Drugs and Music

3 09 2007

There’s been a lot of hassle lately about Amy Winehouse and her heroin addiction but it has to be asked: Does drug addiction make music more interesting? Just look at Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. They were absolute legends who changed music completely in so many different ways, and they all died of drug overdoses.

But then there is the other side of the coin: the people who are drug addicts who do not make it anywhere, such as Pete Doherty and Courtney Love. They are not really famous for anything, because neither makes memorable or even good music. Oh wait, they slept with a lot of famous people, does that make them famous too? It looks like it.

While intense pain does seem to lend a lot to performances, such as Winehouse’s deep mournful voice, along with it comes gig and festival cancellations and mass media frenzy. The media loves that they fall out of clubs and hotels off their faces, and in Amy’s case fall out of hotels whilst physically fighting with her husband. Does this make their music more interesting? Maybe. Maybe because they fool idiots like me into believing she really is in pain and that her music is a reflection of this.

Maybe. But does buying her album condone her drug use? What about all the artists who use drugs who are not open about it, like the Blur bassist who only revealed the facts about his drug fuelled days a couple of weeks ago? Should we boycott them too? This may even be a clever marketing ploy to make people buy more of her albums. Either way, someone is making money off her suffering, but then the arguement is that she brought it upon herself by willingly doing the drugs. Winehouse’s parents are so involved as well, how does she cope with that? If my parents walked in on me smoking heroin in a hotel room with a call girl I would die on the spot of shame because I had disappointed my parents and let them down immensely.

Winehouse obviously needs to recover, and this endless paparazzi hounding is not helping matters. I wish we didn’t live in a society that called for 24/7 observation of people. That’s what Big Brother is for.

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