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Every Junkie's Like a Setting Sun: Musicians Who Beat Their Addictions

ScottMary

Scott Weiland's estranged wife, Mary Forsberg, has a new book coming out next week. What's an ex-junkie and ex-model to do except reveal all of the details of her sordid drug-addicted life? A girl's gotta make a buck.

I'm all for confessionals, but the excerpts of Forsberg's book, "Fall to Pieces: A Memoir of Drugs, Rock 'n' Roll, and Mental Illness," feel more like smug sensationalism than sincere reflection. Here's a sample excerpt about her setting fire to the Stone Temple Pilots' frontman's clothes in a 2007 rage:

"The bonfire was huge and very pretty. Everything went up in smoke quickly, except the shoe leather; the Guccis took the longest."

Forsberg and Weiland were famously f****d-up heroin junkies. Forsberg tells of the couple's attending a beach party at Leonard DiCaprio's home wearing long sleeves to cover the track marks on their arms. She also writes of them both "laying out the goods" on a framed photo of famous former junkie Keith Richards. Both claim to be drug-free now, although, unsurprisingly, their marriage did not survive the abuse.

The Weilands are lucky to be alive. There are more than 300,000 heroin users in the U.S. The number is smaller compared to other kinds of drug users, but the devastation is incomparable. While many struggle and eventually succumb (notably Jerry Garcia, Pete Doherty, and Sublime's Brad Nowell), others have successfully beat the monkey their back. Here are some musicians who have famously stayed clean and sober. I hope Mr. and Mrs. Weiland join the club.

Do drugs make artists more creative? [poll]

SLASH

Scott Weiland's former Velvet Revolver bandmate was an addict himself during most of his Guns N' Roses days. In his 2007 autobiography, Slash recounts his addiction to heroin, booze, and women. He says he had two wake-up calls: running down a street naked in a drug-induced terror and sharing the same woman at the same time with bandmate Izzy Stradlin. Seeing Izzy naked would scare me straight, too.

ANTHONY KIEDIS

The Red Hot Chili Peppers lost one band member to heroin: original guitarist Hillel Slovak OD'ed in 1988. He and Kiedis discovered drugs together, and after Slovak's death, Kiedis cleaned up after a life of drug abuse that started at age 12 (his dad was a drug dealer). He famously memorialized his drug days in the Peppers' 1992 single "Under the Bridge" (ironically, guitarist John Frusciante was hooked on heroin at the time) but had a relapse in '94. Kiedis got clean again and has stayed sober since 2000. Lately, he's working on an HBO series about life with his drug-dealing dad.

NIKKI SIXX

Motley Crue's bassist presented a horrifying account of his heroin addiction in his 2007 book, "The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star." Almost as harrowing as Sixx's drug-induced insanity are the legions of hangers-on and record execs who enabled him. Sixx has used his sobriety success to help teenage addicts. His Running Wild in the Night charity has helped thousands of kids find healthy alternatives to a life of drugs.

ERIC CLAPTON

By his own admission, Eric Clapton lost three years of his life to heroin. He says he started to mask the pain of being rejected by Pattie Boyd (George Harrison's first wife and the subject of the achingly epic "Layla"). Soon, he was spending $16,000 a week on heroin and was a virtual recluse. Good friend (and former addict) Pete Townshend persuaded him to clean up. Like many other former addicts, Clapton has dedicated himself to helping others. In 1998, he founded the Crossroads Centre on the Caribbean island of Antigua to provide drug and alcohol treatment and counseling.

TREY ANASTASIO

After Phish's 2004 breakup, Anastasio slowly went down the rat hole of booze and drugs. He was arrested in 2006 for a DWI and possession of opiates. He pled guilty in 2007 and was ordered to serve in a drug court treatment program. Anastasio spent 15 months cleaning toilets, taking random drug tests, and getting counseling. He credits the program with saving his life.

Do drugs make artists more creative? [poll]

 

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