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The Ongoing History of New Music, Episode 729: Rock’n’Roll Drugs

There are many ways to clear or expand your mind to allow the free-flow of creativity: exercise, meditation and prayer are but three. But that takes exertion, practice and devotion. What if there was a simpler way?

Well, there is: drugs. It’s not the smartest choice, but for centuries drugs have worked for artists.

We can go all the way back to cave paintings made in France, Spain, Italy, Southern Africa and the Americas 50,000 years ago. Some anthropologists claim that these paintings were made after these ancient artists took drugs, probably some kind of hallucinogenic mushrooms or plant extract. Why? Because many of these paintings all feature specific geometric shapes and images that researchers say are common visions resulting from the ingestion of certain mind-altering chemicals. In other words, some of humankind’s first artists were junkies.

Art, genius and drugs have gone together ever since. Not always, but more than you may realize.  Which brings me to the world of rock’n’roll. Rock stars often use drugs for recreation, inspiration and escape, just like those cave people 500 centuries ago.

But which rock stars, which drugs and why? That’s what we’re going to investigate in a show that’s part chemistry, part psychiatry and part warning. Welcome to a primer on rock’n’roll drugs.

The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

We’re still looking for more affiliates in Vancouver, Kamloops, Kelowna, Red Deer, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do. Oh, and did I mention that it looks like the show will start running in Singapore in January? Maybe in Malaysia, too. We’ll see.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38516 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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