I used the search function to see if any previous threads were started on this subject, but I could not locate any. Well, here are my thoughts:
While browsing Amazon.com for some jazz CDs, I came across a small threaded discussion of the similar above title. Many of the participants were asking themselves and others: "What do you think is really the reason that in particular, many of the jazz greats of the past used drugs?" I read a variety of answers. One participant stated that he practices about 7 hours a day on the saxophone and he routinely develops finger and wrist pain. He said that this is not uncommon to many professional sax players and that this could be an explanation as to why many got their start (pain relief). Still another said that the lifestyle of traveling, lack of respect for the music, the lack of financial rewards for the artform, etc allows one to fall into depression easily. It was funny that no one mentioned plain old "peer pressure".
I would like to hear what the members of the forum think as to why the jazz greats of the past, as well as some of our jazz comtemporaries (who may be hiding their drug abuse well) get involved in drug abuse. I ask this in particular because my nine year old son is developing an interest in playing the guitar and wants to play the saxophone as I do. He listens to many artists in my collection, including: Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, Jackie Mclean, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Gene Ammons, Art Blakey. It's unfortunate that they all had at one time or another in their careers, a serious drug problem.
If you have a personal story, I would like to hear it. I will not judge you and I trust that since this forum serves as an exchange of ideals for the promotion and enjoyment of the saxophone and players alike, no one else will judge you. I'd just like a point of reference to use when I explain this to my son when the subject comes up. Thanks in advance.