Recording Industry Offers Help to Artists with Drug Problems: Music Business Establishes Substance-Abuse Programs
Billingsley, K. L., The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Music-industry insiders have announced plans to deal with the drug abuse long associated with the recording industry, which has been beset of late by drug-related deaths, arrests and concert cancellations.
"Our industry has been in denial for a while, said Michael Greene, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which hosted a press conference here yesterday after a closed-door meeting of industry professionals.
"We have a poor sense of our history," Mr. Greene said. "People are fed up with not having [pioneering jazz saxophonist] Charlie Parker and [guitar virtuoso] Jimi Hendrix around. After two or three deaths in succession, we said, `That's it.' "
On Memorial Day weekend, Bradley Nowell, lead singer of the band Sublime died of a heroin overdose in San Francisco. The same weekend, Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan was arrested in Los Angeles for investigation of cocaine possession and being under the influence of heroin.
The Stone Temple Pilots were forced to cancel their summer tour this year after a judge in April ordered lead singer Scott Weiland into a treatment program. Mr. Weiland was arrested in Pasadena in 1995 after deputies found crack in his car and heroin in his wallet.
Last October, Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon died of a cocaine overdose. In 1994, Kurt Cobain of the grunge band Nirvana fatally shot himself after a failed suicide attempt in Europe, in which he overdosed on drugs. He struggled for years with heroin and alcohol abuse.
The MusiCares Foundation, founded in 1989, will administer a substance abuse and intervention program. The program can put a performer in touch with caseworkers for drug intervention and financial assistance in patient care. …