Two theories about drugs and music

Theory #1: Metal today sucks because they’re doing the wrong drugs.

I grew up on hard rock and still loved it for a long time after they started calling it metal, but at some point it just went to hell in a hand basket. I think it began to go down the toilet when the rock ‘n’ roll guys switched from LSD & heroin to cocaine & speed.

Hard rock/early metal was much more interesting when it bordered on psychedelic or delved into philosophical themes, eg. music from Jimi Hendrix, early Judas Priest, early Scorpions, guys like Frank Marino. As time when on, cocaine and various other “up” drugs began to take hold and the music became more about aggression. A little aggression is fine, but when it’s all you’ve got, it’s boring. I think that’s why so much of today’s metal is almost unlistenable.

Theory #2: Doing drugs doesn’t make musicians creative, but it can make them more intensely creative for a while before it kills them

I don’t do drugs myself. I think it’s dangerous, bordering on suicidal. But let’s be honest. Drugs and music, especially rock music, go together like peanut butter n bananas. I don’t condone it but as long as they’re willing to sacrifice themselves for my entertainment I might as well show a little appreciation.

So back to my theory. I think most artistic people have a quota of creativity. When it runs out that’s it. After that their stuff is gonna suck. Say a rock ‘n’ roller is gifted to a level that will allow him to make decent songs for about 15 years. If he does the right drugs he might be able to instead have 2-3 years of totally freakin’ awesome songs before he OD’s or jumps off a bridge or chokes on his own vomit or whatever. If he records during that period you’ll get 1-3 albums of such awesomeness that no one could recreate them w/o OD’ing on something. What do y’all think, am I onto something?

P.S. I’m only a little serious.

P.P.S. I realize  my theories can’t explain why the guys from Aerosmith or Keith Richards are still alive.

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “Two theories about drugs and music

  1. I think both the drug theories are kinda valid. But there’s a third: There aren’t any new stinking rich rock stars created so they can’t afford enough drugs, or even the good inspiring stuff. And the old school rock starts like U2 and Springsteen are jogging and being vegetarians telling kids in TV spots how dangerous drugs are.

    • Obviously the Italians are classic rock fans. Crack is almost certainly the wrong drug, bound to create sucky music. What happened to the good ol’ days when rockers smoked pot and shot up heroin and drank themselves to death? World’s going to hell in a handbasket. Tsk tsk.

  2. Good points raised here. Thankyou for that, however let me also thank you for something else. I am color blind (tritanopia in my case). I use Konqueror browser (not sure if that is of any importance), and many sites are hard to understand thanks to an inconsiderate choice of colours used. On this site, as the choice of colors is fine, the design is very clear and easy to read. I am not sure whether it was a calculated and conscious deed, or just a lucky fluke, but nevertheless, I thank you.

  3. ceed

    I know MusicMissionary made a qualified choice picking the design template for this blog making sure the content would be accessible to everyone interested. I like the design a lot also.

    • Yeah, I looked at a lot of different templates and this one seemed pretty clean and easy to follow. If I was going to nitpick a little, maybe the banner at the top could be a little skinnier. I would kind of like the text to start closer to the top. On the other hand, I think it might be fun to mess around with Photoshop sometime and make a custom banner, so I think I’ll stick with this for the time being.

  4. Aerosmith and Keef are the exceptions that prove the rule. It might be an urban myth, but I think Tyler, from his drug induced hell in the squalor of some gutter managed to register the onslaught of Van Halen, and one of his few functioning synapses told him he had a fight on his hands. Whatever the reason , their emergence from a drug addled torpor gave us a trio of rock albums worthy of any great band.

    Early Priest get my vote too. I saw them when they were a support act for Welsh rockers Budgie (also a great, underrated three-piece rock outfit) They were amazing and I knew they were going places, but I preferred their 2nd and third albums to anything they’ve put out since.

    When you take bad drugs, you become Motley Crue, and whilst it’s a helluva read, it’s no way to live your life.

    • Some good theorizin’ there… The Crue definitely are not role models. I do think they rocked harder and better than most of the hair bands of their day however.

      Also I agree about Budgie. I got to know about them thanks to 99.5 KISS of San Antonio. Sometime I need to do a post about their amazing DJ from the ’70s, Joe Anthony “The Godfather of Rock ‘n’ Roll” who broke a lot of great hard rock bands. I found a great bio of him online, but it’s on a website so packed full of Youtube links and streaming and Flash animations that it gives my computer an epileptic fit anytime I try to go there and read it.

  5. If you’re based in Texas, you’ll know of Trapeze then I guess – another of the great UK power trios. They used to tour over there as a double header with ZZ Top courtesy of Bill Ham. Very sad their guitarist Mel Galley died a while back.

  6. Pingback: Proto-metal – the roots of hard rock and prog « The MusicMissionary

  7. Two of music’s most creative and original geniuses, Frank Zappa and Brian Eno, never used drugs. But these guys may be exceptions to the norm.

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