Bam Margera – I Became an Alcoholic by Following Ville Valo’s Lead
Bam Margera just gave his first interview since completing a year-long treatment program for substance abuse. On a new episode of Steve-O’s Wild Ride, Margera spoke about his past few years and opened up about how his infatuation with HIM’s Ville Valo which led to him becoming an alcoholic.
HIM and Bam Margera were heavily intertwined in the early 2000s, with Bam directing a number of HIM music videos and even adopting the Heartagram as part of his own brand. HIM and Valo were heavily featured on Bam’s MTV shows, but Margera and the band eventually had a falling out.
“I am an alcoholic. I have been for a long time,” Margera told Steve-O. “I remember when I was probably 24, I was so mesmerized by Ville Valo from HIM… he would just walk down the street in Finland and girls would literally faint, sometimes guys too. So I would just follow his lead. I’m like, ‘He’s buying a pack of cigarettes, I’m buying a pack of cigarettes. He’s getting a beer, I’m getting a beer. He’s doing a shot of Sambuca, I’m doing a shot of Sambuca.’”
“Once he cracked open a beer when he woke up, that was the first time I’m like, ‘You’re drinking in the morning? In the daytime?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, why not? Want one?’ I’m like, ‘Well I’m not gonna let you do it alone, but this is fucking crazy.’ It was the first time I ever day drank.”
"I didn’t officially start drinking until maybe 24 or 25," Margera once told Viceland. "Then the rockstar life and drinking spun out of control."
Margera’s obsession with Valo may have led him to become bulimic, according to April Margera in a 2017 episode of Vice’s Epicly Later’d. “He always wanted to have this very slim, slim look and a lot of it kind of happened when he became good friends with [HIM vocalist] Ville Valo,” April said. “[Ville] is the loveliest man ever, but he never ate, he just drank. I think Bam started sipping on a beer or sipping on a something because he liked the way he looked.”
April continued, “We would go out to dinner and then he would immediately excuse himself and go to the bathroom. I said, ‘Are you throwing up?’ He says, ‘Yeah, yeah, sometimes I throw up and that way I’m not gonna get fat.’ It really hurts me when people make comments like, ‘You look like you gained some weight there. Hey, wow, Bam… you’re looking like your dad.’ I don’t respond, but I feel like saying, ‘He was drinking alcohol and he was bulimic and that’s why he was thin.’”
Watch the full episode of Steve-O’s Wild Ride below.