But how much poorer would the music scene be without them?
From Louis Armstrong to Tom Petty, Charlie Parker to Keith Richards, Syd Barrett to Lemmy, Lowell George to Fleetwood Mac, a vast amount of great music has been created by those under the influence of marijuana, heroin, LSD, cocaine and other substances that society has declared illegal. Not all of it, by any means, has been great but would Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Sgt. Pepper, Sister Ray, Dark Star and any number of jazz classics have been created by people sipping a glass of sweet sherry or a cup of tea? Frank Zappa famously abhorred them but was he right to keep his band away from them?
All the Grateful Dead music I’ve posted from Casey was produced under the influence of marijuana, LSD and cocaine in various permutations and, for the most part, that does not seem to have affected the performances detrimentally. But in Amsterdam Garcia, for one, got a little greedy and you can hear the effect in his playing in the first set. Most of the licks that he always plays, because they’re part of the song, are bungled or omitted. Yet when he gets past the opening verses of Playin’ In The Band, the music becomes quite sublime (and the Other One performance in the second set is astonishing). So, what do you think? Just say ‘no’?
This is Playin’ In The Band from Amsterdam.
Personally, I draw the line at anything that ends up using you: heroin, cocaine, meth and the like.