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Musicians and Drugs…For ALL Occasions

musicians lifestyle,  powerless to abstain from drugs and alcohol, all occasions

Looked upon as 'heroes' by young musicians, Guns 'n Roses freely acknowledged a heavily-partying lifestyle. How can they be held accountable for something that they became powerless to?

What reason does a young musician have to abstain from drugs or alcohol?  The answer: none! I mean, isn’t that supposed to be part of the fun, the requirements, the identification?  Long hair, Marshall stacks, rebelliousness! It says right in the creed: sex, drugs and rock and roll! Keith Richards, Guns ‘n Roses…messed up is cool. 

musicians life a big party, use drugs to celebrate the success

"CELEBRATING THE SUCCESS" is how we saw David Lee Roth's drug and alcohol use...that his life was one big party.

Look at Van Halen in the 80’s: big smiles, tons of chicks, selling tons of records, making some cash, and constant partying and craziness.  When you’re at the absolute top of the world like Van Halen, do you continue with the drug and alcohol use because you always seem to THINK you can get a little higher?  Party on, and on, and on; can we get more drunk than we were last night?  Doing some coke was good, so more must be better… right? 

fear and anxiety, artists use drugs when scared, depressed, confused

"STRUGGLING WITH ISSUES" is how we saw Kurt Cobain's drug and alcohol use...that he was confused and depressed.

Then of course we have the complete opposite, like Kurt Cobain: scared, depressed, confused, fear, anxiety.  We all know how Kurt resolved his problems. 

For the artist, drugs and alcohol are and all purpose catch-all: in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, on top of the world are lying in the mud.  What is the problem here?  Is it the business or is it the person?  It seems very unlikely that every single person who gets into the entertainment business would just naturally gravitate to be a drug addict.  There must be some other reason. Van Halen and Kurt Cobain do share some very similar characteristics common among the chosen few: a huge following, incredible talent, and having a major label market that talent. 

addiction and alcoholism rampant: the music business, entertainment industry

MAKE NO MISTAKES: drug addiction and alcoholism doesn't 'favor' musicians, IT IS RAMPANT IN EVERY ASPECT OF THE MUSIC BUSINESS.

Sad but true, but pure reality: ON the stage, OFF the stage, BEHIND the stage, and BEHIND THE DESK, sobriety is an incredibly rare exception in the entertainment industry. It is people with drug problems signing contracts to people with drug problems. Drug and alcohol abuse is the norm.  This is a FACT…so why is it ignored?  Why is all of the attention focused on what MAKES them but not about what is GUARANTEED to BREAK them?  

David Lee Roth and Kurt Cobain appeared very dissimilar in how they expressed themselves, but were identical in the sense that they were slaves to their addictions.  Getting high to get someplace else…in times of victory, in times of defeat, drugs are to the artist what Gatorade is to the athlete. Who were their coaches?  Who explained to them how to play the game?  

signing contracts, drug and alcohol problems rare sobriety

If you focus only on the OFFENSE, you then have no DEFENSE...Game over.

If YOUR son or daughter has a special talent, and you’ve been thinking about bringing them to a talent agency with the hopes of getting them into the glamorous world of show business, you better stop reveling about the SHOW part, and find out everything you DON’T know about the BUSINESS part. Remember, if they HAVE been blessed with a special talent they DO – repeat, DO need to express it, or they’ll live a life of unnecessary frustration and discontentment.  And yes, they’ll use drugs to escape that.  

talented young artists, musicians die of overdose, welcome to the dream

A young Artist dies of an overdose...his friends must now say goodbye.

This all sounds pretty depressing…is there NO alternative? You had better sit down and watch the documentary Welcome to the Dream very closely with your kid.  They can’t play the game if they don’t know the rules. 

THERE IS AT LEAST ONE MUSICIAN IN OVER 55% OF U.S. HOUSEHOLDS.

“Artists and writers experience two to three times the rate of psychosis, suicide attempts, mood disorders, and substance abuse than do comparably successful people in business, science, and public life.”

Study by Dr. Arnold M. Ludwig, a psychiatrist at the University of Kentucky Medical

THERE IS A SOLUTION.

Please help make it happen.

PROBLEMS CAN’T BE SOLVED WHEN YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM.


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2 Comments

  1. I enjoyed what you wrote. It’s all so sadly true. Coming home to OB, NJ I can say that although not all musicians, but half of my friends are DEAD. Alot of others are presently addicted to Herion.

    It didnt start that way for them. It started with smoking, and drinking.
    Now look at them.

    There is alot more temptation when there is more money .
    I think that addiction represses a persons creativity. I do because it represses feelings, memories , Etc. By Stifeling the best they are capable of , then slowly deteriorating addiction wastes alot of prescious time . A person can be so much more, and a better life when they are not slaves to it. Or as Metallica say’s a ” PUPPET “. I like being in control of myself. There are enough problems in life, and I don’t want to add to them.

    Can’t fix something if you don’t acknowledge it exists. And now a day’s your not to young to have a problem.

  2. Skates says:

    Well said April. When you’re powerless over drugs or alcohol, the only answer can be in a power greater than yourself.

    Freedom is amazing…

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