Jun 00


I Hate Music4 comments • 1,417 views


I have a love-hate relationship with drugs in music. I – of course – am a clean living girl and would never take the things myself. Unless they were sleeping pills to avoid listening to the Velvet Underground. (I am not saying I would need sleeping pills to fall asleep during the VU – the VU do that nicely by themselves. Perhaps the Ramones would have been a better example. Though I often find one trick ponies, no matter how noisy, to be even duller than avant garde nonce-rock.)

Sorry, got sidetracked there. So much music, so little time. You see, drugs are responsible for some of the most appaling excesses committed to the ether. I’m thinking Jimi Hendrix, I am thinking the entirity of prog rock. I am thinking Acid House. Let us take The Shamen for example. Ebeneezer Goode, a track designed to glorify the marvelous powers of Ecstacy. And this was done exactly how? By inventing a character who bore an uncanny resemblence to Penelope Pitstop’s nemesis The Hooded Claw, who probably destroyed the sleep of a million ten year olds. Invented by a band who at the height of their success literally fell off a cliff, Ebeneezer Goode was an nasty piece of rave gone worse peddled to an audience who had not got over the demise of the KLF (me, I was too busy holding a year long street party). Rather than glorifying drugs, Mr “E’s Are Good” (geddit?) came on much like the rave generations version of Nick-O-Teen.

(Whilst off topic, Superman vs Nick-O-Teen. Superman, faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, piss-poor cover song by REM. Nick-O-Teen: bloke who smokes lots of fags, dressed like a ciggie and probably riddled with cancer. Not exactly a busy day at the office there for Supes.)

The E-generations contribution to music can be written on the back of one of Nick’s fag packets. LSD gave us Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and possibly the worst period of the Beatles misbegotten career. And as for cocaine, show me a second album which does not have a song about charlie on it, and I’ll show you a band who’s first album did not go gold (it will be the same band). All this said though, I have a soft spot for drugs in music too.

Y’see drugs are the number one cause of mortality in your pop star. For every Boy George who manages to clean himself up and go on to the celebrity hat wearing circuit, we get a Kurt Cobain – opening up his mind the hard way. The drugs deaths of Brian Jones and Jimi Hendrix are reminders to all of us that there is capital punishment in the world of making lousy music. And even if the drugs don’t kill them, it usually marks a permenent demise in their recorded outlet, giving us three year sabbaticals and a joyous retirement into the Nice Price ranks. Why even last week young Billie Piper fell over in a wine bar due to a “mild kidney infection”. I know what that infection is called, and I also know the going rate for five grams of it. No – when I think of all the good that drugs have done music, in killing, maiming or curtailing careers – I cannot help but celebrate them.

Its like this, my drugs dillema reduced to basics. Without drugs, Nirvana would be a going concern, though possibly faded into sixth album obscurity like Pearl Jam. With drugs, we got the Foo Fighters. I think this one is too tight to call.


  1. 1
    Jim on 25 Apr 2007 #

    If you’d actually been one of the beautiful people for the whole period you’d have a better understanding of the contribution the house movement (and the on-going hardcore movement though it’s moved abroad because of that collapsed rave) made to both music and culture. It injected a potent optimism into the era and gave its members something to live for. It revolutionised electronica and gave birth to an entirely new genre of music. It created a culture that had positive social qualities and goals, but with enough cynisim to acknowlage that it was all a bit silly. The reason for its downfall (because it has taken a serious blow) is simple – cheap cocaine and the pressures put on importers and producers of MDMA. Because of the rise in popularity of cocaine the culture shifted to one more closely resembling the disco culture and the dropping quality of pills caused a drop in their popularity contributing to this. In other words, the man played a dirty game and as always destroyed something beautiful because he couldn’t understand it. The establishment didn’t attack ecstacy because it was a killer drug. They attacked MDMA because it was new. As far as the Shaman are concerned, they produced one of my favorite pieces of deep-house music (though at the time there was no such classification) – Perfect Motion – a stunningly beautiful and euphoric track which I still admire today. Their mistake was Boss-Drum, a staggeringly horrible track. The club-versions of Ebeneezer Goode were pretty good, it’s just the dumbed down, vocal shite that you heard that was terrible and I don’t remember it warning myself, or anyone off pills. Do you have a fear of clowns or something? I thought their depiciton of the character in their video was amusing.

    The tired crap that’s being thrown at us by metal and so called R&B ‘artists’ these days is just an over-produced corporate cash-in of what has been for years a dead musical medium. Get with the program and learn that the charts and so called ‘popular’ music is for the dullards and peasants of this world and that the music of the future is about experimentation. The only musical genre I know of that’s really pushing the boundries is still the chemical one and you have to know what you’re looking for if you want to find something special (as was the case for most of the nineties I might add). As for so-called experimental music in other genres, you’ll find that it’s predominantly an electronica and even chemical one – Trent Resnor’s NIN is a good example of this as ‘industrial’ is just house music for metal fans.

    Oh, and in answer to your title they do if you inhale (injest oraly, or inject). The only drug that doesn’t ‘work’ is ganga and that’s not because it doesn’t effect people. It’s just that its a useless waste of money. Its an overpriced, overrated, way of putting on weight, getting loads of colds and simulating mental retardation. The only use I’ve ever found for it was to lower my blood-pressure when I overdosed on benzadrine one time.

    PS: Nirvana would have flopped anyway, it was a cult of personality and there was a limit to the charm. Besides the grunge movement was more of a bowel movement than anything else – unpleasant, smelly but thankfully brief. Don’t get me wrong, I was a grunger, but I’ve learned my lesson and got over the embarassment.

  2. 2
    WorkingClassAwesome on 5 Sep 2007 #

    huh…you try to make yourself a “good person” by saying you live a clean nice lifestyle, then your happy people died doing drugs… wow. the only people im happy died are hitler and all the other baddies. and if you dare compare Adolf Hitler to Jimi Hendrix, youve got some shit messed up in your mind. also you do realize you are the minority in almost every post you make i hope, then why the undiserved snooty jackass attitude? believe or not, Jimi Hendrix is FAMOUS for his work on the guitar. He is also considered by MANY to be the best. what are you (in)famous for? a blog where you rant on bands. THE END! ps i know i cant spell worth a dime, dont care!

  3. 3
    j-damn on 20 Jan 2008 #

    Another hilarious piece. Oddly enough, the other day I was just thinking about the Shamen and the video for Ebeneezer Goode, which came out in the middle of my college years. You forgot to mention that drugs also gave us such crap as “trance” or whatever the fuck it is that the Orb or Paul Oakenfold produce [or “club-versions” as your other devotee puts it up there–club versions? Uh, yeah=suck].

    Funny that both Hendrix and Cobain are from roughly the same area. Must be the weather. Or maybe left-handed guitarists just love the smack/manic depression combo.

  4. 4
    Anonymous on 11 Jul 2008 #

    This really didn’t make much sense, you kept falling off track, (getting sidetracked)… This was just like a rant on about how much you don’t like something lol, next time make it more informative.

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