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.