Does the prevalence of drug use in the 80s correlate to the success of hair bands?
Think about this: 60s and the summer of love, drug use among musicians was common. The music wasn't heavy, except in tone and message. In the 70s, the drugs got a little harder, and so did the music.
Led Zeppelin, perhaps the greatest rock band of all time, preferred acid, cocaine and alcohol as their poison of choice.
Then came the 1980s. The decade of decadence. It seemed like every rock band on the Sunset Strip and beyond were into every designer (and non-designer) drug under the sun.
This drug use shaped the music and the way bands were marketed.
Once thought of as the drug of junkies, 80s musicians (and not just hair band types) turned to heroin as a way to escape "normal" life. Under the guise of a numb stupor, some of the best rock anthems were born. And then every star (if they wanted to survive) had to kick the habit, undergo some rehab, and suffer all over again.
Musicians destroyed their bodies, their brains, and the chemical balances that keep people from murdering a room full of innocent strangers.
So they turned back to music as an outlet. And most fell off the wagon. Wash, rinse, repeat.
The harder the drugs, the harder the rock.
Think about it. Listen to music over the past four decades. As the riffs get harder and harder, the drugs get easier to obtain. Is that a coincidence? Of course not. Am I condoning drug use? Absolutely not. In fact, I'm vehemently opposed to drug use. But that doesn't change the fact that people - millions of people - turn to drugs everyday.
What we have here is a jumping off point. This could be a major cultural study in both psychology and irony.
First, irony. Anti-drug campaigns were bigger in the 1980s than any other time in history, but musicians were pretty open about addiction and the party lifestyle.
I'm leaving psychology for another day because I have another entire entry for this topic.
BREAKING NEWS: Tawny Kitaen enters drug rehab program. Back in May, police nabbed Kitaen with 15 grams of cocaine. She was charged with felony possession. Kitaen pleaded guilty, and will be allowed to change her initial plea of guilty to not guilty in exchange for time in rehab.
You might recall her famous roles in the Whitesnake videos, and her marriage to the band's lead singer David Coverdale.