‘Drugs made me pull out my own teeth’, says Brooklyn Beckham’s wedding DJ Fat Tony

DJ Fat Tony has been tipped to get guests partying at the wedding of Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz.

The international DJ (real name Tony Marnach) made us laugh in lockdown with his hilarious Insta memes and he’s sure to get celebrities on that dancefloor after Brooklyn says ‘I do’.

After all, he provided the tunes for the groom's 21st birthday in 2020.

The DJ told FUBAR Radio that he loved the Beckham clan and, he quipped about the nuptials: "If I'm not there's going to be bloody trouble, let's just say that!"

But his drug taking past is a far darker tale, and he’s deadly serious about helping others get clean.

Here, Tony tells his story…

“I was 14 when I started drinking, and 18 when I discovered drugs. Nightclubs were my escape, helping me to mask the pain of traumatic childhood sexual abuse.

For a while, drugs were fun and life was brilliant. I was always the loudest, the one who caused trouble, the one who blacked out.

The new Romantic era was just taking off in 1980s London and it was a glamorous and exciting place to be. My best mate was Boy george and my circle of friends included Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, as well as various top fashion designers and musicians.

My DJing career took off in a big way and I was constantly flying around the world, with residencies in big nightclubs in New York as well as London. The money was insane – for some gigs I’d be paid £100k, but that money may as well have been going straight into my drug dealer’s pocket.

It was a natural progression from drinking and taking drugs at weekends to it happening every single night.

For four or five days at a time I wouldn’t sleep, and I’d convince myself I couldn’t DJ unless I was high. Sometimes I’d stop playing mid-song and yell, “no K, no play!” until someone sorted me out with some ketamine.

I called drugs my “chemical scaffolding”, and it got to the stage where I didn’t know who I was without them. To me, people who got clean may as well have been dead, because their lives were over.

Living in the centre of London’s West End, I couldn’t open my front door without finding myself at a party. Some days I’d go out for a pint of milk and come home three days later.

My friends and I would go out on a Tuesday and only stop the party the following Monday.

My weight plummeted to seven stone (I’m 6ft 2in) and I looked a mess.

Cocaine stopped giving me the high I craved, so I turned to crack cocaine. The high is immense, it takes you to a higher dimension, but the comedown is severe.

That saying, “You’d sell your grandmother for crack” – it’s true. The first time I smoked it I didn’t have any cash on me, so I went back to my flat, got the TV and VCR and exchanged them for drugs.

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Even among my hardcore partying friends, smoking crack wasn’t cool, so I started hanging with a new circle of addict friends and isolated myself from everyone I knew.

By my late twenties, I wanted to stop, but I honestly couldn’t imagine what I’d even do all day without drugs.

I stopped taking gigs abroad, because I’d panic at the thought of boarding a plane, having been awake and wired for days. I also felt anxious if I didn’t think I’d be able to get drugs where I was going.

Once, in Hong Kong, I couldn’t get any cocaine, so I just took ecstasy for five days straight.

It seemed like death would be the only sanctuary from my addiction and all day long I’d think about my funeral. I’d planned it to a tee – I wanted Mary J Blige’s No More Drama as the curtains closed on my coffin and I’d obsess over who I wanted there.

When I eventually slept, I’d sleep in the recovery position as I wanted to be found looking peaceful.

My life became smaller and smaller until all that was left was my addiction. My real friends were no good to me, as all they did was moan at me about getting clean.

I lost contact with my siblings and my dad cut me off, but my mum always tried to help me.

My partner of 13 years, James, tried desperately to help, too. He’d trek round the clubs, looking for me, and tell the staff, “You know you’ll find Tony dead on the floor soon unless we help him stop.”

But I’d tell the staff he was mental and get him barred. He was trying to save my life, but I couldn’t see it.

Cocaine and crack make your gums recede quickly. I was always picking at them and they’d get infected. I was so psychotic that I thought my mouth was alive and there were creatures in my gums.

It got to the stage where I’d pull my teeth out of my mouth with my bare fingers or pry them out with a screwdriver. My whole face was numb from the drugs, so it didn’t hurt.

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There wasn’t a day that went by in 28 years that I wasn’t on drugs. I’d lived many more years high than I had clean. But one day everything changed.

James found me in a nightclub, curled on the floor, rocking back and forth. I still get goosebumps when I think about that moment.

He looked at me with such deep sadness, and said, “What’s happened to you?”

There was no judgment in his eyes and for some reason something snapped inside me.

Within weeks I reached out for help. I went to a drugs drop-in centre and joined Narcotics Anonymous, going completely cold turkey.

Within three months, I enrolled in rehab and spent six months there, getting clean. I craved drugs and it was tough, but I stuck at it.

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Doctors told me I shouldn’t go back to London or DJing. “I’m not going back, I’m going forward,” I told them.

Somehow I made it work. It’s now been 13 years since I touched drink or drugs, and my life now is incredible.

It wasn’t a smooth path – I replaced drugs with a sex addiction and was sleeping with up to eight blokes a day. But I treated that addiction, too, although things didn’t work out with James.

Now I’ve been in a monogamous relationship with my partner David for seven years.

Since getting clean, I’ve worked for everyone from Michael Jackson to Madonna and I play all around the world. Over the course of four years, I had my whole mouth reconstructed with implants and veneers and I look 20 years younger!

I’m a firm believer in what you put in, you get back. I helped my friend Boy George to get clean and I give talks at schools about drugs.

I also help at Resort 12, a specialist LGBT rehab clinic in Thailand, because I think gay people need specific care. The gay community has huge issues with sex drugs like GHB and it’s a whole different set of problems.

Of course, there have been moments of temptation, but I know drink and drugs are no longer an option. My life is too good and what I have is worth more than that.

If I had one night of drink or drugs now, I’d go straight back to being that guy with no teeth. These days, I relish life and know that drugs are a doorway to death. I’m not going there."

  • FatTony is the creator and host of The Recovery podcast, which explores all types of recovery including addiction and other illnesses. Past guests have included Kelly Osbourne and Lily Allen and it’s available on YouTube and major podcasting platforms.

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