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Thread: Why Do Musicians Take Drugs and Drink to Excess?

  1. #26
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    In every band I've ever been in I have had one simple rule: I'm the only one allowed to do drugs.
    Prog's Not Dead

  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by miamiscot View Post
    In every band I've ever been in I have had one simple rule: I'm the only one allowed to do drugs.
    This made me crack up....

  3. #28
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    I saw a new documentary about Frank Zappa and he said whatever his musicians did on their own private time was there business. However, his rule was no drugs at tours/recordings. He said he fired a musician for drug use on tour.

  4. #29
    Lemme tell ya a story bout Johnny B. Goode,
    It happened much the way that Berry said it would.
    He got real famous playin his guitar
    and now Johnny B. Goode is a rock'n'roll star.
    But lately somethin nasty's gotten to his brain -
    Johnny is snorting too much cocaine.

    Stop! Stop, Johnny Stop (etc.)

    He carries his guitar in a black Rolls-Royce,
    He never drinks no whiskey, got to save his voice.
    He'd never touch a groupie, not at any price -
    That wicked nose candy is his only vice.
    He makes a lot of money but his 'countant knows
    A hundred grand a year is going up his nose.

    Stop (etc., ad lib)
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  5. #30
    Some people have addictive personalities, maybe to drink, drugs, sex, etc. It's in the genes somewhere, regardless of the occupation.
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  6. #31
    Member dgtlman's Avatar
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    I remember back in the day the gigging formula was basically...
    1) Play the gig
    2) Catch a good buzz
    3) Try to get laid
    4) Attempt to get both 2 & 3

  7. #32
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enid View Post
    Sometimes the occasional drinking is a celebration over accomplishing the next step. So...a toast to our success. Some musicians are in "la la land" and the drinking escalates. And with all that discipline you applied to build up your skill ...it just goes right out the flippin door with drugs and drink. In my experiences ...musicians I traveled with on buses actually believed in this fantasy of everything being so completely different in life when they reached the top....or when they reached the corporate level...which doesn't make you as big as sliced bread, but you're working alongside famous people and you are in that circle. You're eating dinner with the band and the staff and in walks this comedian you've seen on T.V many times and he/she walks over to your table to say hello or even sit and eat with you....and you get all excited and think..."Wow, I am on the top" Now...this is the way you feel when you are young and in that circle and then you start seeing celebrities around you and it takes quite a while to get used to it. It's not like being age 40 and in walks Jon Anderson or Rick Wakeman and you are feeling only half excited or might even recite "whoopy du" in your mind for your jaded soul. After about a year of this environment you start to realize that your life is still the same. People around you are giving you gifts, offering you drugs, and stroking your ego..taking pics of you, interviewing you, and you are important..but your life didn't change. You are still depressed about your personal issues and unhappy over personal disappointment. And that's when my friends began drinking and taking drugs on the road . They were letdown because they spent the whole of their life convincing themselves what it was going to be like and found out that it wasn't that different. That's how I ended up witnessing them commit suicide ..because of their unhappiness. Chewing gum has flavor when you put it in your mouth. Eventually it loses that flavor becoming like a bit of mulch. When that happens, that's nature's way of saying bite the big one. When you eat a fantastic meal....later there is always an end product. Well...when that happens , that's nature's way of saying F-you. And that's just life. Got to get used to disappointment before you become successful in music ...otherwise you'll never feel happy within yourself and it will be next to impossible for you to enjoy any happiness that success CAN give you. That is why my musician friends did themselves in. Very sad and I still feel responsible for their deaths. I lost three good friends on the road because of this garbage. They treated their life like garbage because of unfulfilled expectations and towering high ideals. I wish I could have helped them. I wish I could have taken the responsibility of putting an end to their drugs and drinking. Instead I just sat there in my little esoteric world listening to Univers Zero on the bus...instead of reaching out to help someone.
    Sorry Enid,

    I'm sure you say plenty of sensible things in this post and the others that come after, but I'm unable to read it because of its presentation... Not the words or what you say (that's fine), but the pure bulk of it.

    Do you think you could aerate your text as not to make it one big block?? You know, like hit the return button once in a while. For ex, when you've finished a train of thought or moving on to something else.

    Make smaller paragraphs, if you wish






    PS: it's probably my deficient attention span : too much ganja and beer/wine when I was in my teen and twenties
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  8. #33
    I guess my position is different or less talked about or possibly less experienced. But that can't be and there must be other musicians out there that traveled close to 40 years like yours truly and went in and out of the corporate level for years and stooping low between. I started traveling in 1976 because I wanted to. I started at age 7 and was Classically trained well into my teens and neglected the study when I heard Carlos Santana, Ronnie Montrose, Jeff Beck, and just put all of my energy into that which disappointed my father who was a Classical guitarist. I knew then at age 18....that Rock musicians experimented with drugs to form a different approach in their music. I accepted that as long as it didn't escalate. The Beatles seemed to be experimenting with LSD between Revolver and The White Album. I'm not sure about Rubber Soul...but the band seemed to know when to quit as if they understood the value of life. In my personal life I had several musician friends who had taken the drug and had psychological problems afterwards. Even when I crossed paths with a few of them on the road years later..they still displayed some kind of neurotic behavior and I conclude it was a result of the LSD. A characteristic they developed at a young age ..after taking LSD and honestly..they never went back to being the friends I grew up with. They were somewhere else.

    I hit the road around the time that THE TUBES released their first album and David Bowie had just changed to R&B on Young Americans. Drugs were everywhere and no doubt I had to read psychology books on the band's bus heading towards Canada to learn how to deal with this other world. I was a misfit because I was raised in a Classical environment. I never had any other occupation in life but to travel with bands, record in studios, whatever?? Original and cover bands . When you are that young , traveling everywhere, and people are telling you that you are great all of the time....and they are from the drug scene...it's difficult to deal with. And I had to sort that out by reading up on some psychology in order to apply some coping skills and the logic to sum that world up by putting things into perspective. Otherwise, if you don't do drugs...that crowd of people will eat you alive. They manipulate to no end. Because you stepped off the stage , you get all the drugs for free. In my case it was like a Hollywood movie and that's why I say that a Hollywood movie is sometimes very realistic. It's a really boring life but it's entertaining because there is humor in it. It's a pitiful world that is very weak. Obviously weak...but manipulating to the musician. So it's like being lured into a world that will suck the life out of you like a vampire.

    I was able to maintain who I was without offending anybody...but the pressure on me to do drugs was absolutely the most extreme pressure I ever felt in my life. Remember that it doesn't matter if this happened to me and that this is merely an observation on the social environment of that drug culture crowd in the 70's,80's90's and the present. In the music business...you are subjected to the most relevant side to the drug world. They are like a society connected to the music business. In my experience...that included record executives and staff. Managers, agents, road crew and then the audience. Those can be the people (and in my case), handing drugs to you everyday. Taking care of your supply weekly. A little exposure here as it is not always the audience involved. So...I'd flush them down the toilet or give them to someone else who I thought might appreciate the high. All of a sudden you realize you are open to this way beyond what the average person witnesses on the street and very beyond behind scenes with wealthy drug dealers. This environment opened flat in front of my face and I was drawn to a monastic life. I separated my popularity status life with a monastic style life when on the road. I used that to kill it. The drug and sex world was too vast and I needed to have escapism .


    They want to enter your world and explode inside of it. I use to say..."The bubble, I'm not going to allow anything to swell my head" And I used that to cast myself away from the power of manipulation. Then there are all these people around you saying: "Are you on drugs?" and it's like...settle down man...God! Talk about irony ...but one day you just wake up with a lot of confidence to accept their personalities. Musicians make good actors in the sense that they have to put on a different personality in dealing with a drug environment along with mostly everyone else in the business. If you display characteristics of being nave...they prey on that. No thanks man...I'll just space out on my esoteric nonsense..my Gnosis and live like a hermit for 6 hours. You might run across someone who would say: "Well I got busted for drinking on my day program...so I went in there on four hits of acid just to prove them wrong."

    Long, long ago...in a galaxy far, far away...I was taking a break at a gig and I asked a drug user if they'd ever seen Happy The Man....who were playing up the street that night..and he said..."Who the F is Happy The Man?" I remember actually being pissed off about that for a long time. Ironically I was working for sell outs...but I hated when people acted ignorant toward bands like that. I was profound and I couldn't relate to a street mentality because it was evil. I defined it as evil in the end based on it's persistency to ignore anything mostly artistic on the music scene and focus mainly on music as a fringe source when getting high. You couldn't get all the people from that environment to enjoy all kinds of Progressive Rock except for a handful of Prog musicians that became Rock star icons in the early 70's.


    Everything revolved around drugs and many of them didn't want to understand art...so Curved Air were at the bottom of the list. Your sitting in the dressing room and you've been traveling for months. In walks this guy who is a friend of a friend to the secretary on the staff and so the bodyguards let him stay. This guy is not reserved with his drug addiction and it is evident to everyone that he has been sniffing something. Then he gets in my face and says..."Boy..if I had your talent I'd....
    be a Rock Star by now" He's all drugged out and saying very stupid and ignorant things. You might be able to deal with hounding like this if you're just playing weekends,,,but try dealing with it after about four months of consistent road travel. Yeah....I'll say 4 months. You want to reach across the room and strangle people like this.


    They have no clue what it's like to travel and unravel. They'll be sleeping and loafing around the next day while your traveling in a snowstorm. They just wanted to make an appearance to say something ignorant. That can be a characteristic attributed to heavy drug use. Women were looked upon as an object and not entirely accepted as a person. I couldn't relate to that. Whether they were groupies or not, just because you're up on the stage, that doesn't give you the right to be discriminating to all women as if to say that your talent exceeds beyond all of a woman's hope to find a man that she can love one day. And women were not accepted as individuals. What a load of egotistical moronic and ignorant garbage. Drugs add to the essence of that.
    Last edited by Enid; 08-02-2016 at 01:56 PM.

  9. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Sorry Enid,

    I'm sure you say plenty of sensible things in this post and the others that come after, but I'm unable to read it because of its presentation... Not the words or what you say (that's fine), but the pure bulk of it.

    Do you think you could aerate your text as not to make it one big block?? You know, like hit the return button once in a while. For ex, when you've finished a train of thought or moving on to something else.

    Make smaller paragraphs, if you wish






    PS: it's probably my deficient attention span : too much ganja and beer/wine when I was in my teen and twenties
    I'm sorry ...I keep doing that...will definitely work on it

  10. #35
    Member Rick Robson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    PS: it's probably my deficient attention span : too much ganja and beer/wine when I was in my teen and twenties
    Well I assume that it didn't/doesn't affect your (as well as many other people's) listening of long tracks of progressive music haha
    "Beethoven can write music, thank God, but he can do nothing else on earth. ". Ludwig van Beethoven

  11. #36
    Member hFx's Avatar
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    Great reading and great insights, Enid! I've seen parts of what you're talking about throughout my career and I share the notion and guilt that I could/should have done more for now dead or destroyed friends!
    My Progressive Workshop at http://soundcloud.com/hfxx

  12. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by hFx View Post
    Great reading and great insights, Enid! I've seen parts of what you're talking about throughout my career and I share the notion and guilt that I could/should have done more for now dead or destroyed friends!
    Very cool! It is a hell of a realization isn't it? And the real life experience of it is way more devastating than reading about it that's for sure. One musician's experiences in particular that my life matches up with are those of Peter Banks the original guitarist for YES. He has the most insane stories...but to you and I they are somehow common

  13. #38
    Member davis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    Some people have addictive personalities, maybe to drink, drugs, sex, etc. It's in the genes somewhere, regardless of the occupation.
    Agreed, it's hardly limited to musicians

  14. #39
    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    Addiction is an unbiased decease that can affect anybody.

    Musicians and celebrities make the headlines, not the plumbers and garbage men.
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

  15. #40
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Thanks for the paragraphs, Enid - much more readable now.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  16. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by davis View Post
    Agreed, it's hardly limited to musicians
    I totally agree with this.

  17. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    Thanks for the paragraphs, Enid - much more readable now.
    Thanks

  18. #43
    Musicians have personal issues which escalate to drug use and not unlike anyone else in the world. The band ultimately becomes family from traveling on the bus together. Certain musicians in the band begin taking drugs and you have to direct them ....take responsibility for their actions. I wasn't in that position but other positions where I helped people get through their depression by making them laugh. They were my co-workers and I owed them some attention. Those situations worked out great and it was all very positive. The drug problem I didn't know how to approach. It was evident to me then that converting to Christianity had been an on going method to substitute drug addiction with something else. It was good for a lot of people in the sense that it saved their lives. The drug scene was shocking to me. One night I walked into the dressing room to see my bass player on the floor holding his stomach and vomiting. He was crying out ...God please help me and crying for me to help him. We had ten minutes before showtime and the drummer and I tried to revive him. The manager walked in and said .... let's go..... we have to go on. I asked him if we could extend our time and it worked out,....but very insanely and unsafe.

  19. #44
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    Enid – Have you ever thought of writing a book? Seriously…..I always enjoy reading the stuff you post here and find it interesting. I have no clue what band / bands you were in, but you have certainly had some interesting life experiences.

    Regarding the original topic. I have a friend who was a touring musician for about a decade. We were just talking about this topic a few weeks ago and his experiences were very similar to what you describe. Just the fact that drugs and alcohol were so available made it very difficult to avoid. He eventually walked away from the whole life, even though he was making a pretty good living at it. Personally, if I was in that environment night after night I would at the very least be an alcoholic. I don’t think I would have the willpower to not succumb to it.

  20. #45
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Robson View Post
    Well I assume that it didn't/doesn't affect your (as well as many other people's) listening of long tracks of progressive music haha
    Nope, listening doesn't require eyesight

    Quote Originally Posted by nosebone View Post
    Addiction is an unbiased decease that can affect anybody.

    Musicians and celebrities make the headlines, not the plumbers and garbage men.


    I suppose it will come down to that if the disease persist

    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    Thanks for the paragraphs, Enid - much more readable now.
    Yes, thx.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    Enid – Have you ever thought of writing a book? Seriously.
    Only if using smaller paragraphs , though
    Last edited by Trane; 08-03-2016 at 11:08 AM.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  21. #46
    [QUOTE=Trane;596294]Nope, listening doesn't require eyesight ,)





    I suppose it will come down to that if the disease persist



    Yes, thx.



    Only if using smaller paragraphs , though [/QUOTE

    Trane... these are great replies. Really cool to read your responses..

  22. #47
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enid View Post
    Trane... these are great replies. Really cool to read your responses..
    Just trolling around, I guess

    Probably too much Columbian gold, Lamb's Bread and Afghani black (unfortunately not enough Hawaiian Blue, though)... mixed with John Labatt's Classic, Molson Canadian and Canadian Club Classic rye or Crown Royal... and shrooms when we could find them.
    I'd say good pot is one f the main reasons why I like prog (good pot makes bad pop sounds like crap, actually)

    I did try amphets and speed, hated both

    I tried once coke, and I liked it a little too much .... soooo I stayed away from that crap
    Never dared smack, though


    but TBH, I never drink to get drunk anymore, I smoke maybe two doodbies /year ... But I do spend my working weeks in The Netherlands, where you can smoke it on the coffee shop's terrace, while discussing with cops .

    One kind of grows out of it after a while.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  23. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by davis View Post
    Agreed, it's hardly limited to musicians
    you would not believe the number of people who act shocked that I don't do drugs-and I'm not a musician. I am a visual artist. I drink very little but never did marijuana, cocaine or that sort of stuff. I never even felt a buzz from pot smoke (although friends of mine thought I was getting a contact buzz-it had more to do with the fact I was laughing at their drug induced antics).
    "Alienated-so alien I go!"

  24. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Rune Blackwings View Post
    you would not believe the number of people who act shocked that I don't do drugs-and I'm not a musician. I am a visual artist. I drink very little but never did marijuana, cocaine or that sort of stuff. I never even felt a buzz from pot smoke (although friends of mine thought I was getting a contact buzz-it had more to do with the fact I was laughing at their drug induced antics).
    I can relate to this. Really cool to read your comments...as always! You are a very complex person and I love running into you at concerts, record shops, and listening to your stories about underground European Prog bands. Always a pleasure to be informed and educated by you.

  25. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Enid View Post
    I can relate to this. Really cool to read your comments...as always! You are a very complex person and I love running into you at concerts, record shops, and listening to your stories about underground European Prog bands. Always a pleasure to be informed and educated by you.
    Thanks! Same here! Did you know the Hamilton Mall has a record store now?
    "Alienated-so alien I go!"

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