Showing posts with label drug addiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label drug addiction. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Junkie Business

Prompted by a notice in yesterday’s paper that on this December 29 Marianne Faithfull celebrated her sixty-second birthday, I began thinking about the records made under the influence of drugs—and the undeniably voyeuristic pleasures of listening to these records. I remembered a story British film director Stephen Weeks told me about the making of his movie GHOST STORY (1974), in which Marianne Faithfull had a supporting role. It was filmed in 1973, when, unbeknownst to Stephen, she was a full-blown junkie. He told me about shooting the scene in the film in which she approaches her brother (played by Leigh Lawson) across a ballroom dance floor. She was so loaded when she was being filmed for the scene that he had to have grips crouch down behind her, out of sight of the camera, and prop her up so she wouldn’t collapse on the floor. Happily she has kicked the habit and is now drug-free, but perhaps her greatest record, BROKEN ENGLISH (1979), was made while she was still struggling with addiction. While there are many songs warning of the dangers of drugs, none of them, unfortunately, approach the experience of listening to records in which the musicians were still gettin’ their kicks. I have assembled here ten instances of records made under the influence, although there are, of course, many others.

Chet Baker, Chet Baker Sings and Plays from the Film “Let’s Get Lost” (Novus)
Derek and the Dominos, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (Polydor)
Marianne Faithfull, Broken English (Island)
New York Dolls, New York Dolls (Mercury)
Charlie Parker, The Legendary Dial Masters, Vols. 1 & 2 (Stash)
Art Pepper Quintet, Smack Up (Contemporary)
Pink Floyd, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (Capitol)
Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street (Rolling Stones)
Sly and the Family Stone, There’s a Riot Goin’ On (Sony)
Neil Young, Tonight’s the Night (Reprise)