[transcript van een TV-interview met Richard Burton in de Dick Cavettshow over zijn alcoholverslaving, juli 1980]
I guess what I want to know is, how do you know when you are in trouble?
I think that..nobody quiet knows which drink it is that takes him over the edge of being merely a social or hearty laughing drinker into a morose and hangover wretched creature who shakes and creaks and sweats and has nightmares and it is always november and it's raining and it's three o'cłock in the morning and there's nowhere to go and you reach out for a cigarette and smoke and think of all the horrible things you've done in your life and all the shame, all the shames you've endured and suffered and the shame you gave other people, all the wrongs you've done other people. I don't know if alcoholics can put it as eloquently as that usually, they can just say I just stared out of a window for two years and ehm... it is... I... believe me... the question of being an alcoholic, I'm not quiet sure if I am one, but if I am not one I am very near, I am right on the edge of being one, it is not a laughing matter it really is not a laughing matter
and I think...no I can't say that I've beaten it because as Jimmy Preston, who was a dear friend of mine wrote me a short but very eloquent letter once some years ago when I was in trouble with drink he said don't forget that drink...and he used the analogy of a boxing match that you're always fighting, you're always fighting and the other fellow is booze and you evade him you evade him and one of these days as you evade him he's gonna nail you right on the chin down you go. So it's a continual fight, everyday it's a fight. When you get through the day and you finally put your head on the pillow when you sleep you say I've beaten that boxer for yet another day. So for the rest of your life you're stuck with that shadowy figure always always coming at you always coming at you and there is every conceivable excuse to take a drink. I got bad notes I take a drink I got good notes I take a drink