A Bunch of Smack Addict Fuck Ups: 90s Music Revival

April 9, 2014

I’m listening to music from the 90s this morning, and realizing that most of the musicians I admired so much back in those days were just really miserable fucking people. And apparently they were all fucked up and miserable together, getting high and being losers in dingy apartments with other rock stars.

Nirvana around 1992, Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic

Kurt Cobain photo by P.B. Rage (Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike)… Is he wearing pyjamas or something?

Reading the wikipedia articles about these “Kings of Rock” I get into this recursive loop of link clicking, which leads me to iTunes, which leads me to Spotify, which leads me back to wikipedia for more information.

For example:

Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots once spent months locked up in a hotel room, shooting up with Courtney Love. Weiland says that he was introduced to heroin by Gibby Hanes of the Butthole Surfers. The Butthole Surfers, of course, were one of Kurt Cobain’s favorite bands, and he met Courtney Love at one of their concerts.

Cobain was also influenced by The Meat Puppets (from my very own Phoenix, Arizona) formed by Curt and Cris Kirkwood, two brothers who were known for their Cowpunk musical stylings, and much recreational drug use. Cris, particularly, spent months at a time locked up at home, only leaving occasionally to get more drugs. Anyway, their song “Backwater” is great.

I could go on about the miserable lives of my former heroes, but I’ll stop…

When I was a kid living in the middle of the desert, we only had two things in abundance: artificiality and cacti.

Alternative music was one of the few things that seemed authentically human in my own little suburban purgatory. I didn’t have a lot of information about the people who were making that music, so I listened and thought that they were probably pretty cool folks. Cooler than my parents or schoolteachers, certainly.

Knowing now that most of those artists were about the same age I am (or even younger), and that they were basically a bunch of whiny fuck-ups who couldn’t face the prospect of leaving the house without drugging themselves is, well, a bit strange.

I guess I just don’t understand the urge that a lot of people have to drug themselves stupid. Apparently Bradley Nowell of Sublime started using heroin because he thought it was going to make him a more creative musician. Did it work? Maybe. Anyway, I spent hours and hours when I was a teenager listening to a song about him getting a handjob from some Mexican girl, so if I could just have those hours of my life back that would be great.

Other musicians, perhaps, wanted to escape their inner torment, their own little suburban purgatories. And others just had the wrong friends.

I guess it’s better that I didn’t end up as a rock star…

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About the Author Daniel

How did I end up in Spain? Why am I still here almost 20 years later? Excellent questions. With no good answer... Anyway, at some point I became a blogger, bestselling author and contributor to Lonely Planet. So there's that. Drop me a line, I'm happy to hear from you.

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