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*Perhaps my favorite piece ever written about Stones’ fandom by one of the guys at Glorious Noise….
Death of a Junky: The Rolling Stones
by
Derek Phillips

Drugs are evil. Make no mistake. Queen of Darkness Marilyn Manson takes the stage in front of a huge 12-foot tall neon sign that reads D-R-U-G-S. Drugs turn people crazy, especially the people trying to outlaw them. Drugs are the evil Lord and the Stones worshipped at its altar for 20 years and reaped the benefits before they fell from grace and lost their souls to Billy Blanks.
Kurt Cobain brought us back from the hairspray death of the 80s with the roar of music long thought dead. He cut his hands with furious chords motivating a generation of Ritalin zombies to care. And we cared. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that we didn’t. Suddenly, everything seemed important because we were told nothing really was. We had no wars. Our parents made great money. We were at the front door of this country’s biggest and longest economic boom and we were depressed to the point of violence. Kurt Cobain didn’t invent the 90’s apathy and angst; he perfected it. And he was pumped to the gills with heroin the whole time. Some people blame his suicide on drugs, but it wasn’t until he tried to get clean that we found him smeared on the walls of his Seattle home. Some people feel the slight annoyances of life as death by a thousand cuts. Kurt Cobain needed to numb himself and found it in heroin. Drugs kept him sane.
Beggar’s Banquet is the invitation. The fore mentioned “Sympathy…” sticks its tongue out and licks your lips. You get so hard you can’t help but push back. “No Expectations” gently caresses you and puts you at ease. It’s just a set up. “Street Fighting Man” slaps you hard across the face and tells you you’re a bitch…and you are. Like a woman with battered wife syndrome, you come back. You get fucked hard like one of the Hell’s Angels’ mamas. By the time “Salt of the Earth” is over you’re on your knees draggin’ yourself to the door. This was the first step into the dark, crowded closet of self-medication.
They say that Mick Jagger was never really that much into drugs, but that’s a lie. He may not have drenched himself in the strychnine bitterness of acid or the scratchy throat brightness of cocaine, but he loved the lifestyle. One hundred percent. Mick Jagger threw drug references around like they were posh names at a social event. Mick Jagger lived in the drug world and surrounded himself with junkies. He exploited the lifestyle for all it was worth. He walked the fine line of pushers by ruthlessly fronting his shit while never getting high on his own supply.
It’s a delicate balance though and Brian Jones couldn’t walk it. He stumbled like a clumsy cat and ended up a pathetic man at the bottom of his pool with a gut full of amphetamines. The band that was his soul went on without missing a beat throwing a huge free show just months after his death–Mick Jagger prancing mockingly in front of a huge poster of Jones’s head.

Our days are numbered though, my friend. We’ve survived so long on the pure heroin the Stones have been feeding us that going clean may just send our bodies into shock. Thank God we can go back to the old records and lick the mirror for a little something. But that won’t last forever. Mark my words.

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