One of the biggest stereotypes I have had to confront is that of “music and drugs.” I have had several people ask me if I would like to get high with them or treat me to an alcoholic beverage. While I appreciate the offers I always let them know that I am a musician “who doesn’t drink or smoke.” I have gotten several looks of “disbelief” from people who think this is “abnormal for any musician.” The truth of the matter is that I really don’t drink, and I really don’t get high (or smoke anything). I have friends who do, and I won’t judge them for that. My high comes from “playing the music, and that is more than good enough for me.” I remember on a couple of occasions someone would sit down right next to me and just get high as though I were not even there. Of course, after a few minutes they would all offer. Someone asked me why I don’t indulge and I simply told him that my mother was once an alcoholic who also smoked. My brother and I came home from school one day and found blood all over the place because she got drunk and shot herself. As tragic as that scene was there came a good result, because my father put her in rehabilitation after that and she quit smoking AND drinking. She never touched any of those things again until she passed away in 2004. Just about everybody has some kind of “vice.” I don’t believe that anyone is perfect. When it comes to other musicians and performers I won’t make an issue out of them doing drugs “unless it starts to have a big impact on ME.” When you begin to invade my comfort zone that is when I will draw the line. About a month ago I had a rehearsal with a lady singer who told everyone that she needed to get high first before singing. I had never played with these guys before, but right after they “lit up” the whole rehearsal area had this bad smell to it. I played nice for as long as I could but then I informed her that I had to leave. Of course, I never came back after that. Years ago I played for some outside function where someone bought me drink. It was supposed to be Sprite soda. However, not long after I drank it I got terribly ill. I could not finish the gig and was “barely” able to drive home afterwards. I learned from that experience. Now if anyone wants to treat me to a soda I will go with them to hear how they order it. If necessary, I will even watch the bartender “make” it. Drugs, drinks and music are a perfect combination for some folk, but that will never be the case for me. I have no problem at all being the “oddball musician.” It “works” for me… Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
I know this is a “far away” shot, but this is Chaka Khan with Brett Jolly on bass in concert.