*(All our gonzo journalist disclaimers apply when we let C.T. Herron loose on a project - Jamie)
NHC commissioned me to do an "objective" article on drugs, asking a Gonzo Division member to be objective about drugs is like... hmm... need a good metaphor...
Allow me to introduce the 'choose your own level of offence' interactive metaphor section, or IMS. To be only mildly offended read only number 1. For maximum offence read only number 5, then read on...
1. Asking a Gonzo Division member to be objective about drugs is like asking Freddy Kreuger to be objective about chiropody!
2. Asking a Gonzo Division member to be objective about drugs is like asking Jello Biafra to be objective about a cop shooting a baby in the face!
3. Asking a Gonzo Division member to be objective about drugs is like asking Jimmy Saville to be objective about Sesame Street!
4. Asking a Gonzo Division member to be objective about drugs is like asking Hitler to be objective about the Jewish race!
5. Asking a Gonzo Division member to be objective about drugs is like asking Christians to be objective about abortion!
You can't even write gonzo style objectively, it defies the term:
There's another quote I'd like to drop before we continue, I've used it before in my famous Salvia Report but it's even more appropriate here:
Let's kick the ballistics here, I'd have a much more difficult time naming bands that aren't drug-influenced than I would listing the opposite, hell, even Cliff Richards is a cokehead! Donny Osmond has his drugs cooked up in the gallons by shamans and flown in from the Amazon jungle. But they're bad examples, they're bad musicians.
Do you think the other-worldly Jimi Hendrix reached those peaks on guitar without the illuminating light of LSD? Do you think a lack of a heroin habit might have took the edge off Cobain's music? I reckon so. Just about everybody who was rock and rolling in the fifties and sixties from Little Richard, to Jerry Lee Lewis to Elvis to Johnny Cash, all your grandparents' favourite musicians of yore - real fucking high on amphetamines! Pink Floyd would never had opened the neural pathways required to create the music of the gods without plenty of acid behind them. Jim Morrison, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Marc Bolan, The Clash, you know I could go on forever... They were all driven by drugs to one degree or another, inspired, enlightened, they were living. Even those of the rock glitterati that pushed the boundaries to the very limits still managed to cobble together some fucking amazing music while doing it! Peter Green, Syd Barrett, Iggy Pop, Ozzy Osbourne, Amy Winehouse, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones that list is also infinite... What good music have sober people ever made? Even if you look at the local scene, you think The Girobabies and Colonel Mustard aren't someway drug-influenced?
That paragraph was long enough, but it could have been a lot longer, I could have went on mentioning drug-influenced artists until I ran out of ink and paper... It's not just music either, any creative fields, literature (nearly all high), art (nearly all high), even scientists are doing DMT and pscilosybin! Why? What is it about drugs and creativity?
When Bob Dylan turned The Beatles onto cannabis and they quickly developed into psychedelic-users their music metamorphosised into a whole new level of genius, gone is the mop-top, lovey-dovey, poppy-boppy stuff, and in with the siitar, and the trippy effects, and Sgt. Peppers and the Abbey Roads, and it clearly enriched their lives and their minds and therefore their music, it's as plain as the tab of acid on the end of your tongue. Here is an excerpt from The Beatles Bible:
After the hotel room was secured, Dylan rolled the first joint and passed it to Lennon. He immediately gave it to Starr, whom he called "my royal taster". Not realising the etiquette was to pass it on, Ringo finished the joint and Dylan and Aronowitz rolled more for each of them.
The Beatles spent the next few hours in hilarity, looked upon with amusement by Dylan. Brian Epstein kept saying, "I'm so high I'm on the ceiling. I'm up on the ceiling." Paul McCartney, meanwhile, was struck by the profundity of the occasion, telling anyone who would listen that he was "thinking for the first time, really thinking." He instructed Mal Evans to follow him around the hotel suite with a notebook, writing down everything he said.
And that's The Beatles! And that's just off marijuana, before they tried hallucinogens. Here is a scientific report showing how psychedelic use profoundly affects creativity in individuals.
So what about the scientific bit?
Here is a report entitled 'The Science of Tripping Balls and its Impact on Creativity'
Personally, I've literally been stoned for sixteen years now, morning, noon and night, I do all my best writing stoned, and I gain all my best insights and ideas when I drop LSD, DMT, take mushrooms or smoke salvia occasionally. I have done just about every psychedelic going since I was 18, chemicals, cacti, fungi, roots, barks, seeds, moulds, plants, you name it, and over an intense period a few years ago in The Psychedelic Beach Pad era of my life. I know from personal experience that tripping is a mind opening life event that makes you more self-aware and it also offers a great knowledge of ancient wisdom to those who know where and how to look for it.
I'm not of course, endorsing drugs, so for an objective perspective here is a statement from anti-drugs campaigner Dr. Thompson of Kentucky:
"I hate to advocate drugs, violence or insanity, but they've always worked for me!"
So there you go, he hates to advocate drugs, don't do them, unless you want to make really good art, or have a good time, but apart from that, don't do them! Don't say I didn't warn you...
"Music and drugs have long been linked with shifts in genre often running alongside trends in narcotic consumption, from Miles Davis to The Happy Mondays"
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2008/nov/16/drugs-music-link A Guardian report on the link between music and drugs.
Cheers to The Real Damo for brainstorming offensive metaphors with me