The Real Drunk History: Cider
Last year, I started living an alternative lifestyle. I unwillingly transformed into a gluten-free human being. Being gluten-free might not be as shameful as having a micro-penis or a father who is the BTK killer, but it’s close. It automatically excludes you from important things like pizza, sandwiches, and beer. The last one was the hardest life change to accept because of all the things that are associated with beer: Clydesdales horses, rocky mountains, Trappist monks, steins, hops, and neon signs. All of this was taken from me when I realized that drinking beer is not supposed to make you feel like you have a cold, give you a pounding headache after the third round, or have you shit your brains out after the fourth drink.
I thought that my days spent talking to friends from the seat of a barstool were over. Drinking beer allows me stay for hours—sipping my frothy beverage—all the while maintaining a somewhat sane level of sobriety during conversation. Once I was diagnosed as gluten-intolerant, I thought my former life was stripped away forever. That was until I decided to give cider that second chance. In the past, I figured that Woodchuck was reserved for dorks. English and Irish ciders that usually populate draft lines in bars seemed like they were reserved for cool old ladies and European soccer fans.
The Death of the Rockstar - Everyone’s Sober Now
The old cliché of “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” is dead. Ok, if not completely dead, it’s in the process of taking its last, sad breath. The mysticism that once surrounded the “rock star” has evaporated into pictures of them in their sweatpants at Starbucks and unwarranted crotch shots as they exit their limousine. Bottom line, it’s not cute. Despite the mainstream artists’ need to put their bling, bitches and Bentleys on blast in music videos, that’s not what’s really going on beneath the surface in the real world. It’s a lot darker and colder out there.
Addiction is running rampant among all types of people; young or old, married or single, famous or one of the Joneses, it’s affecting people in similar ways. So I wondered, do artists these days feel any sort of social responsibility when it comes to painting a picture that’s full of syringes, rolled up dollar bills, Lean and video hos? Surprisingly, what I found in the majority of my interviews is that most artists are sober, in the process of getting sober, straight edge or barely indulge. Why? Because being a musician is actually a job. It’s not just drinking and drugging all night as you move from prospect to prospect hoping to get laid.
In a 2010 interview with Bad Religion front man, Greg Graffin, he reveals something that is almost shocking, especially because his world is surround by punk rock debauchery and disastrous stories of drug overdoses (as in the cases of Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols and Billy Mercia of New York Dolls).
“I’m straight edge so I’ve never understood how people can function with drugs and alcohol,” Graffin admits. “But I also know that the drugs today are so potent that they are infinitely more dangerous.”
And he’s right. According to CNN.com, 40,000 kids died of drug overdoses in 2010. Ben Haggerty, more widely known as Macklemore these days, could have been one of them. The Seattle-based emcee’s struggle with substance abuse nearly ended him, but he made the brave decision to go to treatment before he was just another statistic.