I’m sick of hearing people say all good musicians were drug addicts. It’s not true. It didn’t improve songwriting or anything of that matter. Many used it as a coping strategy for mental illness, but others like the names of this blog never became addicts. A few never even touched drugs before. Let’s get started…
1. Billy Corgan (The Smashing Pumpkins)
Billy Corgan admitted to experimenting with soft core drugs in the late 90’s, post divorce – but he was never an addict. Instead, he had smoked a joint or two and dabbled with pain pills. But as Corgan rightfully stated in 2007 – “My father was a heroin addict. And after seeing the way he would behave upon abusing heroin and alcohol, I decided at a young age I would never have anything to do with that.” And he never did, other than messing around with pot a couple of times as a coping mechanism for his divorce. He also got drunk a few times, but there’s few people who haven’t. And again, 9/10 gen xers have dabbled with drugs at some point in their lives. Especially being a rock star, where it’s way more accessible to you and way easier to get your hands on.
2. Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day)
Similarly to Corgan, Billie Joe Armstrong messed around with drugs a few times as a younger man in his late teens – but he never was a heavy abuser. Just smoked a few joints. Essentially, Billie Joe was about as much of a drug user as Ross Geller from ‘Friends’. There’s a difference between being an immature youth and a drug addict in need of rehab. Upon meeting the love of his life Adrienne Armstrong in 1993, and marrying her in 1994 – he wasn’t going to do drugs. He didn’t have time for that. Instead, he went on to have two children. He became a good and loyal family man. He’s been with his wife for 25 years now, with only two ex-girlfriends. Love Green Day or hate Green Day, that’s honorable and he’s a good man. Had he married a drug addict like Kurt Cobain, it would have been a different story. In fact, the only reason Cobain became a heroin addict was because Courtney Love. Before that, he was just like BJA and had experimented with weed. End reality, you are who you hang out with. And since nobody in Green Day or others he was hanging around with were addicts, he wasn’t either. Which is why Green Day are together all these years down the road.
3. Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam)
The 90’s grunge scene was surrounded by drug abusers. And since what goes around comes around, there was a view drug encounters for Eddie Vedder. But just some pot here and there, and agedly he snorted coke one time backstage at a festival after drinking too much. He never became hooked, and never had to go to rehab – as he was never a heavy drug user or addict. Never got deep into it.
4. Bono (U2)
Bono has never even touched drugs. He’s always been completely clean cut and sober, like everyone else in U2. He has the most faith out of the following as well, which is a contributing factor as to why he’s never even done drugs. That and the era he was in wasn’t surrounded by as much of it. He like Armstrong has been with his wife a very long time. It’s been the only woman he’s ever been with, upon meeting her at the age of 14 in 1974 – to dating her two years later. Finally, marrying her in 1983 as a result of becoming famous. He’s forever grateful for their breakout album ‘War’, as it was the album that gave him the money to marry his wife. He has 4 children, and as a result of becoming a father at a young age and staying a loyal man of faith – he never used drugs of any kind.
5. Bruce Springsteen (Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band)
Bruce Springsteen, like Bono – has also never done any drugs. As a kid, he would play a show and then watch his friends play. He took really good care of himself, which is why at 70 – he looks 50. Upon never abusing drugs, he’s a loyal husband and good father. Dad to a horseback rider and a firefighter. He had his struggles with depression, amongst other things – but never turned to drugs to solve the problem. Him and Bono are openly faithful believers in God, and are close friends. They inducted each other’s bands into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame, and will be forever known as – “the cleanest rock singers ever…”
6. Bob Dylan
Upon being an immature youth smoking weed here and there in the early years, that doesn’t count as a drug user. Especially since marijuana is legal in a lot of US states now in present day. Open man of faith, and loyal family man. A drug addict wouldn’t make it to 80 years old and be able to perform and tour, like Dylan. And don’t bring up The Rolling Stones to argue as they were heavy drug addicts, because their lives shows nowadays are crap and they look terrible.
7. Johnny Cash
Upon his divorce, Cash turned to alcohol. He shortly after recognized the issue and went into rehab. The divorce caused him so much pain, which led to abusing substances here and there – but he was never an addict and it was a short period of time. So it doesn’t really count as being an addict like Jimi Hendrix or Scott Weiland. Cash was highly faithful as well, so he wouldn’t have let drugs ruin him.
8. David Bowie
Messing around in the early years with LSD and other hallucinogenics, once again doesn’t qualify as a ‘heavy drug addict’. He never needed to check into rehab, and didn’t play around in that popular 60’s-70’s scene much – despite he was in it.
9. Matt Nathanson
There’s no interviews of it, but I’m sure Nathanson had smoked a joint once backstage with the house band. Upon realizing it wouldn’t do anything for his songwriting, he wouldn’t continue down a hard path of drug addiction. He’s also anther family man.
10. Jack Johnson
The guy’s never even touched drugs. He’s a dad, surfer, and former professional athlete. Enough said. Most solo acts didn’t participate in that scene, especially the soft rock ones such as Nathanson and Johnson.
OTHER NOTABLE FIGURES:
DAVE MATTHEWS OF DAVE MATTHEWS BAND.
STING OF THE POLICE.
GAVIN ROSSDALE OF BUSH.
ANTHONY KIEDIS OF RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS.
CHRIS ROBINSON OF THE BLACK CROWES.
JAKOB DYLAN OF THE WALLFLOWERS.
JOHN POPPER OF BLUES TRAVELER.
AND SO MUCH MORE!!! YOU DON’T NEED DRUGS TO BE A ROCK STAR, THESE NAMES ARE LEGENDARY AND THEY NEVER RELIED ON THEM!!!