Pink Floyd, Dr. Dre, Velvet Underground and Other Artists We're Glad Discovered Drugs
It was 45 years ago this past Friday... that Bob Dylan met the Beatles for the first time and, more importantly for Rocks Off's purposes, introduced them to marijuana. While this meeting of musical titans would never lead to any actual musical collaboration or "Monsters of Hippie Rock" series of concerts, the Fab Four's induction into the 420 Club undeniably steered them away from making songs about holding hands and on to writing tunes about living in a yellow submarine and "elementary penguins singing 'Hare Krishna.'" So we're very grateful to Dylan for his public service. And while it might be easier to commemorate this occasion by making a list of artists not associated with drug use, we thought we'd take a stab at identifying those for which drugs have provided significant creative benefits. Pink Floyd: Floyd's career can be divided into two fairly distinct phases. The first was their "Psychedelic Phase," begun under doomed former frontman Syd Barrett and continuing through the mid-1970s. This experiemental period is best represented by Ummagumma, Meddle and the bazillion-selling Dark Side of the Moon. After that, we get into the "Roger Waters Is Still Pissed Off About His Father Dying in WWII Period," which will be examined in greater detail in a future entry about artists' emotional problems.
Aerosmith: Branded Stones ripoffs for a number of years, "Toxic Twins" Steven Tyler and Joe Perry nevertheless produced some of the most memorable rock music of the 1970s, including "Dream On," "Same Old Song and Dance" and "Sweet Emotion." Then they sobered up. Yes, their recent output has been much more commercially successful than their early releases, but anyone who doubts the truism that the best rock music is fueled by intoxicants need only listen to "Lightning Strikes" and "Don't Want to Miss a Thing" back to back.