It’s not drugs that make a drug addict, but the need to escape reality. I have chosen to explore the them Drug and Alcohol abuse. This theme is evident in books The Dirt: Confessions of the worlds most notorious rock band written by Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars, Tommy Lee and Neil Strauss, I am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne and the films Once were warriors directed by Lee Tamahori and Walk the Line directed by James Mangold.
In this book The Dirt: Confessions of the worlds most notorious rock band, written by Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars, Tommy Lee and Neil Strauss drug and alcohol abuse is a recurring event. Once such event is when Nikki Sixx lies to a girl about his name. ‘She walked up and said “Hi I’m Lita, Lita Ford with the runaways. What’s your name?”
“Rick” I said.
“Really?” She asked.
“Yeah, I’m Rick.” I was pretty full of myself and assumed that everyone knew my name.
“Sorry,” she said “I thought you were someone else.”
“Well, you thought wrong,” I sneered, with my nose in it’s usual place up in the air.
“That’s to bad Rick,” she said “because I wanted to split a Quaalude with you.”
“You did?” I began to pay attention.
“I thought you were Nikki.”
“I am Nikki! I am Nikki!” I practically wet myself like a dog in pursuit of a treat.
She bit the Quaalude in half and stuck it in my mouth, and that was it.’
This shows that Sixx was already heavily addicted to drugs at the stage in the book. This shows that drugs will twist your sense of reality, and what someone will do to get a hold of a single pill to get a high. Sixx lies to a woman about his name, but when she offers to share the Quaalude with him he instantly begins paying attention practically wetting self like a dog in pursuit of a treat. The treat is this case being the Quaalude or high. Another example of drug and alcohol abuse in the book is when Sixx is at home with his girlfriend Nicole and he would be “shooting up” cocaine and other drugs such as heroin. Sixx “shot up” so much that his veins were collapsing in on themselves and paranoia would set in causing him to imagine that there were intruders everywhere trying to break into his house. “As I shot more and more cocaine, paranoia set in and soon I hardly let anyone in the house. Nicole and I would sit around naked day and night. My veins were collapsing and I would scour my body to find fresh ones: on my legs, my feet, my hands, my neck, and, when the veins everywhere else had dried out, my dick. When I wasn’t shooting up, I’d patrol my house for intruders. I started seeing people in trees, hearing cops on the roof, imagining helicopters outside with S.W.A.T. teams coming to get me. I had a .357 Magnum, and I’d constantly hunt for people in the closets, under the bed, and inside the washing machine, because I was sure someone was hiding in my house.” This shows that Sixx was clearly abusing the cocaine and other drugs that he was taking, especially once his veins started collapsing and he was having to find other places to “shoot up”. When Sixx wasn’t “shooting up” he was in a state of paranoia imagining that the swat was coming for him. He also carried a handgun which means he could’ve shot someone especially one of the West-Tech employees as he pulled a gun on the West-Tech employees multiple times as Sixx answered the door. This theme that is carried through the book of Drug and Alcohol abuse is similar to themes in the book I am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne.
Another text that shows the themes of drug and alcohol abuse is I am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne as drug and alcohol abuse is a recurring theme. The first major event that shows the true drug and alcohol abuse that Osbourne partakes in is when he is living in Los Angeles recording different albums, abusing cocaine. “Then I’d go to bed, wait for my heart to stop beating at eight times its usual speed, then fall into this fucking horrific withdrawal. The comedowns were so bad that I used to pray. I’d say, ‘God, please let me sleep, and I promise I’ll never do cocaine again, as long as I live.’ Then I’d wake up with my jaw aching from spouting so much bullshit the previous night. And I’d do another line. It was amazing how quickly it took over our lives. It got to the point where we couldn’t do anything without it. Then it got to the point where we couldn’t do anything with it, either. When I finally realised the pot wasn’t enough to calm me down from all the coke, I started getting into Valium. Then eventually I moved on to heroin, but thank God I didn’t like that stuff.” This quote shows that Osbourne done a lot of drugs and suffered the consequences, the consequences being the coming down off the high praying to god that he would never do it again but going back and doing another line of it again in the morning. He also used other drugs like Marijuana to calm, and bring down his heart beat from the amount of cocaine he was snorting, eventually he moved onto drugs such as valium to calm his heart even more. In this period, he also shows he was sensible when it comes to some drugs such as heroin which he tried but never touched again. Another example of the drug and alcohol abuse in this book is when Osbourne is living with married to Sharon Osbourne who was incredibly strict with him and the only one who could control him. “You wouldn’t believe the things I’d do – the time and effort I would dedicate to sneaking a drink behind her back. I’d ‘pop to the supermarket’ next door, then walk straight through to the back of the grocery section, through the door to the store-room, climb out of the window at the back, jump over a wall, crawl through a hedge, and go to the pub on the other side. And then, after necking six pints in a row, I’d do the same in reverse. The most unbelievable thing about my behaviour is that I was convinced it was entirely fucking normal.” This quote shows that Osbourne would go to extreme lengths just to get a drink going behind his wife’s back and sneaking around by going to the supermarket next door, climbing out the back window and then crawl through the hedge to get to the pub, then while at the pub he would quickly down six pints and sneak back the way he had come. This shows that he was truly addicted to alcohol at the time as he would do almost anything just to have a sip of alcohol. The themes in this text are very similar to The Dirt: Confessions of the world’s most notorious rock band.
The film Once were warriors shows the theme of drug and alcohol abuse clearly in several scenes throughout the film. The first scene that shows this is when Jake has been heavily drinking heavily over the course of the evening essentially abusing the alcohol. In this scene due to the alcohol he abuses Beth after she refuses to cook Bully eggs and bacon. “Hey, cook us some eggs, eh, Beth? Ooh, and some bacon. Fuck off! What the fuck’s going on? I asked for some eggs, but… Cook the man some eggs. You want eggs? Well, have the bloody lot of them! It’s OK, man. Cook the man some fucking eggs. Do it yourself, Jake! I’m not the fuckin’ slave around here, Jake!’ As Beth is saying this and Jake is beating her up it is obvious that Jake has been drinking a lot, as he slurs slightly when he is speaking throughout the scene making it really obvious he’s been drinking. Another scene in the movie where you can see Jake has been abusing alcohol is when he is grieving for his lost daughter, and Beth walks in and tells him she is taking her home to her proper home. “I want us to take Grace back home to the Marae. This is her fucking home. No, it’s not. This was never her home… never. And that fucking place is? Fucking Maoris who think they’re better than the rest of us? I hate them. Bastards living in the fucking past. It’s our past, too, Jake. What’s that supposed to mean? I want Grace to be with her people. We should have gone back a long time ago. F*ck off! You’re not taking her anywhere. I’m taking her, Jake, with or without you. I wasn’t there when Grace needed me. This time I’m going to do the right thing by her, and you’re not going to stop me. You fucking do, and I won’t be here when you get back. Well, go on, then. Go! Get the hell out of here! I’m taking her. I’ll kill you first! Well, go on. Do it. You’re still a slave, Jake… to your fists, to the drink, to yourself. Well, go on. Kill the bloody lot of us!”. In this scene Jakes eyes are red and puffy, and he slurs his words a lot he also stumbles as he threatens to kill Beth. She says it best saying that he is a ‘slave to the drink’ this is saying that he is addicted and under its influence with it controlling him and what it does. In the scene as he threatens Beth he nearly breaks down.
The film Walk the Line directed by James Mangold, shows the theme of Drug and Alcohol abuse several times throughout the movie several times. The first prominent time that the drug and alcohol abuse occur is when Cash invites June Carter on stage to sing which she accepts with prompting. On stage during the middle of the song Cash swoops in and kisses Carter on the cheek. This causes her to storm off stage. Soon after this in Cash’s dressing room after being rejected he goes off the rails slightly, he smashes his guitar and rips the sink off the wall. He then reaches into his pocket to grab out a bottle of pills and swallows them with beer. As he does this he is breathing heavily and sweating profusely. This shows that he has been abusing the drugs and had started to withdraw before swallowing his pills and letting them kick in. Another scene in the film that shows the drug abuse that Cash suffers is when he is preforming ‘I got stripes’ and he starts sweating a lot and is acting almost psychotically yelling at his drummer to “play the f**king things” and kicking lights. Cash starts to walk across the stage and collapses on the floor blacking out. This is due to Cash withdrawing from the drugs he has been taking and overexerting himself while on tour and abusing drugs to often. This has similar themes to I am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne.
I believe that certain drugs have no place in todays society. The Dirt, I am Ozzy, Once were warriors and Walk the Line all show that drug and alcohol abuse is commonplace everywhere from Rockstar’s to poor family’s.