“The first drugs I ever took, I was still at art school, with the group,” he says in Anthology. “We all took it together– was Benzedrine from the inside of an inhaler.”
It was all thanks to a poet named Royston Ellis, who was friends with the band. They even supported him during one of his coffee shop poetry nights.
Ellis, according to George Harrison, was the one who figured out how to get high from an inhaler.
“Ellis had discovered that if you open a Vick’s inhaler you find Benzedrine in it, impregnated into the cardboard divide,” Harrison said.
They figured out that chewing up that cardboard strip (aka “a spitball”) would give them a euphoric high.
So what happened when The Beatles tried this for the first time?
“Everybody thought, ‘Wow! What’s this?'” Lennon recalled. “And talked their mouths off for a night.”
Years later, Paul McCartney tried Benzedrine again while living with the family of his then girlfriend, Jane Asher. This time, Asher’s father, Dr. Richard Asher, told McCartney how you could extract the drug from an inhaler.
As Barry Miles writes in his book Many Years From Now, Dr. Asher “loved to shock his family.” One time he wrote a prescription for McCartney for a nasal inhaler and showed him how to use it.
“You take off the top and place it on your little finger, like so,” Dr. Asher told McCartney. “Then you take a sniff with each nostril as per normal; then, after you’ve finished with it, you can unscrew the bottom and eat the Benzedrine.”
Hey, those are the doctor’s orders. What was McCartney supposed to do?
“We learned about that stuff up in Liverpool but hearing it coming from him was quite strange,” McCartney said later.
But why was it such a common thing in the classic rock world? Why aren’t drugs such a big problem within other professions, like plumbers, doctors, or farmers?
Obviously, rockers aren’t the only people who use drugs, and not every rocker is an addict. But drugs and rock n’ roll definitely go hand-in-hand.
Here are some reasons why drugs (and alcohol) may have been such a big problem in rock music.
Drugs are expensive. And drug dealers’ target market are rich people. If you’re a big-time rocker, you’ve got money.
So you can see how the relationship between a rich rocker and a drug dealer would happen.
It was also great for drug dealers. If you surround yourself with rich people who couldn’t survive without your product, you’ve hit a goldmine. Likewise, once a dealer gets in the inner circle of rockers, you can imagine they’d do anything to stay there.
Crazy, right? Well, the next fact about this song is even more surprising…
Back in the day, you didn’t have things like Pro Tools where you could cut and splice takes so your recording sounded perfectly polished. Back then, most classic rock bands recorded songs as a band– just some guys in a room all playing a song together.
And The Zombies recorded “She’s Not There” in just one take.
Fleetwood Mac has had their ups and downs, but never have they seen a down as when they made one of their albums.
When Fleetwood mac were making their best albums– like Rumours— things were chaotic and divided. They were at their lowest of lows. Yet Rumours also brought them their highest of highs.
After Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham left the band, Fleetwood Mac put out an album that, according to drummer Mick Fleetwood, they shouldn’t have made.
Their 1995 album Time was without Nicks and just a backing vocal from Buckingham. It was their 16th studio album and their first since the 1974 release Heroes Are Hard to Find.
The lineup for this album included former Traffic guitarist Dave Mason, country vocalist Bekka Bramlett, guitarist Billy Burnette (who joined in 1987), and the long-timers Christine McVie, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood.
Fleetwood knew there was no guarantee this album would be successful. It wasn’t automatically going to do well just because their famous name was slapped on the cover.
As the 1970’s progressed into the 80’s, U2 became who the world fell in love with.
Some of U2’s biggest hits came in the mid-to-late 80’s and even some in the early 2000’s. Clearly influenced by classic rock, they created hit after hit. Their songs were hits because they’re great pieces of art.
So to celebrate the great art U2 has made, here are their top three songs ever.
2“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” — The Joshua Tree (1987)
The Joshua Tree is one of U2’s biggest albums with multiple great songs, like “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “With or Without You,” and “One Tree Hill,” which later inspired a TV show.
But “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” beats out those other songs by just a hair. And, like “Beautiful Day,” Bono went with a spiritual theme.
“The music that really turns me on is either running toward God or away from God,” Bono said, adding that this song is “an anthem of doubt more than faith.”
“I was rooting around for a sense of the traditional and then trying to twist it a bit,” he said. “That’s the idea of ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.'”
And I promise the next song is not number one because of its name…
Queen created a lot of awesome music. But what songs of theirs make you feel awesome when you listen to them?
This list of Queen songs is all about the awesomeness you feel when you hear it.
Can you blast them through your car speakers with confidence? When you’re having a good day, do these songs make it better? When your team wins the game, do you want to turn these songs up loud?
Those are the parameters. And here are the top three Queen songs that meet those parameters…
2“We Are the Champions”
You can really only play this song in specific situations, like when your sports team wins, or, well, when you win something. It’s a half-ballad, half-anthem song of triumph that will undoubtedly lift your spirits.
But the next song is the one that will give you shivers and raise the hair on the back of your neck…
Is the writer of “Space Oddity” actually dead or just faking it?
Singer-songwriter and rocker David Bowie died of liver cancer on January 10, 2016, two days after his 69th birthday. At least, that’s what the papers reported.
Bowie first became famous for writing the hit song “Space Oddity” (the “ground control to Major Tom” song) And he continued to deliver hit music to the world with his followup album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
And when he died, conspiracy theorists say he left behind bread crumbs that show he actually faked his death.
It all started with Bowie’s inheritance. He left his longtime friend and assistant Coco Schwab a whopping $2 million of his shares in a company called Opossum Inc. At first glance, you’d think that’s just a generous gesture to an old friend.
But apparently, Opossum Inc. does not exist. At least, Bowie fans haven’t found any evidence for it. They have found a company in Brooklyn called Possum Inc., and speculate that it could be a typo, simply an absent “o.”
Of course, that’s not evidence that Bowie is still living. But conspiracy minded people think so, citing the Wikipedia entry for the animal opossum.
“When threatened or harmed, they will ‘play possum,’ mimicking the appearance and smell of a sick or dead animal,” it reads.
So, I guess, Bowie is pretending to be dead and “playing possum.”
Another idea a Bowie fan proposed is that “it could be an anagram of something,” suggesting “Spoon Music.” So is Bowie somehow involved with the rock band Spoon?
And as of this writing, Bowie’s lawyer has not commented on this theory.
What do you think? Could Bowie have faked his death? If so, where would he be living? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.
It’s a question that people have been asking ever since Beatlemania: are The Beatles perceived to be better than they actually are?
First, music is subjective, so it’s difficult to say if a band is overrated, underrated, or accurately rated. But this is a hot topic within the rock and music world and especially among Beatles fans and critics.
We can see a manifestation of this conversation on Debate.org, where people weigh in on this controversy.
“They will always be the most overrated band of all time,” one debater says. “Sorry, nut job Beatle fans. They never have been, nor will they ever be the greatest band of all time. Couldn’t even play their instruments correctly. They were nothing more than a boy band until 1967. Their later music was nothing but [cartoon-y].”
Ouch. Them’s is fighting words.
On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, a debater says The Beatles “changed the musical landscape worldwide.”
“Tell me who among subsequent artists that are said to have further revolutionized music had that privilege? Nirvana? The Clash? Sex Pistols? Eminem? Not one,” the debater says. “The Beatles are simply beyond comparison; no other band was every near their league.”
Now, let’s take these two comments and dissect them. I’m going to say something bold: both of these arguments are straw-man arguments — they’re both ridiculous.
The first says that The Beatles didn’t know how to “play their instruments correctly.” Then how did they record albums and perform around the world?
The second argument says The Beatles “are simply beyond comparison.” Really? The Beatles were great, but they weren’t gods. There are plenty of bands in their league.
So now let’s look at a couple more level-headed arguments.
“The Beatles WERE a great band, no one’s denying that,” one debater says. “They were the first of their generation to bring about the type of music they did, and they did essentially revolutionize the music world, and that alone makes them a great band.”
Then this person talks about why they believe The Beatles were good but still overrated.
“However, that does not take away from the fact that they are an overrated band,” they continue. “Being overrated is entirely different to [being] GOOD. …So although they had a massive, MASSIVE fan base, the quality of their music did not match the sheer enormity of the fan base, and THAT is what makes them overrated.”
Interesting perspective. That’s a differentiation that many people debating the topic don’t make. The question is if The Beatles are “overrated,” not “good.”
Another debater understood this difference too.
“Though they are not my favorite, they are overrated,” they say. “But I guess everyone likes what they like. Guess it was cute guys playing guitar and drums and vocals that made women go crazy. THE BEATLES ARE OVERRATED.”
Now on the other side of the debate (the “not overrated” side), a commenter points out some logical reasons why The Beatles’ success and fame matched their influence in the rock world.
“I believe entirely that the Beatles were at the center of nearly every good rock and roll scene,” this person says, citing The Beatles’ influence on Bob Dylan, the Byrds, the Rolling Stones, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
“Heck, nearly everyone I can think of was inspired in some way by the music of the Beatles,” the commenter says. “And who wouldn’t be? When the witty lyrics of John Lennon are combined with the musicianship of George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. Who wouldn’t want to spend a summer’s evening, listening to ‘I Am The Walrus‘?”
But ultimately, one debater points out, music is subjective. So who can really say if a band is over- or underrated?
“Determining how good a songwriter or musician or trying to rank bands is incredibly subjective,” the debater says. “…Collectively, people loved The Beatles throughout the band’s existence and still do decades later, perhaps more than any pop group. Like every other band that ever ‘made it,’ they had the right product to offer at the right time.
“Their music has withstood the test of time. They are ‘rated’ exactly where they should be.”
What are your thoughts? Do people think too highly of The Beatles? Let’s debate it in the comments below…