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I can't enjoy The Beatles anymore.
6 May 2014
11.15am
TT454
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OK, firstly, before reading this, I want to make one thing clear – this is NOT a troll post. I say this because it might come off as such. It's not, I swear. I'm serious about everything I say. OK, here goes.

So, basically, I feel as though I can't enjoy The Beatles anymore. Why? It's simple – I don't do drugs. I never have, never wanted to and never will. So, I feel like a massive, disgusting hypocrite to call myself a Beatles fan, because drugs are so closely linked to the Beatles that they practically represent the drug culture. They promoted drugs in their music and movies and became the most famous hippies ever. Nowadays, many people who become Beatles fans will go onto do drugs; it's considered part of the Beatles thing, just like getting into Pink Floyd, you're expected to "turn on".

Why don't I do drugs? It's obvious. I have excellent, loving parents who care about me and always told me as a kid that drugs are dangerous. My life-skills (social studies) teachers said exactly the same thing. I was told outright that, (and yes, I know you're thinking of Mr. Mackey here) drugs are bad, and if you do them, there will be side-effects that can damage your life and possibly kill you. As a result of being told this, I never came across them, never had any desire whatsoever to do them (and I still will have any desire – the thought of them makes me feel sick) and yet, I was a Beatles fan – a band who never would have made it big without their frequent illegal drug use. When I was a kid, I grew up with them, and I was blissfully ignorant of the fact that my new favourite band were constantly ingesting substances as they wrote their timeless hits. I found out eventually, and at first, I didn't care – I thought, hey, it was the 60s, that doesn't happen much now, and I continued to love them, talk about them, and obsess over them.

And then, I found out that in fact, drug use today is far more common than I thought. It's so common that if you meet someone online, there's a good chance that they smoke cannabis for example, or have smoked it, and will unashamedly admit it. I met dozens of people online who enjoy The Beatles through YouTube, and constantly came across messages like "I'm so high when listening to this" or "I dropped acid to this." It scared me. I really did. I never knew that this generation loved drugs so much until I explored The Beatles beyond their music. Hell, you can't avoid drugs at all these days. They are everywhere, in all mainstream music, in movies, in video games, and all over the Internet, and it saddens me. And it disturbs me that so many people – millions of people – are willing to try them, get addicted and then continue to do them and defend their right to be addicted – just like The Beatles.

Now, I know what you're thinking – "but dude, there's THOUSANDS of drug-free people who enjoy The Beatles". Yes, I know that. But, I've met far, far more people online who are pro-drug than anti-drug like I am. In fact, I've found out through YouTube that if you dare say that you're anti-drug, you will instantly receive countless messages from the world's stoners, LSD users, etc who will criticize you for being against them, saying how they're harmless and how all the anti-drug stuff is a lie and whatnot. As a result, I feel like I'm in such a minority that I feel small. It's not cool to be against drugs in the modern age. Today, it's considered prudish and cowardly to hate them. But, I do hate drugs, because of the fact that they've destroyed so many lives and killed so many people, and yet today most people look past this.

Now, having built up a hatred of drugs and the ways in which they've ruined or taken lives, listening to The Beatles is an uncomfortable experience. I mean, let's look at "A Day In The Life" which many say is the greatest thing the Beatles ever made – this song is practically one massive "do drugs" subliminal message. "I'd love to turn you on" means "I hope you, the listener, starts using drugs now you've heard this song." So, listening to it, I feel uncomfortable. I don't do drugs, so how can I enjoy a song that promotes them? It's no better than today's rap music promoting drugs, a genre I pretty much never listen to. Like I said, it's massively hypocritical to be against drugs and yet enjoy a drug-promoting band. My feeling of being a hypocrite has become so strong that I can't even enjoy the "Help!" album anymore. When I was a kid, I used to say it's a great album to play in the summer time. Now, I look at it and see it as just another drug album, and as a result, it hinders my enjoyment of it. I now can't help but think of drugs when I think of The Beatles.

So, why am I making this post? Why did I join this forum? Because I want to enjoy this band again. I really, desperately want to. I feel so shut out from other fans, and such an outcast that I joined. I don't want to be against the band that made my childhood so happy. I want to rediscover them, to find out just why I enjoyed them in the first place. I just want to know that there are people out there who once felt the same way, even a little bit. Because really, this may sound like a pathetic post, but it does hurt me inside. It really does. I'm a sensitive, shy, socially awkward person and I feel like it effects me personally. I can't help but look back and cringe now – I was an anti-drug kid who listened to and sang along to the druggiest band of all time. And that's pretty sad, when you look back at a childhood and hate yourself for it, that to me is making me miserable, and I want it to end.

Or maybe, it's me that's the problem – Maybe I'm just stereotyping them or narrowing them down to one thing. Maybe I'm just bitter about being in a minority. But, I want to finally make this point clear. I want to enjoy The Beatles again, and I need your help. I want to see them in the same light that I saw them in as a kid – fun, cheerful, peace-making musicians, not people who wanted everyone to get high. I just want to know that there ARE other people out there – including people on this forum – who happily enjoy the band and at the same time believe in a clean lifestyle, like me. Because, really – I do not want to do, or even accept drugs. I really don't. I was told that they're dangerous by my parents who cared for me, I've stayed away from pretty much all of them (yes, even alchohol) and it's quite clear that drugs are to blame for the deaths of so many people in history, and are linked to crime, unemployment, depression, relationships falling apart, and all sorts of other negative things.

So, are there any proudly drug-free Beatles fans on here?

6 May 2014
1.08pm
meanmistermustard
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I have never done drugs in my life, never wanted to, but adore the Beatles and have done since i was something like 8 years old – its part of their legacy but i've never felt like a hypocrite for liking them. Same goes for my family who havent done drugs (that i know of) and like The Beatles. I dont stand for hitting women, something John did (the hitting part i mean) and admitted to, but it doesnt stop me loving him or his music or admiring him as an individual. Its accepting the flaws and bits i dont like or agree with in any way (if pushed i'd be anti-drugs tho i'm not getting into an argument over it with anyone) and looking past to see the good that is there – and there is so much good, positive stuff.

 

Also if because of drugs you cant enjoy artists and groups where do you draw the line and who do you like? You can write off most of the biggest acts on the planet as they all did drugs at some point, before and after the Beatles. Dylan introduced the Beatles to pot.

 

And i'd ignore folks comments on youtube. Going by whats posted by the majority on there if aliens came down and read them they'd give up all hope of finding intelligence and save time and energy by vaporising us all with one big blast.

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6 May 2014
1.26pm
TT454
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meanmistermustard said
Also if because of drugs you cant enjoy artists and groups where do you draw the line and who do you like? You can write off most of the biggest acts on the planet as they all did drugs at some point, before and after the Beatles. Dylan introduced the Beatles to pot.

I know, it's weird, but I listen to many other rock artists, some who may or may not have used drugs, but with The Beatles it's different because there connection to drug use is absolutely enormous. There's even a page on this website called "The Beatles and drugs". It seems as though they are the centre of it all, the leaders of the psychedelic movement who made it look okay to take drug-related risks. Me though? I just loved the music, I never cared for the drug side of it, but it seems as though the drug side of it is pretty much the reason why most people love and respect them.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against the band at all, and I know they've brought so much happiness to people's lives and changed music and everything, but it still feels weird to me. After being told by Mum and Dad and my teachers at school about all the bad things drugs have done, and watching a frightening video about people who abuse drugs like LSD, cocaine and heroin, suddenly all these drugs are painted in a normal light, as if they're an ordinary part of the human experience because The Beatles used them.

Still, I am glad I've found another drug-free Beatles fan.

6 May 2014
1.41pm
meanmistermustard
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I disagree that the reason most people like and respect the Beatles is because of their use of drugs. They love the music, the drug usage is a by-product of it all

To take the first band that come to my head what about Pink Floyd, their drug intake is legendary and would easily rival The Beatles, same with the Rolling Stones. Read any book or go on any half decent fan website and you will find articles and comments on their drug intake and how it influenced their music. To place the Beatles on a higher pedestal seems unfair when those two bands and so many others were doing drugs, sometimes far more heavily, and were more open about it.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
6 May 2014
1.44pm
DrBeatle
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^I agree, mmm. Hell, my wife is a huge Beatles fan as well and she said to me while we were watching the Grammy tribute in February "the only thing, ONLY thing, I don't like about the Beatles is that they did drugs." My mother has said the same thing. It certainly hasn't hampered the enjoyment of the music (and with drug use as ubiquitous as it is amongst musicians, it's VERY hard to find someone who hasn't done a single illicit substance), but it's there. But I certainly wouldn't say it's a reason people DO like the Beatles (or other bands) at all.

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6 May 2014
1.47pm
MrMoonlight
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Yeah. Most people like the Beatles for their music. Anyone who says they like the Beatles because they did drugs is probably just an edgy teenager who's never actually tried any.

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6 May 2014
2.03pm
Joe
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I'd be interested to see a list of the top 1,000-selling artists since 1956, divided into two groups: those who took drugs and those who didn't. I bet the former list would be way longer, and the music would be a lot better. My personal list would be headed by The Beatles, but would also include Nirvana, David Bowie, Harry Nilsson, Blondie and LCD Soundsystem, all of whom were either drug addicts or recreational users.

That correlation isn't to say that drugs are a good thing; it's more that some good people happen to take drugs. They can hurt and harm a person, but they can also inspire, thrill, improve and influence people for the better. For every Syd Barrett there's a Paul McCartney.

if you dare say that you're anti-drug, you will instantly receive countless messages from the world's stoners, LSD users, etc who will criticize you for being against them, saying how they're harmless and how all the anti-drug stuff is a lie and whatnot. 

I think the term "drugs" isn't particularly helpful, because it's so broad as to be largely meaningless. All drugs are bad? Well, no. Plenty of people are kept alive with drugs. My grandmother died of throat cancer a few years ago, and at the end she was being given so much heroin (diamorphine) that it made her final days as comfortable as possible. Humans have recreationally self-medicated for thousands of years, and we're still here. Marijuana is not at all like heroin which is very different from ecstasy which is quite unlike LSD which is nothing like crystal meth. This is why "Just say no" is such a terrible policy. When someone experiments and smokes a joint, then finds they don't die, end up in the gutter or suffer psychosis, does that mean all the other drug stories are myths as well? Not differentiating between the largely benign drugs and the life-destroying ones – or their use and abuse – helps nobody.

I just want to know that there ARE other people out there – including people on this forum – who happily enjoy the band and at the same time believe in a clean lifestyle, like me. Because, really – I do not want to do, or even accept drugs. I really don't. I was told that they're dangerous by my parents who cared for me, I've stayed away from pretty much all of them (yes, even alchohol) and it's quite clear that drugs are to blame for the deaths of so many people in history, and are linked to crime, unemployment, depression, relationships falling apart, and all sorts of other negative things.

For what it's worth, I'm drug-free nowadays (for no particular reason, I just prefer drinking) but did a fair bit of experimentation as a teenager and in my twenties. I don't regret a thing. Everyone's welcome to express their opinions here but I'd rather they weren't judgemental about people's personal lifestyles and choices. This goes whether a person is pro- or anti-drugs.

Why don't I do drugs? It's obvious. I have excellent, loving parents who care about me and always told me as a kid that drugs are dangerous. My life-skills (social studies) teachers said exactly the same thing. I was told outright that, (and yes, I know you're thinking of Mr. Mackey here) drugs are bad, and if you do them, there will be side-effects that can damage your life and possibly kill you. As a result of being told this, I never came across them, never had any desire whatsoever to do them (and I still will have any desire – the thought of them makes me feel sick) 

You haven't explained why you are anti-drugs, beyond your parents and teacher telling you that they're bad, and "because of the fact that they've destroyed so many lives and killed so many people." Do you base your thoughts on religion, politics, fashion, and the Scottish independence question on what your parents and life-skills teachers say you should think, or do you have any natural curiosity to see if what they say is actually true? I always find asking questions and trying things out for myself rather liberating.

It's not cool to be against drugs in the modern age. Today, it's considered prudish and cowardly to hate them.

It's very cool to make a stand for something you believe in. Way better than bowing to peer pressure or blindly accepting cultural norms. Stand up tall and proud.

I'm going to recommend you a book. I'm not trying to change your mind about drugs – you can do them or not do them, it makes no difference to me. The Devil's Picnic (you can pick up a used copy for $0.01+postage) is about various types of food and drink that have been prohibited in different countries, the effects of ingestion and prohibition, from poppy seeds in Singapore to unpasteurised cheese that cannot be imported into the USA. It's an interesting book which makes the broader point that what is illegal in one culture is gladly seized upon by another, and what our teachers, politicians or parents would like us not to do is often based on nothing more than fear and misinformation.

When I was a kid, I used to say it's a great album to play in the summer time. Now, I look at it and see it as just another drug album, and as a result, it hinders my enjoyment of it. I now can't help but think of drugs when I think of The Beatles.

It's been asked on this forum before whether it's possible to divorce a piece of art from its creator, and I guess by extension also from the circumstances surrounding its creation. IIRC it was asked of Chuck Berry being a sex pest, and whether it was OK to still like his music. Did Kurt Cobain and Elliott Smith write some beautiful melodies? Yes they did. Were they also self-destructive heroin addicts? Yes. But I can still listen to their music without enjoying it any less. Others have more of a problem separating life from art, and that's fine. Whatever works for you works.

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6 May 2014
2.07pm
Billy Rhythm
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What's puzzling here is that your statement "I can't enjoy The Beatles anymore" suggests to me that you DID in fact "enjoy" them before, but allowed for your personal opinions on drugs to squelch anymore enjoyment.  It's been years since I last smoked a joint, and decades since I've last tripped and yes, The Beatles most certainly were the inspiration behind my initial experimentation with drugs (NEVER had the pleasure of Cocaine & Heroin).  I won't advocate drug use for anyone but I'm also not gonna deny how my experimentation with them has indeed had numerous positives and enhanced my life, in addition to the negatives.  My parents preached the whole "drugs are bad" lectures as well, but I needed to experience that for myself and many years after the fact I can honestly say from experience that they were only half right.  I still enjoy The Beatles music literally everyday of my life and that's without the aid of drugs anymore.  It's one thing if you just don't care for their music personally, but to say that you can't anymore because of the associations that are made with their drug use to me is about as shallow as saying that you "can't enjoy" the White Album anymore because of the affiliation made to a certain deranged individual who used their music as inspiration to commit multiple murders in Death Valley, or that you can no longer find it in your heart to appreciate 'And I Love Her' because the Bible Belt misrepresented John Lennon's opinions on the state of Christianity…:-)

6 May 2014
2.20pm
Joe
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TT454 said
Don't get me wrong, I'm not against the band at all, and I know they've brought so much happiness to people's lives and changed music and everything, but it still feels weird to me. After being told by Mum and Dad and my teachers at school about all the bad things drugs have done, and watching a frightening video about people who abuse drugs like LSD, cocaine and heroin, suddenly all these drugs are painted in a normal light, as if they're an ordinary part of the human experience because The Beatles used them.

For many people they *are* an ordinary part of the human experience. Look at the clothes you are wearing right now (I'm assuming you're not naked). Someone designed them. Someone else cut and stitched the fabric. Someone else packaged it up. It was posted by a variety of handlers, and probably driven somewhere by a trucker. If you bought it in a shop, someone put it on the racks, someone else keyed in the price and sold it to you. Out of all those people, I can almost guarantee you that someone, somewhere, was a drug user. They weren't evil, they weren't thieving, they weren't on a self-destructive spiral. Just someone getting on with their life, doing things they enjoy doing.

I know, it's weird, but I listen to many other rock artists, some who may or may not have used drugs, but with The Beatles it's different because there connection to drug use is absolutely enormous. There's even a page on this website called "The Beatles and drugs". It seems as though they are the centre of it all, the leaders of the psychedelic movement who made it look okay to take drug-related risks. Me though? I just loved the music, I never cared for the drug side of it, but it seems as though the drug side of it is pretty much the reason why most people love and respect them.

I wrote that article. It's more than a page – I think it's about 10,000 words long, and is consistently in the top five most-popular features on this site. There is a huge amount of interest in this subject, but I don't think they made it look OK to take risks. The Beatles were always very careful not to promote drug use among their fans. They publicly renounced drugs when they met Maharishi, even though they largely carried on as before behind the scenes. Lennon – probably the biggest fiend of them all - thought it hugely irresponsible to spike people's drinks, and admitted he was psychologically damaged by LSD.

And you're wrong to say that most people love and respect The Beatles because of their drug use. They love and respect them because they were enormously talented songwriters, funny people, great looking, sartorial pioneers, studio innovators, appeared in landmark films and a thousand other reasons. If you asked the people of this forum their top five reasons why they liked The Beatles, I don't think many (any?) would say it had anything to do with drugs.

And they weren't ahead of the curve, they were just the biggest band on the planet. Probably the first LSD song came out in 1961 (it's not well known) by a surf guitar group.

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6 May 2014
2.25pm
Annadog40
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You don't have to be the band to enjoy the music I don't partake in the drug recreationaly and I am also not a man unlike the Beatles yet I can in joy there music

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6 May 2014
2.27pm
Von Bontee
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All the replies in this thread are OTM. If you're gonna banish from your life ALL musicians who chose to experiment with mind-altering substances, legal or illegal, you'll eliminate a HUGE chunk of music. Bye bye Mozart, you pathetic weak drunkard.

TT454 said

So, are there any proudly drug-free Beatles fans on here?

I'm a proudly skiing-free person who can't enjoy the Beatles anymore because of the way they championed the sport of skiing in "Help!" Skiing: a dangerous pastime that has resulted in broken limbs, paralysis and even death. And having never tried skiing myself or even had the urge to, I feel I'm uniquely qualified to pass judgement on it. As well as those who participate in it, or try to promote it. And "Help!" was basically one long subliminal advertisement for the ski industry.

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6 May 2014
2.33pm
TT454
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The thing is people, I DO want to enjoy the band. I didn't make this thread in an attempt to renounce my love for them, I made it as a way of saying that I was struggling to and wanted to go back to loving them again by reading the opinions of other Beatles fans. That first post – yes, maybe I should have written it a bit better – was my way of saying "This is it. I'm going to become a Beatles fan again". I just wanted to discuss this problem I have.

Like I said, I have nothing against the Beatles at all, it's just that the thought of drugs scares me. I don't know what started it – maybe the school lessons and videos – but I've always associated drugs with negative things only, never positive things: addiction, death, suicide, loneliness, depression, abuse, family troubles, fights, failing school, car accidents, etc.

So, upon discovering how prominent drugs actually are in society, it made me feel a sense of sadness, like everything I was taught was a lie. That's why I looked at The Beatles differently and felt almost scared of THEM, and I honestly wish I hadn't have acted that way. I felt as though I had to become a drug user in order to be a true fan, or at the very least suddenly accept them. Now, I'm not even sure anymore. I have decided that I will continue to enjoy The Beatles (not that I hated them or anything – I just didn't have the same love for them) regardless. :)

6 May 2014
2.40pm
Von Bontee
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TT454, how do you feel about the growing numbers of people using medical marijuana? The doctors who are prescribing it? The scientists who are advocating more research done on the possible medical benefits? The increasing numbers of politicians & policemen who are in favour of easing legal restrictions on possession?

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6 May 2014
2.42pm
Joe
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You don't have to be a drug user to be a Beatles fan. My parents never took LSD but they lived through the 1960s as first-generation Beatles fans (they were 17 and 19 in 1967). I think a lot of people in the 60s lived very ordinary lives without doing anything naughty. Nowadays drugs are more common so you're more likely to meet a Beatles fan who takes drugs, but I wouldn't dwell on the relationship too much.

Me? I put on Sgt Pepper the first time I took LSD. It sounded *terrible*, really clichéd and banal. It sounded a hell of a lot better without a mind-altering psychedelic thought-goblin rewiring my brain-nodes.

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6 May 2014
2.49pm
TT454
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Von Bontee said
TT454, how do you feel about the growing numbers of people using medical marijuana? The doctors who are prescribing it? The scientists who are advocating more research done on the possible medical benefits? The increasing numbers of politicians & policemen who are in favour of easing legal restrictions on possession?

This is something I'm generally neutral towards, because I consider medicinal drugs normal because their purpose is to heal, and healing is of course a good thing. I understand that marijuana is one of the safest recreational drugs. But, at the same time, I still see it as an intoxicating substance so I find the thought of it being medicinal slightly weird. I think it should be a thing taken only as a medicine and not recreationally. I've never taken a painkiller for no reason other than to get rid of pain. So yeah, I support using it to get rid of pain, but not otherwise.

6 May 2014
2.59pm
MrMoonlight
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Speaking of medicine and the Beatles, I take antidepressants/anti-anxiety meds but listening to the Beatles does a hell of a lot more than those. When I first took them, I felt outgoing and happy, but that was more of a placebo effect. Gradually, things got much, much worse and I'm still going on a downward spiral. But I love blasting out Day Tripper and other songs at full volume just to block out the horrible thoughts.

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6 May 2014
3.01pm
TT454
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I wish I could change the name of this thread; I tried but there appears to be no way to do that.

Anyway, thanks for the discussion we are having. =)

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6 May 2014
3.05pm
Annadog40
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TT454 said
I wish I could change the name of this thread; I tried but there appears to be no way to do that.

You need mod for that

Never say never, cause it's never 'never'

If you are like a new thingy than introduction your self in the into place here

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6 May 2014
3.05pm
DrBeatle
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To throw my own $0.02 in, I never have done any drugs…besides alcohol (which I ingest very responsibly and only semi-frequently), the only things I've smoked are cigars, clove cigarettes, and I tried a cig once (and hated it!). That doesn't take away from enjoyment of music that was definitely created (and enhanced) by musicians on drugs, from the Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin, Who, to Blur, Nirvana, Mansun, Husker Du, and everything in between.

 

I don't begrudge anyone their choices to do what they want to as long as they don't hurt anyone else. I don't approve of it as far as my own body goes and I will make as sure as I can that my kids don't mess with that stuff, but I don't pass judgement on those who do (again, as long as they keep it to themselves). Plus, if I only listened to drug-free musicians, I'd have a VERY short list to choose from! :lol:

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6 May 2014
3.06pm
WETSRoosa
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I come from parents who were of "the Woodstock generation" (my father went to Woodstock, actually) and were marijuana smokers during their happy high school courtship days. Of course, they stopped once they got married and settled down, but they never were shy about talking about it. As for me, I've never done drugs of any kind (unless you count caffeine, then guilty as charged) never drank liquor and didn't even drink a beer until I was 28, and yet I still became a Beatles fanatic. I know what the band did and what they took. That was their business. Doesn't change my admiration and respect for them. 

“Oh god, not the bees! not the BEEEEEEEEEES! AHHHHHH!!!!”- Nicolas Cage
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