Larry Gatlin Reveals He’s the Mystery Cocaine Addict in Matthew McConaughey’s Book
Larry Gatlin says that he is the unnamed country singer who struggled with cocaine addiction in an unattributed story in Matthew McConaughey's memoir.
In Part 5 of his book, Greenlights, McConaughey relates an anecdote about a country musician who was struggling with addiction. The actor tells about "Larry" being confronted by the late University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal while under the influence at a party in the 1980s. Talking to People, Gatlin confirms he's the singer in the book, saying he hopes his story can help someone else.
"I remember the day, it was October something of 1984," Gatlin tells People. "Coach Royal and I were talking. We had hit it off right away. For me, he was one of those people that you meet, and you instantly don't have to explain anything to each other. We were at this Pro-Am party at this golf tournament, and Coach Royal caught me with white powder on my nose."
When Gatlin began to list all of his usual excuses for why he did not believe he could get his addiction under control, Royal wasn't having any of it.
"He told me, 'Larry Wayne, I have never had any trouble turning the page in the book of my life' ... He said to me, 'It's time you turned the page,'" Gatlin recounts, adding that after that conversation, he entered rehab.
Gatlin rose to fame with his brothers, Steve and Rudy, in the Gatlin Brothers trio, and scored a string of hits in the late '70s and '80s that includes "Take Me to Your Lovin' Place," "What Are We Doin' Lonesome," "Houston (Means I'm One Day Closer to You)," "The Lady Takes the Cowboy Every Time," "All the Gold in California" and more.
The 72-year-old singer has been sober for more than 35 years, and he shared his own harrowing story of his addiction in his 2003 autobiography, All the Gold in California and Other Places, People & Things.
Gatlin says he's "grateful" to McConaughey for sharing his story, even if he did not identify him.
"You never know when what we read is going to change our lives," he tells People, adding, "I was able to kick my addictions thanks to my wife and my family and my God and an incredible program of recovery. But now, I truly believe there will be people that will read Greenlights and they are going to thank McConaughey for putting my story in there."