googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: The Drug Part Of The Equation

The Drug Part Of The Equation

Recording engineer and record producer Andy Johns died recently.  Andy Johns engineered records by the Rolling Stones including "Sticky Fingers," "Exile On Main Street," "Goats Head Soup" and "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll" and Led Zeppelin’s “II" through "Physical Graffiti" as well as albums by Mott the Hoople, Jethro Tull and many more. When writing this I've yet to learn exactly why he died but he was reportedly hospitalized because of liver problems. Liver disease suggests, although not necessarily denotes, alcohol damage. Sometimes people can get liver cancer or Hepatitis or any number of other liver ailments but when someone is in the business of rock and roll and is sixty-one years old, alcohol abuse seems a very possible culprit.

Not wanting to seem to be encouraging drug usage I usually don't write much about the Drugs part of the Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll equation but to deny its role in the story of Rock & Roll seems dishonest. To ignore drugs is like ignoring gun violence and whiskey drinking when telling stories about the Old West. You may not want to romanticize it but it's history whether you like it or not.

Although I've read over the years and more and more recently, about liver damage and alcoholism being listed as a contributing factor of death for rockers, I don't think I've ever heard marijuana smoking as a cause. In the past the medical establishment has said there hasn't been enough long term usage to be able to conduct any long time studies of the life-time effects of pot smoking but now days there certainly is a generation of pot heads in their sixties or seventies who started smoking marijuana in their teens.

I read recently that a survey taken asked if marijuana should be legalized had a response of 94% in the positive. That doesn't mean that it should be legalized, it just means that 94% of the people wanting to answer that question on a survey thought it should.

When I was a young teenager it was the Psychedelic Era (1967) and to set the general "trippy" mood I would burn incense and candles in my bedroom. It was this "playing with matches" that I credit to my never smoking cigarettes. That and they tasted bad to me and the smoke always managed to find its way right into my eyes, just like my barbecue does today. I also never saw any point in smoking cigarettes as they didn't get you "high", made you smell and taste like crap and I had no problems growing a beard or mustache in junior high school so looking older was never something I felt compelled to do. I also did not smoke marijuana at this time either, but I was totally into the art, music, style and mindset of the era.

Marijuana smokers will often burn incense to mask the smell of pot and give them at least some semblance of an excuse why their room smells so funny but over the years it also can be part of an unintentional Pavlovian conditioning. When someone burns incense, particularly if it's the same scent, every time he lights up a joint a time may come when just smelling the incense alone, without the THC, will put him in a "mellow" frame of mind that simulates the effect of smoking pot. Or I suppose you could get the same effect just from burning Cannabis scented incense but the fact they even make Cannabis scented incense (they do!) seems counter intuitive.

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