Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Some have gone, and some remain

Here's a strange magazine cover from February 1970. These people are approaching 30 (no age to be a rock star back then). So would they survive the next decade? For Circus to be asking the question, it must have been clear that the rock and roll lifestyle of the 1960s was going to result in more casualties, following the death of Brian Jones in 1969. What's surprising is not that some of these 20 rock stars died (three of them - Jimi, Janis and Jim in little over a year)  but that 13 of them are still with us.

It's interesting to see Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts are featured, but Keith Richards is not. Apart from Keef, who by any normal measure of abuse, should be dead by now, the most notable survivor here is golden-voiced hippie David Crosby.  Crosby, whose favourite pastime for many years was freebasing cocaine,  has come close to death on numerous occasions.  The catalogue of drug busts, car accidents, guns and overdoses make Keith Richards' story seem tame in comparison.

Here's just one of many stories: On March 7, 2004, Crosby was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, illegal possession of a hunting knife, illegal possession of ammunition and illegal possession of about 1 ounce of marijuana. Crosby left said items behind in his hotel room. Authorities said a hotel employee searched the suitcase for identification and found about an ounce of marijuana, rolling papers, two knives and a .45-caliber pistol. Crosby was arrested when he returned to the hotel to pick up his bag.

In the prologue to his autobiography, Long Time Gone, Crosby, when asked if he was ever stoned onstage, replied, “The answer to that is that never once, until I got out of prison, did I ever record, perform, or do anything any way except stoned. I did it all stoned.”
He's still with us and singing as beautifully as ever.

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