Hits From The Blog

Cocaine proved the ultimate undoing of painter Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Jazz great, John Coltrane, had a highly publicized addiction to heroin.
Moustachioed pop idols, The Beatles, were quite candid about their use of hallucinogenic drugs while writing and recording their hits.
And whoever wrote The Macarena must have been high.
So why the prevalence of drug use amongst the artistic community? And would the same great works of art have been created without this narcotic ‘crutch’?
Artists throughout the generations have pondered these deep philosophical questions and then giggled uncontrollably. Some users suggest that these illicit trips provide escape from the every day stresses that hinder creativity. Some say the drugs expand their minds and offer alternate paths of inspiration. Others simply say “Whoa…” and “Isn’t ice cream weird?”
These answers notwithstanding, there is a well-documented dark side to this issue: one that can easily end in tragedy. With artists so often slave to their environment, they will quickly snuggle up to whatever setting seems most productive. Drugs may help speed them up before a deadline, or help to slow them down after a performance; but in most cases, the consequences are grave. As dependency gives way to full-blown addiction, the lines of reality and judgement blur. The drugs hijack the spirit and sap the soul, rendering the user emotionally vacant. They play havoc with health, cause great financial burden, and impel one to wear patterned pants.
For these reasons, my colleagues and I have sought out escape and inspiration in natural, more contemporary ways…
For the boost of energy once the domain of amphetamines and uppers, today’s artist might consider drinking a tall, no foam, ristretto espresso macchiato. And then quickly drinking another tall, no foam, ristretto espresso macchiato. This is a delicious way to jumpstart creative energies and it requires only limited knowledge of the Italian language.
For that post-performance ‘comedown’, my band-mates and I like to retire to the dressing room and pass around a leg of turkey. There is a very powerful amino acid in turkey called Tryptophan and, particularly when the turkey is smoked, the Tryptophan acts as a chemical catalyst to calm down brain function. The Tryp-trip is a wild one (hence the term ‘wild turkey’), and a safe alternative to the numbing barbiturates peddled on the street.
As for the hallucinogenic journey that propelled The Beatles to such lofty artistic heights, I recommend to today’s artists that they book an appointment with their accountant. There is no more mind-altering experience than a long, sober look at one’s personal financial profile.
I end this week’s Blog with another interesting musical fact:

- Snakes have very limited hearing capability, which is why they make such terrible violinists -


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