The Relationship Between Music and Drugs

320 Words2 Pages
For centuries many musicians have relied on some form of psychoactive drug to open new windows of surrealism and euphoria. The mind altering and addictive substances used by many artists from various backgrounds produce new outlooks and visions; real or not isn’t the case, for in their mind it was all an even broader opening to reality. The world in the 1960’s was bombarded with bands who introduced the ability to create lyrical throes of ecstasy through the use of LSD, ecstasy, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, alcohol and other mind inhibiting substances including prescription medication. The decade’s talented artists had produced a whole new genre of music through their experiences with drugs. Although drugs do affect musicians’ abilities to write and perform along with distorting the state of mind, it in no way indicates the quality of their music. It is argued by many that the drugs are what make the music so great. Others say the drugs honestly create nothing of artistic value and therefore must hinder the art form instead. Suzie Hopkins, an inspirational figure in the underground of Los Angeles and London, said, “There’s a difference between a drug and a psychedelic. Drugs make you drugged and psychedelics enhance your ability to see the truth or reality.” (O’Brien, 1) Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Crosby Stills & Nash, The Byrds, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, The Velvet Underground, The Beach Boys, The Yardbirds, and the list goes on with bands involved in the “Psychedelic Sixties.” (1) “‘Musically people were experimenting, trying to convey that transcendent feel. Even the Stones did it, shooting off at an angle that didn't suit them,’ sums up Andy Ellison, lead vocalist with John's Children, the first band of Marc Bolan, who later fronted T. Rex. ‘It was like soul music came from white boys on acid and took on a whole different meaning.’” (O’Brien,

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