Musicians and Drugs…For ALL Occasions
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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 A SOLUTION.
Please help make it happen.
PROBLEMS CAN’T BE SOLVED WHEN YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM.