Do music and song-craft go hand-in-hand with alcohol and drug use? Does an artist, writer or musician need to be a tortured soul in order to make great work? Do the drugs and alcohol really help to communicate the message deep down inside?
Jefferson Airplane gave us “White Rabbit”, The Velvet Underground gave us “Heroin” and The Rolling Stones gave us “Sister Morphine”; The Beatles explored psychedelia with “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Eric Clapton discussed the highs and lows of cocaine use with his song “Cocaine” and The Doors glamorized getting drunk with “Whiskey Bar”. Modern artists such as Green Day, Lily Allen, MGMT, Dr. Dre, Nirvana, and Pink also draw attention to drugs and alcohol in their music.
A recent research report from an English university charted the lives of 1,050 American and European pop music artists from 1965 to 2005, and found they are two to three times more likely to die young than the general population. In all, 100 stars died “too young” between 1965 and 2005, amounting to almost ten percent of famous male rockers and more than seven percent of famous female rockers. And according to the report, published in Britain’s Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, a quarter of all the musician’s deaths were due to alcohol or drugs.
I know I have been known to indulge to excess, but as I get older, I am beginning to look at my life and lifestyle. I have never been a musician, but have been very involved in the “scene” for many years. I’ve seen a significant amount of alcohol and drug abuse and the negative affects it has had on people’s lives. I don’t have an answer to my original questions, and I’m definitely in no position to lecture anybody about right and wrong, but hopefully this gives you all something to think about. I would hate to see any more musicians, whether local or famous, have their lives come to an early end due to alcohol or drugs. There is help available and there is life in rock and roll after becoming sober.Musicians and Abuse,