A List of Top Ten Musicians Who Were Heroin Users.

I include this link not in celebration of their use but of their creative work, and with a sadness at what could have been had they recovered and lived.

The greatest fight of your life might be your fight to get sober.

For any woman who has ever loved the wrong man.

Kill All Redneck Pricks


I saw this incredible, powerful documentary film a few hours ago. I was not that familiar with the band, but am a big fan of Big Business and was interested in it. I did not know the story of guitarist Chris Smith and his battle with addiction, anxiety, suicide attempts and terror.

His quotes in this film were incredible to me. I was honored to share a few words with him after the screening.

If this film comes to your town, go see it. If it is isn’t, bring it for a screening. Seriously, I am moved – and in the midst of some pretty painful realizations and feelings about exactly how dark and painful addiction can be, and how awful it can make creating and dreaming and loving and living.

For all of you who struggle to quiet the fire in your mind – keep fighting. To Chris, at a professed 5 years sober – much respect and kinship.

Breathe. And pray magic/play music.

Love of mine.

I miss you tonight.

Fear is the heart of love.

I was there, in the ether. You sink inside and I am left with only depleted oxygen.

I do hear it, the arias, and I understand.

I wish you weren’t scared.

If I had the strength of ten thousand men…

Steve Drodz.

I was talking about this blog over brunch the other day, and my friend began telling me about Steve Drodz, the musical genius behind the Flaming Lips. I had always loved The Soft Bulletin, actually thinking it has some of the best production in alternative/rock music of recent, but I didn’t know about Steve’s battles.

So I have been thinking of him. And I would like to watch this documentary on Flaming Lips, in order to learn more.

I really liked this photo.

I also really enjoyed this interview with the man. I like hearing from people who struggle with addiction on subjects OTHER than their addiction. I like hearing what it is like in their brain, and what their creations are attempting to embody. Part of the point of this blog was to share and show some of that. At brunch, we talked about how some of the push to create, while potentially drug fueled in those who battle addiction, is not BASED on the use. The confidence may be, but that vision and voice is INSIDE the person already. It is vital to keep this in mind as we consider how to be creative once sober.

Other bloggers seem to like this guy too. This video also offers a bit more.

I Saw God

“And the sky was made of amethyst.”

It was really powerful to watch the documentary on Patty Schemel’s life, She Hit So Hard. I was grateful to be in the company of 3 amazing women, creators, and artists. There was so much I never knew about the dynamics and lives of Patty and those close to her. I just remember EXACTLY how it felt to stare at her playing. And to hear her speak firsthand about confronting her demons, time and time again – and particularly how heroin was a strange drug of choice for a drummer, ostensibly the core of the band meant to keep pace and stability.

It wasn’t irrelevant to me that she was a queer woman from a small town, nor was it irrelevant to see stories of the big-time producer who pushed her to the brink with Celebrity Skin, eventually outing her for a “Johnny One Take,” as she referred to it. Today I was having coffee with Diane and I relayed how sitting behind a drumset is the single occasion in my life to afford me the greatest sense of peace, quietude, embodiment, joy. I can SEE and HEAR it in Patty.

It was good to see her sober. It was good to hear honest talk about the pull towards oblivion and that feeling of first wings, but then that pull back to the living.

“All my friends are embryonic, all my friends are dead and gone. All my friends are microscopic, all my friends wake up alone.”

Patty. Thank you. You have no idea what you did and do for some of us.

Patty Schemel.

She is the reason I play drums. These videos are fantastic. A lot on the subject of her journey to sobriety.

Once Upon a Midnight Dreary

Interesting piece on the life of Edgar Allan Poe. Not a lot of evidence that he ever seriously investigated or pursued recovery. I had a good conversation with someone the other day about whether or not sobriety in and of itself constitutes recovery (I think Poe did not pursue either). I am curious what people think of this question.

The book “Touched by Fire.”

If you aren’t familiar with it, take a look.

Some interesting articles on musicians and sobriety








Going Clean: Drugs and Creativity in the Lives of Ten Musicians
Eric Clapton
Dave Mustaine

These were a few pieces I found recently in a conversation with someone I care about deeply.


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