Friday, April 16, 2010

Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll

There is little doubt that the musical industry tends to enjoy a life style that is often connected with the use of drugs. A friend once asked me if I could quote examples of where people believed that drugs increased there musical performance. While there is not blatant statement in the lyrics of many bands to take drugs, certainly there is an encouragement to do to in lyrics. This was much more true in the 60s but still persists today to some extent.

Examples from the 60s are:

Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit"

Jim Morrison "The End"

Jimi Hendrix - "Are You Experienced?"

While there are no blatant statements which encourage drugs use in these songs they are certainly inviting the listener into the world of acid induced trips expressed in their music. In this sense, they are implying that there trips opened their music up in new expressive ways.

One of the things I have always loved about music is how it can take us to another world which is why I listen to and compose music that is more ambient and experimental. I try in my own music to create a world for the listener built from music and I even read a lot of material to try to find ways to use the minds own triggers to evoke emotions and images in music. So in a sense, through music I am trying to invite the listener to explore other worlds.

However, I in no way advocate the use of drugs or alcohol. Do I take a drink from time to time? Sure but overall, I just see drugs and alcohol as a way to screw up lives. I have a lot of experience with this not personally but in my work with other people. Drugs take people into a personal hell. I am sorry if this strong language offends people but its from my own experiences with seeing the aftermath of drugs. The destruction of families, jobs and yes, life itself. Drugs can leave people disabled mentally and physically all for the rest of their lives with no way to escape. I once heard someone commening on a Steely Dan song about chasing the dragon reflecting that it was a good name for it, because it was chasing the dragon into hell.

So if there is a way to take people on a trip musically into other worlds and not hurt them in any way, why use drugs? Why risk the destruction that they can bring to our lives? Life is a good and beautiful gift so be shared. There are so many ways that we can make this world a better place and to create things with our minds. Why induce mental illness in them with drugs? Sorry if I don't get it but I don't. I just don't get why anyone wants to risk screwing up there lives for a few hours of pleasure that mean absolutely nothing. Get high on music and life, not drugs.

This ends my pontification on drugs but beleive me, it's very heartfelt.

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