to submit a portfolio and go through an interview process and probably 500 people apply for the 30 positions. I got accepted and then went and then it was, you know, people say, why shoes? I said, I could have been staring at hats. I could have been staring at really anything. It was my determination to not fail and go back to Canada. It was my determination to go forward. In school I was a swat. I never did anything remotely artistic. It was physics, chemistry, biology, maths, French, English, German. And the reason why is because I didn't want someone else's opinion. I wanted to be right or wrong, and this is how. Where with art, I could have killed myself and they're going, I don't like it. 

Annie [00:19:22] Yeah. It's subjective. 

Patrick [00:19:24]  And I just couldn't deal with that grey area. Now I live my life in the grey because I've learnt that not everything is black and white. So I just rationalise it to myself that shoes were more like architecture because a shoe standing on its own is like a building. It has an inside, an outside and a concealed supporting structure. And the seam allowances and everything is so precise on footwear. I talked myself into it that I could do it. And then I moved to London, had fun. And then New Year's Eve. New Year's Eve, between 1983 and 1984. I'm in the loo of this speakease that used to exist in Soho called Pink Pussycat. It's about two in the morning. I'm in the bathroom and all the Vivienne Westwood gang come into the bathroom. 

Annie [00:20:08] So when you say her gang, you mean her friends or her team? 

Patrick [00:20:10] No no, her team, her team. People from the store, people from the studio. Things like that. People who'd be my age. And this is going to sound crazy but Vivienne was half the reason I moved to England. I was obsessed by her, you know, she was the most amazing things. And really represented freedom, represented London. And they came over like, you're that American boy that shops in our store. And I went, Canadian, actually. We like you, you can hang out with us, basically. You know, I'd been accepted into the fold, which sounds so ridiculous, but meant sooo much. 

Annie [00:20:40] Of course, yeah.

Patrick [00:20:40] Because I'd only lived in London for six months at this point. I was still going, what the hell is going on? I don't understand this place at all. And that was the beginning. And then that was New Year's Eve. And then David Staines, Vivienne's right hand man. He needed a place to live. I had been staying with some people and outworn my welcome, so I got a flat and he moved in with me. And then, like February, another month later, Vivienne and him were designing the collection. They realise they'd forgotten all about the shoes. And so David said, oh, my flat mates a shoe designer. I'm in my first year in college, I knew nothing *Annie laughs*. I know absolutely nothing. So I go to a meeting with Vivienne and sit across from my goddess, and she pulls out this three tongue sneaker that was a development on the white square toad one they'd done in the witches collection, I don't know if you know but these are all iconic Vivienne shoes. And she said, what do you think? And so I just made some suggestion. I said, you know, make it in patent so it's not quite so sneaker like and everything. And it had a real rounded feel. And I said, why don't we round the platform on the sole, just put a little platform around it so it just has a whole round Minnie Mouse feeling. I did not know that she was working on the mini crini collection. 

Annie [00:21:44] At the time. 

Patrick [00:21:44] And it was all rounds and polka dots and round shapes and everything. 

Patrick [00:21:47] So that went down really well. And that was the beginning of doing that. Vivienne had no money. I mean, I worked at the store at the time. We could only take cash because we had no credit cards. We had to follow the clients around with candles because there was no electricity. I mean, she was literally, there was nothing going on at that point. So I organised getting the shoes done, in the meantime while doing what Vivienne asked for, I'd gone and done something of my own accord. So I designed this- It had about a four inch platform, gold knotted sandal. It was a cross between like Ferragamo and Minnie Mouse sort of thing. And I'd made three pairs of my own accord. And so as I'm unpacking the shoes in Viviennes hotel room and they're going through everything, I pulled out these. And you know, I just waited white and she looked at them and she went 'ughh, platforms. How seventies'. Which has come back to haunt her *both laugh*. People have worn platforms ever since but at the time she was not ready for it. So did the shoes for the show. The show is mega late. It's 2 hours late. People are walking out. Bedlam backstage and everything and they were still styling the show. And so they just threw all the clothes and all the shoes in the middle of the room after doing one outfit for each model. And they said, when you come off the runway, just throw yourself in the pile, get something and get back out there. Someone, not me, threw the gold platforms into the pile. So the gold platforms, the girls loved them, the models of course. So they ended up going out way more than three times, even though there only were three pairs. And that was kind of the start of everything. In the audience was John Flett, John Galliano, you know, all the next wave of British designers. And I kind of became the go to shoe guy of British Fashion Week for the eighties. 

[00:23:19] *Short musical interlude*

Annie [00:23:24] But of course you are known most well for the Wannabe. 

Patrick [00:23:26] For the Wannabe loafer. 

Annie [00:23:29] Now, you have described the success of that Wannabe loafer as the perfect storm, in an interview that I read. And I wondered, maybe you could talk me through the factors that contributed to Wannabe being as big as it was, in your opinion? 

Patrick [00:23:43] Wow. Yeah *laughs*. I used to say, am I riding the wave or am I just holding on for dear life and just hoping the wave doesn't kill me? Because people were like, you're doing this well, you're handling it really well. I was like, ermmmm! This wasn't planned. This was not planned. This giant wave hitting me. I have always said that if it wasn't necessarily me or a contemporary of me, someone British, someone living that lifestyle inland at the time that had designed the Wannabe loafer. If it had been an Italian designer or a French designer, and it was just a shoe and there was no ethos behind it, that it would have done what it did and faded and gone away. It wouldn't have built and built and built and become what it was. I think there's so many things that were confluent at the same times. One of the huge things being Britpop. I mean, I became the shoe ambassador of England. You know, there was Doc Martins, obviously. And then for that period, Wannabe loafers. You know, if you saw a group of English people together, you'd just look down and see they all had Wannabes on. I mean, it just became, you know, the uniform and everything. And Cool Britannia took over the world, remember the Cool Britannia cover. 

Annie [00:24:44] Mmmhmm. I sure do. 

Patrick [00:24:45] Of Vanity Fair. So Cool Britannia took over the world. So whoever was cool in Tokyo, in New York, in Milan, wherever, had Wannabe loafers, and it just became something more than that. It also lasted longer than, let's say, a shoe trend because they were so damn comfortable *laughs*. You know, another perfect confluence is that nightclubs didn't allow sneakers in at this point. So people wanted dancing shoes. So Wannabes, I mean the dance floor was just a sea of Wannabes, you know. If I was ever in a bad mood one day, I lived in Notting Hill, I'd just walk down to Portobello, sit in a cafe and by the time I got to whatever number I chose that day. 100, 200 pairs. I'd feel validated and go back home! *Both laughing* I'd know how much money I'd made. And I was like, they love me! They love me. 

Annie [00:25:28] I love it. 

Patrick [00:25:31] It was yeah, it was twisted times, but exciting times. Exciting times. 

Annie [00:25:36] So when it was at its peak, tell me about the reality of being in that bubble when it was at its complete peak. It was berserk at one point. 

Patrick [00:25:43] It was, but it was pre cameras. Pre Instagram. Everything then seems so much more rich because it's just amplified around the world. But then it also feels more real because there only were four people in the room. And there really were only four people in the room. And not one of them took a picture and then broadcast it to the rest of the world, you know. So there was an authenticity. There was a complete amateur hour. I mean, we just were throwing ourselves into it. I mean, my company sold 2000 pairs of shoes a season, pre designing the Wannabe loafer. 

Annie [00:26:12] So this is your shop. You had your shop pre Wannabe, right? 

Patrick [00:26:15] Yeah. Yeah. 

Annie [00:26:15] In Chelsea. 

Patrick [00:26:18] Yeah, on Simon Street. 

Annie [00:26:18] Yeah. So you're selling 2000 pairs. 

Patrick [00:26:21] Worldwide, 4000. Then we launched Wannabe. The first season, we set a goal of 10,000. We sold 20. The next season we sold 100, and next season we sold 250,000. So we went in 13 months from being a company where I was me and two people. That was the whole company and I worked in the store. When I wasn't in Italy I worked in the store, you know. And then all of a sudden, you know, we had to manage the queue. There would be 300 people in line at the front of the store. There would be German MTV going up and down and interviewing the line, why are you standing in front of the shoe store. There would be style magazines, you know, from Tokyo. There would just be this insanity. Then we had to get a bouncer because all my friends who work in press were like, we can't ever get to the shoes because, you know, if we come on the weekend, there's a five hour queue. So we had to have a guest list and we had to have a bouncer *Annie laughs*. And then the bouncer asked my PR, can you do the press for me? And she goes, what exactly do you do? And he goes well, I'm doing all these interviews. She goes, you're doing those interviews cause you're standing in front of our store. If you just moved two doors down you're not going to be doing any interviews *laughs*. And so he got annoyed by that, and then he would start to make me wait at the door. Junior's days were numbered *laughs*. Because I wouldn't go, 'I'm Patrick Cox!' to the whole line up. I was just like, oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. 

Annie [00:27:32] Yeah. 

Patrick [00:27:33] And then it just steamrolled in every single country, just, you know, the next country would hit, the next country would hit, the next country would hit. It just grew and grew and grew. 

Annie [00:27:40] And Michael Jackson's people sent like- 

Patrick [00:27:43] Yeah, so it was for the Bad album cover. He was going to change his look. They got him to stand on a piece of paper and then they faxed the piece of paper to me because we couldn't arrange to see him, whatever. And so we made these shoes and made these really great loafers. Some of them had chain mail across where the keeper is on a loafer. Some of them had a metal plaque with MJ in. But you know, just perfect for him everything. And then there was just absolute silence. 

Annie [00:28:06] Yeah. 

Patrick [00:28:06] And then the whole project came out and he was wearing whips and chains and zippers and the Jerry curl hair and everything and were like, what happened? And there was allegedly a decision to not go forward with that look. 

Annie [00:28:16] Right. 

Patrick [00:28:17] So I never- I did make shoes for Michael. He's wearing my shoes in the Scream video. He's wearing them in a couple of the videos. 

Annie [00:28:23] What a moment. What a moment!

Patrick [00:28:25] Well I mean name someone-

Annie [00:28:28] So what are your favourite, like in terms of cultural moments, that your shoes kind of existed in. What are your favourites or maybe ones that you're most proud of? 

Patrick [00:28:38] Kind of chronologically. One really wild one was I designed this black and white rolled tongue shoe in about 85, 86. It was one of the shoes I ended up giving to John in his show, John Galliano. And in one week on the Terry Wogan show, boy George, Elton John and the lead singer of Wet Wet Wet wore the same black and white loafers. 

Annie [00:28:59] Wow, incredible.

Patrick [00:29:02] *Laughing* and I was like, I don't even know who Terry Wogan is. I just know it's a really big deal in England *both laugh. But it really felt like I'd become British. 

Annie [00:29:08] Yeah, yeah. 

Patrick [00:29:09] It really felt like I'd become British. And then when they were talking about the football terraces just being a sea of Wannabe loafers, that I loved. 

Annie [00:29:16] Because they were Democratic shoes.  

Patrick [00:29:18] Yeah and I'm not preaching to a gay fashion crowd or an elitist crowd. I'm preaching to frickin lads *laughs*, you know? 

Annie [00:29:23] Yeah. 

Patrick [00:29:25] That, you know, probably wouldn't be that friendly to me maybe if they met me themselves. But it just transcended. It transcended everything and also in Italy, there's this generic thing like a desert boot is called a Clark. Chelsea Boot is called a Beatles because it was associated with  the Beatles. So I wanted a Wannabe or Vannabe, as they would say in italy, to just become oh, that's a high cut, square toed loafer *duh duh duh duh*. So that's what I- I was aiming for generic, ubiquitous *laughs*. 

Annie [00:29:54] Well I mean you say-

Patrick [00:29:56] Ubiquity. 

Annie [00:29:56] You say you were a super smart kid, you're ambitious, you had a point to prove. Clearly you had ambition. And it's all very well going from a shop with three people in it. But you have to then have the brainpower and the kind of tenacity to get big fast in order to accommodate the demand. Like that is hard. 

Patrick [00:30:16] Yeah. 

Annie [00:30:17] You didn't have a business map like- 

Patrick [00:30:18] No *laughs*. 

Annie [00:30:19] You had to expand, you had to find a factory, you had to, you know. Right? 

Patrick [00:30:23] Yeah and I mean, I was in Italy Monday to Friday for 20 years. I dream in Italian still because there was a period of my life where I spoke obviously way more Italian than I did English. I spoke English when I called back to London to check how things were going, but my day to day life was in Italian. And then if I wasn't in Italy Monday to Friday, then in one week I would probably do two days in Tokyo, 24 hours in New York, one day in Paris and two days in London, and then again back to Italy. I mean, it was just non non stop. I remember being in Tokyo and seeing the Japanese PR's call sheet and it was like: 8:01, Mr. Cox... 8:02, get an elevator. 

Annie [00:31:06] Oh, that's terrifying. That gives me the fear. 

Patrick [00:31:06] 8:05 get a car, and I'm like how many pages does that go on for?! You know, my life got down to being timed in minutes at that point. It was great. 

Annie [00:31:12] Did that suit you at the time? Were you happy to be swept along by it all? 

Patrick [00:31:16] You know, it was a way of feeding, I don't wanna say the demon, but it appeased my insecurities. Because continually during all of this, I had, you know, imposter syndrome. The entire time I'm going, they're going to figure out I don't know anything. I mean, you're selling millions of pairs, whatever, they're going to figure it out. They're going to figure it out. They're going to figure it out. So the whole time I had that but it appeased that. That need to be loved, that need to be safe, that need to belong. So I made my company and the fashion world, *laughing* not a great world to make it the be all and end all of your life. But I made that, you know, very much my family. 

Annie [00:31:55] Yeah. Yeah. And, like beyond work, which I can't imagine there was much time for. I can imagine you were invited to every single party in town and like part- you know, social opportunities were-

Patrick [00:32:05] Party Pat. 

Annie [00:32:06] Party part. 

Patrick [00:32:06] Party Pat, yeah. 

Annie [00:32:06] So how do you feel about party back now? Looking back? 

Patrick [00:32:09] It was great. 

Annie [00:32:10] We just have to say that Janet Jackson is the one who christened you Party Pat. It's very important for people to know that. 

Patrick [00:32:18] *Laughing* yes. I was at an Oscar party, as you do, one of the very first Elton Oscar parties that I went to. So this is like 97, 98, whatever. And she was at another table and I was at my table. And then when the show's over, they clear back all the tables and get them to come in and then dance and everything. And so my table didn't get moved because of where it was, but everyone else's table moved. And so I'm sort of dancing and grooving on my own and everything. She just comes up to me and she's like, I like your style. I like the way you move. And I went, what? And my table was there and it was empty because everyone had got up and everything. I said, ooo come sit down and join me. And so she came and sat and joined me. And then all these other people, because it's Janet Jackson, came up and started to hang out and everything, and Lisa Marie Presley, all these sort of people. And then she just said, I'm going to call you Party Pat, she goes, wherever you go there's a party. 

Annie [00:33:05] Oh my God.

Patrick [00:33:06] And that was it. And I loooove Janet. 

Annie [00:33:09] Ohhhh what a day. 

Patrick [00:33:10] So that was a big moment. I mean, there's all sorts of crazy celebrity moments. I mean, I had an amazing time until it wasn't. 

[00:33:17] *Short musical interlude*

Annie [00:33:27] When did it stop feeling good? Can you remember? Was there a point? 

Patrick [00:33:31] Yeah. First of all, business decisions. So it's the late nineties, were opening one or two stores a year and then these fashion supergroups arrive out of nowhere. The Gucci group, the Prada group, the Louis Vuitton group. And instead of your competition being one designer who has certain access to this, then you've got a group that has access to finance, to banking, to property and all the rest of it sort of thing. And then the playing fields change. So then all of a sudden, you know, Prada and people like that were opening 20 stores a year as opposed to me opening one store. So I didn't even have an overdraft at the bank at this period. My company just functioned and we had money in the bank and we did things. We had no access to financing, leveraging anything of the sort. And everyone's like, you need to get an investor, you need to get investor, you need to get investor. And the first that they got involved, the day before we did the deal, the guy called me up and he goes, I'm not investing in you. I've created a vehicle and I'm bringing four friends along for the ride. I went, what the fuck does that mean? Are you investing or not? He goes, yes, but it's going to be a limited company. That made a really big difference. And then after about a year and a half, the head of them, the guy that had brought the four friends along, he said, we're not really contributing, are we? And I was like, no not really. And he goes, should we exit? And I was like, yeah that'd be helpful. And so instead of wanting an investor, all of a sudden we needed an investor because we had to replace an investor. My shotgun wedding got kind of thrown into bed with this Chinese business man. And and that was pretty well close to the end *laughs. Very, very, very quickly made everything unworkable. And I got hit by a car. 

Annie [00:35:06] Oh, no. 

Patrick [00:35:07] February 2nd. 8:45 in the morning. I lived in Little Venice at that point and the roundabout on the flyover. 

Annie [00:35:14] Yeah, I know it. 

Patrick [00:35:15] I got hit by a guy in a white van and went full speed into a brick wall, broke seven ribs, bruised my lung punctured, punctured lung, bruised my heart. I was in hospital and in hospital, well, it turns out I'm opiate resistant, so morphine doesn't work on me *laughs*. We found that out in the hospital because I was in the ICU and I was screaming and screaming and sceaming. 

Annie [00:35:36] Oh my God. 

Patrick [00:35:36] And this nurse comes in and she goes, why don't you shut up? And I went, I'm in soooo much pain. She goes, you've had more morphine than the whole ward. You've had enough to kill an elephant. And I said, well then maybe something's not working. And bless her, the number one pain specialist in England practises out of St Mary's Paddington, so he came down and did some tests on me and he goes, oh, yes, well, congratulations, you're opiate resistant. I was like, great, give me the good stuff. He goes, the bad news is there is nothing else! 

Annie [00:35:57] There's no good stuff. 

Patrick [00:35:57] Theres no good stuff. So they put an epidural into my spine. And I stayed in the hospital for a month. Couldn't go home with an epidural in your spine, obviously, but at least I wasn't in pain anymore. And then when I got back to work after being in hospital, everything was bad news. The staff were quitting. The factories are in uproar. The magazines were suing. I mean, everything was mad. And I left. I said, I'm done. 

Annie [00:36:18] Wow. And that must have been quite the shift in terms of- 

Patrick [00:36:24] Well, that was my, you know. Not just losing your identity, you lose your name. 

Annie [00:36:28] That's what I mean. So your name is your work, which is your identity, which is your success, which is- I mean, it's all so enmeshed. 

Patrick [00:36:37] And just, you know, everything went through the company because I was constantly working. So, you know, I constantly, okay, not what I did in London, but you know, I was constantly travelling and everything and everything was company, company, company, company. And we'd erected these beautiful walls all around the company to protect me forever. And then I found myself on the outside of the walls that I directed. And no way back in. 

Annie [00:36:58] Wow. 

Patrick [00:36:58] I'm like, oh. 

Annie [00:36:59] How old were you when this happened?

Patrick [00:37:01] 44. 44. 

Annie [00:37:03] Wow, okay. 

Patrick [00:37:04] And then everything changed. Then I basically had a bit of a nervous breakdown. I became completely agoraphobic. I had a four storey house in Little Venice, and I couldn't leave one floor for about a month. Luckily, there was a bathroom on that floor, but the kitchen wasn't on that floor. My long suffering, wonderful P.A. Anita would come over and bring food up to that floor and, you know, say, you know, can you come downstairs today? You going to come outside? And then she got me to go see a therapist. And I was, like, hanging on to the lamp after getting out of the taxi, just trying to deal with the open road and it was new to me because I'd never experienced that. I'd always said to the people, just get over it. You know, you, how could this really be affecting you? But it really was a huge struggle. I mean, just huge. And then just obviously just continual suicidal ideation. Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts. My good years are behind me. You know, it's not going to get any better. It's only going to get worse, all of that sort of stuff. And then I ended up going to the Hoffman. 

Annie [00:38:01] Right. 

Patrick [00:38:01] And have you heard of Hoffman? 

Annie [00:38:02] I've heard it's a rehabilitation place?

Patrick [00:38:05] Yeah, it's an eight day intensive psychodrama. It's all about stopping intergenerational pain. I just think everybody should have it before they have a kid. Because theres so much stuff we're doing that we don't even realise. 

Annie [00:38:16] Totally. 

Patrick [00:38:17] I don't have a kid but there's patterns that are there. And you can change them. You can really change them. And that was my first touch of the grey area. 

[00:38:26] *Short musical interlude*. 

Annie [00:38:26] Well let's get to part two then which is Toad. And I'd never heard of it before, I read this article that you did at the Guardian and I can imagine it'd be new to the majority of our listeners.

Patrick [00:38:48] 99.9999% of the world. Yeah. 

Annie [00:38:49] So tell us how you came about it. When did you learn about it? Tell me everything.

Patrick [00:38:54] Okay. So Toad is- is what it is, it's a toad. Unlike you might see in movies or cartoons, no one is licking any toads. That is not how it is done. It is a land toad. It's the biggest land toad in the Americas. And it has glands on its body, on its shoulders and on its forearms and on its neck. And these glands release a toxin. In this toxin is the chemical 5-MeO-DMT, which is deemed the Mount Everest of psychedelics. It's the most psychedelic substance known to man. To call it a psychedelic is probably a misnomer. The term psychedelic has so much baggage, first of all, because the sixties and everything like that, and psychedelic implies visions and psychedelic colours and shapes, your classic acid trip, your classic mushroom trip, things like that. Toad, I prefer the term entheogen which reveals the God within. It's sacred. I can't believe I'm using these words, but they're words that I use now. Born atheist using the word sacred but there's a divinity to this compound and you smoke the medicine in a ceremony situation, you accelerate. It's like being strapped to the outside of a rocket ship let's say. You accelerate to a point of full expansion. And then at that point, it's called a near-death experience, an ego death. You don't physically die, your heart doesn't die, but your sense of self ceases to exist. So like a drop of water being dropped in the ocean, you at this moment where you expand to such a great amount, you become one with everything and there is no more you. So there is no- any other experience there's the observer and the subject. With this there is no more observer-subject. You are everything, you are one. Sounds insane to explain, I know. And sometimes I think what is coming out of my mouth but, I've been there. I've done it over a hundred times, whatever. I now work with it. It's life changing. Life changing. I call my life pre Toad and post Toad. Everything that I was told in rehab, when I was in the Hofmann, when I was in therapy, even religion, everything they say to you is fundamentally the same message. But it's just people talking at you. It's just people telling you, which I have a problem with authority, I have a problem with listening. People telling you, you need to do this, you need to do this, you need to do this, you need to do this. Toad shows you. So people say, I mean, I've heard it so many times, various versions. The longest journey is from the head to the heart. What the hell does that mean? Well, what does that mean? You know, live in your heart, not your head. What? You know, how do you do that? And I hadn't realised how much this inner dialogue, this inner monologue had consumed me. I'm not crazy. I don't hear voices, but it's your ego telling you, don't do that, do this, you know, just controlling you. My ego had erected a perfect wall all around me that I was trapped and couldn't do anything because I didn't dare do anything. And the toad just turned all of that off, all the voices off. And what was there? Bliss, love, self-acceptance. Realising you're good enough. 

Annie [00:41:56] Can you tell us about that? First of all, like, how did you come to learning about Toad?

Patrick [00:42:01] After the Hoffman, then I stayed in London, did a few things, did a crazy bakery called Cocks, Cookies and Cake, a few things like that. Then I moved to Ibiza. I knew I needed to change my life completely. It was toxic, my life in London. I was doing way too many drugs, not really going out, not using London, not going to museums, not going to this because I felt the need that I had to perform and be Patrick, the one that they wanted, not the one who was actually really sad and depressed and really didn't want to talk to anybody. So, announced I was moving to Ibiza, came to Ibiza and Ibiza in the winter *laughs* is like therapy, like rehab because there's a lot less distraction, i.e. there's not a lot to do, lot less people. So if there's something you don't like about yourself, you're going to have to deal with it because you've only got yourself all day, every day. And as someone who had never felt safe my whole life, once I was in a place of absolute calm, my mind went nuts and created dramas. It just couldn't deal with this. This was okay. I didn't know how to deal with myself. And so I ended up going to rehab. And then I came back after rehab. Some new friends here were microdosing LSD, and they said, you know, I know you don't want to do that. I don't do that. Do you want to try this? I said, look, I did acid when I was like a teenager, it never really agreed with me. They said, you're not doing it for recreational reasons, you're doing it for healing medicinal reasons. You know, it's a total different thing. It's all about your intention when you take it, you know, and I hadn't really fully understood that, but I mean, they were completely true. And so I did that for about three months, but it just made my stomach gurgle. It just really wasn't my thing. My friend said to me, oh, there's this person coming to the island that's serving toad and we've all reserved to be part of this ceremony. Do you want to be part of it? I was like, talk me through it. So they arranged this. Some of the people said, I don't really think he can do that because you need to have done aya for like ten years, ayahuasca before you graduate to Toad. So I spoke to the facilitator and we talked for several hours and everything on the phone before she flew in and she goes, no, no, Patrick's ready, Patrick's ready. Based on what I was going through in my life. The first day I did it, I went twice. Because you go once, land, then go again. And I went twice and I was the first person to go just because that was the way it was. So I had nothing to go by. 

Annie [00:44:11] So you hadn't watched anyone else do it? You didn't know what was going to happen?  

Patrick [00:44:15] Nothing. And I was just like, that's the best way to do it. Just throw yourself in. And then that night when we were in integration, everyone's talking. They were all going on about God and this and that and like, errr, I don't know what you're talking about. I said, I mean, it was amazing and it was beautiful, but it hasn't changed my life or, you know, I don't know what what you're talking about. And then they all said he needs to go again. So a slot was made for me on the last day on the Friday and on the Friday, everyone had gone home. It was just me, her and this other friend of mine. And I did the first dose and sat up within 30 seconds, no nothing. And they're like. 

Annie [00:44:51] Did you tell them you were opiate resistant? 

Patrick [00:44:53] *Laughing* Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Annie [00:44:55] It's very important info. 

Patrick [00:44:56] We still don't know to this day how that was possible. I just sat up and then I started to, like, get internally angry. You're an idiot. You don't know how to do this. You did this wrong, see? And I just started to blame myself. Then I started to look at them going, these people are mad. What are you doing? What did you expect? And all just, it just all took a second, but it was in my head and she could see the whole point of these ceremonies and toad is to surrender. To surrender. And I was not surrendering. My walls were coming. *Boom boom boom boom boom*. And she said you're going again right away, right now. So I went again right away to increase the dosage just a little bit. And then I guess 20 minutes later, I sat up and my life was changed. I was just in this sense of peace, love, acceptance. I started breathing funny and they're like, are you okay? You know why are you breathing funny? I said, someone has been sitting on my chest for 50 years and he just got off. My heart felt bigger, my lung capacity felt bigger. And I was just looking at everything and I was like, were the trees always this green? Was the sky always this blue? I just didn't notice because I had a grey filter to my reality. And like unplugging a TV and plugging it back in, I had a psychic reboot and I came back to where I was before all the conditioning. So you go back to, you know, basically a child, a baby before all the conditioning of you're not worthy and you do this to earn love and you're not that and you're this and you're that and you're fat and you're thin and you're this, and all those sort of things come to play. You're just a perfect being, like everyone's a perfect being. I'm not just a perfect being. Everyone's a perfect being. And it was just life transformative. I mean, just why would I ever go back to anything ever again? 

Annie [00:46:37] So from that moment, how has your life changed? 

Patrick [00:46:42] *Sighs* Well, I mean. I hated this island and I hated this house. I mean, I was seeing a therapist and I was like that godforsaken fucking rock in the middle of the Mediterranean. She goes, you keep blaming the rock. It's a rock Patrick. It doesn't care *Annie laughs*. And I was like, ooh, you're rude, you're fired. You know, like if anyone challenged me I was like, no, no, no, let me dwell in my negativity and everything. And the day after Toad, I was in that pool, on the phone with a friend going, I love Ibiza, I love my house. And they're like what? He goes, there's like ten people thinking you're swinging from rope any minute now. He goes, can I record that? I was like, I don't care. And it's, you know, anyone can say you were high, but this was a day later. And now we're three years later and I still feel like that. 

Annie [00:47:23] Yeah. Yeah. 

Patrick [00:47:23] You know, I mean, my classic line is- I just like came into one and went, what was I thinking for the last 50 years, because it's literally what you're thinking that's hurting you. 

Annie [00:47:33] Yeah. Yeah. 

Patrick [00:47:33] And it was just acceptance, self-acceptance. 

Annie [00:47:36] And more than that, self-love. 

Patrick [00:47:38] Self-love, self-acceptance. Love of my fellow, fellow man. 

Annie [00:47:42] Has it changed your relationships with your family at all? 

Patrick [00:47:45] Yeah, completely. I mean, my mumma now, we speak probably three times a week. We speak all, all, all the time. 

Annie [00:47:52] And you didn't previously. 

Patrick [00:47:54] You know, we'd spoke, you know, we got up to, let's say like once every couple of weeks now, but there's always a little bit of a strained edge to it and everything. And now I'm just like, I love you. My dad, I wrote an email to at Christmas. It's first time I've had any contact with him in a decade or something like that. My older gay brother, I got in contact with him in January. That's the first meaningful contact since I was probably 16. 

Annie [00:48:16] How is he? 

Patrick [00:48:17] He's great. He wants to toad *laughs*. He's like, if this happened to you, he's like- 

Annie [00:48:24] What could happen to me! 

Patrick [00:48:24] Yeah, what could happen to me? I mean, even my mum but she can't because she's 85 and she's on heart thinners and things like that. But she was like, whatever you did, is amazing. And I said, could I, you know, I would just like to get our whole family together and all of us do this and just heal some generational pain that's gone on and gone on and gone on and gone on and gone on. I don't know. We'll see if that happens or not but.

Annie [00:48:47] So for people who don't really know anything about ayahuasca or kind of have this preconception of, as you say, like psychedelics being, you know, acid tabs and stuff. I know it's a spiritual thing, I know that's really important, but in terms of how does it work? 

Patrick [00:49:02] You know, I'm working on a documentary now, The Road to Toad. And at the end of the documentary, I'm going to go, I don't know what's going on. 

Annie [00:49:10] Okay. 

Patrick [00:49:10] I'm here. I'm still learning. And, you know, for the days that I think it's universal consciousness, God, you know, then the next day I'm like, it's shutting down the default in my brain, you know? So what they, scientifically what it does is it seems to shut down the default mode network in your brain, which is where your sense of self is. 

Annie [00:49:31] Wow. 

Patrick [00:49:31] And then it allows all the other parts of your brain to synapse and fire to each other. So you think out of the box, you have a chance to change. 

Annie [00:49:38] So all those kind of, those well-trodden pathways, the neural pathways. 

Patrick [00:49:45] Yeah, neuroplasticity, you know, you can, you know, after you've done toad and everything I say to people, if you use your phone too much, don't pick up your phone for the next 72 hours. If you smoke too much, don't pick up a cigarette after the ceremony. Obviously do not drink and you do other things. But I said, but you know, just give yourself time to adapt to these new, new paths in your brain. And, you know, the results have been incredible. And scientifically, the results have been incredible because there's this huge resurgence of psychedelics, as we all know. With Toad, you smoke the venom, you have a 10 to 15 minute experience, then you land and you have about another 10 minutes where you sort of surf a wave where you're sort of in it and not out of it. And within 45 minutes, you're good to go. I mean, you know, obviously you need to have counselling, you need to have support. You need all these sort of things that you need with any psychedelic. But the short, intense time period is what's really appealing to the pharmacy world. 

Annie [00:50:34] So you now have a toad in your life. That's something you do regularly and kind of top up and- 

Patrick [00:50:39] Yeah, I probably do it about once a month. Through a series of events I met this man named Caesar Cezaria's, who is a toad facilitator. My dog, who's now passed is named Caesar. I have Caesar on my wrist.

Annie [00:50:48] Yeah. 

Patrick [00:50:49] His husband shook my hand. He had Caesar on his arm. We'd met, we talked. He came over. He had an English bulldog that had just died. So he fell on the ground, started hugging my dog. And then we had this conversation and I told him how much I'd disliked Ibiza and how happy I was now. And he said, why? I said, oh I did this thing called Toad, and he just started nodding. And I said, what do you do? He says, I'm a toad facilitator and I went, okay, thank you universe! 

Annie [00:51:12] I get it. I get it. 

Patrick [00:51:14] I get it. So I worked with him for about a year and a half, going monthly, doing all sorts of adventures together. And then he asked me to be his apprentice about a year and a half ago. He knew he was ill. We didn't know yet. I mean, he already was on dialysis and we knew he had cancer, but he'd said it was under control. But December 5th  last year, he, um, he passed away at the age of 49. 

Annie [00:51:36] Oh, I'm so sorry. Oh my God. 

Patrick [00:51:37] And left this whole. 

Annie [00:51:40] Legacy to you. 

Patrick [00:51:40] Legacy, yeah legacy to me. 

Annie [00:51:43] Wow. 

[00:51:43] *Short musical interlude*

Annie [00:51:53] Patrick, what do you want to do with this next phase of your life? 

Patrick [00:52:00] Ahhh. What do I want to do with the rest of my life? 

Annie [00:52:01] One of the things I loved you saying about was this idea of how people assume that once you get past kind of 36 or something, then that's just you. 

Patrick [00:52:10] Yeah. 

Annie [00:52:11] And life is just you. But how you go through all these evolutions and phases in your life and you're completely different to how you were even ten years ago. When we know, because ten years ago you were- 

Patrick [00:52:21] With cell regeneration, you are literally not the same person that was here 20 years ago because that person's been gone and disposed of and it's a different literal physical being in front of you. Yeah. I mean, I've changed and changed and changed. You're allowed to change between 5 and 15 and 15 and 25 and then 20, but then all of a sudden between let's say the age of 30 and 55, there's no real change. Everyone is kind of doing what they're doing. I changed pretty well everything because I just think change is difficult, change hurts. Sitting in the same place which isn't serving you feels more comfortable, but you're really destroying yourself. So if you can just find the strength to change and just do something, just go with your gut, go with what makes you happy. I don't know what's going to happen from this movie. I don't know. I'm writing a memoir now. I mean, I don't know what's going to happen from the memoir. It might end up being the, you know, interest this, it might be this it might be that. I just think if more people talk about this, more people talk about psychedelics, the more normal the conversation will become. And I'd kind of tried everything. It wasn't like last chance saloon but, you know, suicide was a continual option in my life for about 20 years. That's just not normal. That was just, it was one of the cards on the table. Now, I can't even imagine that. I can't even imagine it. I just, you know, every day is so amazing, no matter what it's going to be. But my parameters have changed because my, before my success was measured on popularity, finance, press, you know, all, all of those sort of things. Now, I sit here alone in silence with my dog most of the time, and I'm having a great time. I'm having an absolutely great time. No problem whatsoever. I, I don't don't need those things. That was something I'd said. I said, I've been running since I was a child, and after toad, I just stopped running. 

Annie [00:54:13] I'm so happy for you. *Patrick laughs* genuinely happy. And just sitting here with you, seeing this, the kind of end of the story so far, It's a real privilege to be in your space and to get to hear your story. Thank you so much. 

Patrick [00:54:29] Thank you. 

Annie [00:54:32] Thank you so much to Patrick Cox. I guess there's lots of takeaways from this conversation, but one of them would be that it's never too late to change. You know, I like that Patrick put into question the notion of changing your life, having an age limit. Why should once you get to a certain point of your life, that be it? I think, you know, you always hear about these men having a midlife crisis and kind of buying Porsches and getting, you know, girlfriends half their ages. I kind of like feel for them, not the affairs, but just the idea of panicking at the idea of this being your life, this being your lot, and that's it. So you end up doing extreme things to kind of challenge that idea. And I think if you had in your head this kind of constant feeling of flexibility and adaptability and kind of openness to new things, to learning new things, and always kind of checking in and changing your life and tweaking it here and there, I think you probably would be less likely to have those affairs. But I mean, I think personally, I have definitely had some sort of a midlife crisis, and I would consider myself open to change. And I think a lot of it is circumstantial, you know, because when you have a family, we you have other people depending on you and, you know, you have a career, which means that you have to be in the same place. It's not as easy to just kind of up and change your life. You are indebted to other people and they are indebted to you. So it's how can you change your life within the boundaries of what you have control over? And that's why I keep talking about those small changes, you know, and how much they can help. Big up to Patrick. He's clearly a man who is not afraid of change and has embraced it. And it's really, really worked for him. So I would love to know what you thought of this episode. As always, rate, review, subscribe, tell your friends, tell your family, pass it on. And we will be back next Monday with another edition of Changes. Seeya.