Peter Murphy busted for DUI hit-and-run injury and meth possession

Peter Murphy, singer for Bauhaus, was arrested this weekend in Los Angeles for an alleged DUI hit-and-run that reportedly injured the other driver. A witness followed Murphy and blocked him until cops arrived. According to police, Murphy appeared to be "very confused." From the Glendale News Press:

NewImageMurphy denied drinking alcohol that day, adding that he had only taken his regular prescription pills for depression, according to police.

Murphy — who’s from England but lives in Turkey — reportedly admitted to being involved in a traffic collision, telling officers he was jet-lagged from a recent flight, police said.

Inside the Los Angeles police patrol car where Murphy had been detained, officers reported finding a small plastic bag, possibly of methamphetamine, police said. Murphy denied the bag belonged to him, but officers said they believed he was trying to discard it in the patrol car.

"Peter Murphy arrested for alleged DUI hit-and-run in Glendale" (Thanks, Dave Gill!)


  1. According to police, Murphy appeared to be “very confused.”

    He gave his name as “David Bowie”.

    1. Strange, I would have thought a person wouldd need to be on something even stronger than meth to confuse the frontman of Bauhaus and David Bowie. :P

  2. He was driving a Subaru, or more likely a “Subauhauru.” I wonder if it was Dali’s car?

    1.  Honestly, of all the facts of this story, that the Godfather of Goth was driving a Subaru Forester is the only surprising and depressing aspect.

      1. And that he was in Los Angeles. Actually, that’s the most disturbing aspect of the story.

  3. What’s next: a drunken Morrissey busted for grabbing the bum of his waitress at a local steakhouse?

  4. Meth is one of the most dreaded reviled drugs out there.

    Ecstacy is widely regarded as relatively safe and harmless.

    But, do you know what ecstasy is? MDMA = 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-*methamphetamine*.

    It’s chemically very similar to meth.

    So really, the reason for meth’s dreaded status is not the drug itself, but rather how people use it – snorting, smoking, injecting.

    And I would argue that the main reason people use meth in the dangerous ways they do is because of prohibition, that drives the cost up, makes it scarce, and encourages the most high potency uses.

    1. I thought about what you said. And then I thought about Methanol and Ethanol, and I decided your statement about similar chemical structures and pharmacological effects is total horseshit. Have a nice night.

      1. While you are 100% correct, the methanol/ethanol example isn’t.  You can get drunk off methanol, just like ethanol.  However, methanol metabolism is first oxidation to formaldehyde, a.k.a. embalming fluid, and then formic acid, which is poisonous to the central nervous system.  Not good for the body or soul.  Ethanol is oxidized to acetaldehyde, which certainly doesn’t feel good but isn’t going to kill you, and then further oxidized to acetic acid (vinegar) and then it’s time for another beer.

          1. I apologize, I’m sure you understood the difference.

            I was just differentiating between the actual pharmacological effects of methanol versus ethanol, which are similar, and the effective difference in toxicity which is due to the metabolites.  The ethanol/methanol example you proposed actually on the surface seems to support the initial post correlating different amphetamine family members with having similar biological effects, because they both will get you “drunk” in some fashion.

            It is a subtle difference between the two, but I felt it was pertinent to the discussion of pharmacophores and the relationship between chemical structure and biological activity.

      2. Here, do a little science experiement.

        Go down to your local Walter White and get some methamphetamine.

        Dissolve it in water and drink it.

        Then, a couple days later, go get some pure MDMA. A similar dose. Eat it.

        Then, go get some Dexedrine pills, dextroamphetamine. Take them.

        I think you will find that the feeling of the three substances, while not identical, is a fairly similar thing.

        I’ve definitely known some people whose heads went to very bad places using Meth. I’ve also met one or two who did this – dissolved the meth and drank it – and sustained their addictions for a long time without serious negative side effects. I also have known a couple people who got to crushing and snorting large quantities of MDMA, and experienced health and mental problems from it.

         My point is it is not as cut and dry as we have been ead to believe, and the meth hysteria is to some extent blown out of proportion. The dangers of meth, to a large extent, come from the fact it is made in filthy backyard labs out of fungicide and used motor oil, and then taken in highly dangerous ways.

        Not that you should do it, of course, just being contrarian.

        1. I highly doubt the feeling would be the same, as they are known to hit different brain receptors.

          Now as far as method of consumption, smoking is second fastest to injection for onset, so smoking drugs is more addictive than drinking them. Oral administration comes on slower due to slower absorption, and also has a first pass effect of liver metabolism where they get one pass at metabolism prior to reaching the brain. The metabolism will change the activity to some extent, at the very least decreasing active Ingredient.

          So, with first pass metabolism and slower onset, yes I would expect lower rate of addiction and less negative side effects. But this has nothing to do with your hypothesis.

          A good analogy is eating plain white sugar versus eating a slice of white bread. Both carbohydrates, but only one will lead to you diabetes by rapidly altering the sugar levels in your blood.

        2. “Here, do a little science experiement.  Go down to your local Walter White and get some methamphetamine. Dissolve it in water and drink it.  Then, a couple days later, go get some pure MDMA. A similar dose. Eat it.  Then, go get some Dexedrine pills, dextroamphetamine. Take them.”

          Why would I do that?  I’ve already got my favorite goth rock singer for that…

        3. Done. Meth and Dexadrine… yes. MDMA… not even close. However, “E” is often made with meth (and MDMA of course). So if you drop E and you feel like you’re on meth… that’s because you’re on meth.

        4. horseshit. I’ve had various kinds of speed, pharmaceutical dexies and MDMA. At least one of those things is not like the other.

          1.  Eh, the whole problem is that, erm, we’ve (well those who’ve tried it), have had various forms of speed but Gwad really only knows what. Do you assay your drugs before you take them, or just believe that your dealer knows what the fuck he’s talking about. Just sayin’

    2.  Yeah, this is entirely illogical nonsense.  Please don’t try to discuss chemistry anymore.

      They are different chemicals, hence different effects.  The core structure “amphetamine” is a pharmacophore, meaning that chemicals containing similar cores are likely to have biological function.  But the elaboration of the core, ecstacy with the methylenedioxy functionalized aromatic ring, changes the biological interactions.

      What you are thinking of is crack cocaine versus the salt form, cocaine.  One is smoked in small doses, comes on quickly and is gone quickly (hence, more addictive form of dispensing the drug and cheaper because less is used), the other is snorted and enters the body more slowly.

      See: PiKHAL, TiKHAL, the lysergic core of LSD, an organic chemistry 101 textbook.

    3. So really, the reason for meth’s dreaded status is not the drug itself, but rather how people use it – snorting, smoking, injecting.

      I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that you have not done very much meth.

      Suffice it to say that the “3,4-methylenedioxy-N-” part of MDMA can’t simply be discarded because you’d like to make some point.

      EDIT: And, look, I’m the last person to demonize a certain chemical, or to participate in blind anti-drug propaganda, but at the same time, I’m not going to try to blow rainbows up your ass here either, and that’s what’s happening if somebody is trying to tell you that meth is not SUBSTANTIALLY more addictive and neurotoxic than MDMA.

    4. Why is it that whenever someone says something like, “And I would argue…” the argument that follows is a bunch of ignorant crap? Why would you argue something you’ve clearly done zero research on?

      And I would argue that the main reason people use meth in the dangerous ways they do is because of prohibition, that drives the cost up, makes it scarce, and encourages the most high potency uses.

      I am generally anti-prohibition but as someone with very close family members who have dealt with the destruction of meth, this is a bunch of bullshit.

      1.  This whole thing depresses me and I wasn’t going to comment, but that part you quoted is fucking stupid bullocks. Someone needs a good smack upside the head.

      2. Also, based on my detailed research (i.e. Wikipedia. While mildly drunk), it appears that MDMA is listed as a schedule I substance, while methamphetamine is actually a schedule II substance.

        I lack enough experience to determine the wisdom of such listing (though I’m leaning towards it being silly), but it does blow a hole in the “meth is only worse because of regulation” idea, as MDMA is more tightly regulated.

        Regardless. Meth= Nasty shit.

        1. Well, as has been noted before, Schedule I = a drug that is relatively safe and probably has some beneficial properties; Schedule II = stay the hell away and don’t touch it with a ten foot pole.

          1. Jeeze, read wikipedia before posting, you have those swapped. You just gave yourself away as a troll. Now please leave.


            Schedule I substances are those that have the following findings:
            The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
            The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
            There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.

            Schedule II substances are those that have the following findings:
            The drug or other substances have a high potential for abuse
            The drug or other substances have currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, or currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions
            Abuse of the drug or other substances may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.[26]

          2. *smh* somebody turned off your irony meter today. You should go have it adjusted.

            Perhaps you haven’t been made aware of how screwed up our entire system is. War is peace, freedom is slavery, remember?

            Schedule 1 = cannabis, LSD, mushrooms. mescaline, peyote, DMT, Ecstacy

            Schedule 2 = meth, cocaine, morphine/opium, oxycontin, PCP.

            You need to read a bit further down in the wikipedia article to get past the bullshit you quoted.

          3. Cocaine is used in medicine. We kept it in our narc cabinet at work. I’ve been injected with it several times, although it didn’t do any good.

      3. There was once a time when cocaine and heroin were freely legally available and very, very cheap – maybe $2 in modern dollars for a big bottle of the dissolved solution.

        And, when this was the case, nobody was injecting the stuff. There were addicts, but they were drinking it – so the effect was milder, the addiction was milder, and they weren’t the life destroying scourges they are known as today.

        My statement is based on the history of the substances, not just conjecture. As the penalties have ramped up, users have tended towards harder and more dangerous methods of using them.

        This is not something I am making up, it is simple fact repeated over and over through the last hundred years.

        1. Meth is nasty shit.  Plain and simple.  It’s far nastier than heroin.  And things have changed.  You’re not 100% wrong, but you’re not 100% right, and you’re thinking about this far too simply, and your first comment is still stupid.

          1.  This is requiring a lot of thought to reply to. You seem to be trying to work out how to deal with what you’ve had to deal with. Sucks sure. And I had to give thought to meth being nastier than heroin. They can both be devastating. Both can require abnormal behavior simply to acquire more. Heroin, well, you’ll probably be mellow to dead while on it. Meth, not. And paranoid to boot after a while. Knew someone who did speedball (meth/heroin shot). Knew. What I really want to say is that perhaps you can do something with your anger. It is obvious that you are trying. Learn more and teach. Do NOT preach. Telling lies about drugs is about as helpful as when the government thought that poisoning existing alcohols during Prohibition would be a dandy idea [true story I wish you good luck and a happy life. It can happen.

        2. And, when this was the case, nobody was injecting the stuff.

          Maybe if you go back to the time when syringes were so rare and expensive your average dope fiend couldn’t afford one.  Like the 19th century maybe?  But in the 20th you’re full of shit.  Junkies were shooting heroin by at least the 30’s.

      4.  I would argue that you are not at all familiar with the methods of lawyers :) That said, am truly sorry about your problem, but it is best not to read too much into what is simply just a form of, well, argument.

    5.  Thanks to those who have already commented I can keep this brief. Though I am not working in the field I did major in chemistry when I was in school and this is something that annoys me to no end.

      One single change to a molecule can make a huge difference in how it behaves. The ethanol / methanol comparison is a great example. Please do not assume that because one molecule contains a component of another that it behaves the same. It is not that simple. 

    6. Ecstacy is widely regarded as relatively safe and harmless. […] It’s chemically very similar to meth.

      Would you care to comment on pseudoephedrine? Its structure is closer to methamphetamine than MDMA is, yet you can buy it over the counter. Or N-methylphenethylamine? Also very close, but apparently not a stimulant. There’s the SAR paradox in a nutshell.

      1. Exactly.  Just because Adderall is described as “Mixed Amphetamine Salts” doesn’t mean it would go well on popcorn.

    7. So, I wanted to step out here and say I was wrong. Maybe there is a kernel of truth to what I’ve said, but I think you all have convinced me that the psychoactive effects of MDMA and Meth are substantially different.

      In return, a gift for everybody. The 2004 ABC Primetime documentary on MDMA, probably the most pro-drug piece I’ve ever seen on US TV.

      If I, some random Internet commenter, made the mistake that MDMA can be confused with Meth, take heart – the top Government scientist also made this mistake; he made a mistake and accidently injected the monkeys with Meth and not MDMA; this study (along with a general feeling that ‘they’re having too much fun we’ve got to put a stop to this and put people in prison’) has been the basis of the Govt’s ecstasy policy for 30 years. (around the 35:00 mark)

      Which pretty much proves me wrong, BTW.

      If you have 45 minutes and are interested in drug policy issues, this docco is well, WELL worth your time.

    8. Adderall is actually meth, just made by pros in a regulated lab, but it’s not nearly as feared and looked down upon as crystal meth.  Why?  Most likely because people can get it from a doctor and there are drug companies getting rich off of it, so people aren’t being properly educated about its potential for abuse/addiction.  Another example of this is with any of the “contin” varieties of opiate-derived pharmaceuticals.  No one ever thinks about the fatalities left by tylenol, either, which people give to their children in spoonfuls.  Once again, people are not properly educated about the drug simply because it would hurt pharm sales.  If Murphy were busted with a couple of Adderall, do you think there would be as much of a buzz?  No pun intended… lol.  :)

      1. Yeah, that’s part of the reason I feel quite passionate about the topic of meth. In High School, I was given an insane perscription of Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine). Eventually, I had to just pretend not to take them and hide them, because I was mandated by parents, teachers, every authority figure to take these Dexies (9 pills a day, at maximum).


        Now, I tried Meth once or twice when I was around 16..and all I could think was, ‘think is the most insane thing in the world. The feeling of this illegal drug is exactly, exactly, EXACTLY like the stupid pills my parents and teachers make me take. What the fuck is the big deal?

        The exact same drug we hyperventilate over and hold out as an example of the ‘worst of the worst,’ proving that all drugs must be illegal forever, is very, very similar to a drug that we coerce our youth into taking.

        Jesus, it was a great feeling to turn 18 and be able to legally refuse to take this fucking speed. Maybe I could have before then, in retrospect, but pretty much upon turning 18 I never took another one of these cursed pills again, and never looked back.

        This is why I say that basically everything is fucked up, in drug policy as with so many other things, and we really shouldn’t believe anything we hear.

        1. Don’t worry, they’re working hard on making the scripts next to illegal too.

          BTW, one of the other differences with the pharma drugs though is that they are fairly consistent in quality and there are some regulations in place because they’re not illegal.

          IOW, making other drugs not illegal might allow for a safer product. NOTE: I said safer, not safe. 

          Hell, driving’s not safe. Just ask the poor guy Peter Murphy hit.

        2. Dexedrine, you might like to know, was fairly prevalent during WWII (possibly even earlier, whoops, no) and make that VERY prevalent in WWII to keep soldiers and fliers alert (can’t see it being used in the Navy for the obvious weird sleep schedules there) 

      2. “No one ever thinks about the fatalities left by tylenol”

        How many people are killed by tylenol without exceeding the recommended dosage?  AFAIK, most overdoses are either suicides (friendly hint: destroying your liver is not a pleasant way to go), people who take multiple drugs (especially those multi-symptom cold medicine cocktails) without realizing that they all have APAP, or prescription opiate addicts who need increasingly large doses because they’re developing tolerance.

        The only problem there that boils down to “people are not properly educated” is that some people sometimes take several different multi-symptom cold meds without bothering to notice the actual active ingredients, and it’s unfortunately easy to take enough APAP to cause liver damage.

        1. How many people get pregnant following an abstinence pledge?

          Regarding Tylenol people don’t follow directions, get confused or are surprised it’s in everything. You have to acknowledge it is dangerous as it’s actually used in the real world. Education is partly the answer but the other half of the answer is to perhaps cut back it’s use in everything.

          Adding it to opiates prescriptions so we can identify the people with a problem from from their ruined livers has to be a violation of the hippocratic oath. Seriously “Here is a powerful medicine you might well develop an addiction to, I’ve mixed it up so that it does serious medical harm to you in that case”

          1. “Here is a powerful medicine you might well develop an addiction to, I’ve mixed it up so that it does serious medical harm to you in that case”

            Here is a powerful medicine you might well need to function and which might require an increasing dose over time in order to continue functioning. FTFY

      3. No adderall is not meth; the two amphetamine salts in adderall have a different chemical structure than methamphetamine.


    9.  ecstasy is NOT good for you, but it simply doesn’t produce the bizarre crime stories old fashioned crystal meth does. Something about the minor chemical variation between the two substances definitely produces very different reactions in users.

      We have plenty of case history to show that even though the two drugs are chemically very similar, the users exhibit very different behavior.

      1. I don’t know how accurate this is, but I remember reading in the Psychedelic Encyclopedia almost 20 years ago that ecstasy is MDMA, and meth is MDA – only one atom less, but yeah, it makes all the difference between the two chemical subtances.  The text also noted that both of these drugs have some shared side effects, however, such as increased heart-rate, excessive perspiration, grinding of teeth, and clenching of jaw. 

        1.  You’re not very accurate, no. MDA is Methyline Dioxy Amphetamine; very similar in action to MDMA, but longer-lasting and somewhat more hallucinogenic. MDMA was rediscovered in the late ’80s mainly because MDA was made illegal a while earlier, ushering in the concept of ‘designer drugs’, hence the current trend for tweaking chemicals from David Nichols’ 1990s paper on non-neurotoxic MDMA analogues to sell as legal highs.

    1. I have limited exposure to meth users, but I would ask if he’s scabbed over and has lost his teeth before answering.

    1. trying to ditch your stash?  bad move, Pete.
      The police have a

  5. Yeah, LA cops are never known to plant dope. Nope. Never.

    Ok, the guy may be into meth (which would bring new meaning to “Cuts You Up”), but he’s a Sufi who lives in a Sufi community in Turkey. Yeah, dope addiction can hit anyone, even some member of a mystic Islamic sect, but here is a guy with the resources to not live in a mystic Islamic sect in Turkey. If he was a fiend I kinda doubt he’d live that life.

    I’m 85% certain he was nodding off from jetlag/fatigue and the cops were looking to bolster a bust with a baggie of shit.

    1. I’m sure his lawyer will insist upon a prompt blood tox screen for both substances.  If he’s at all devout, he should test squeaky clean.  If he’s been playing at Islam to please his wife and her family, then jail time it is, King of the Goths or not.

      (My cynical side has a stong suspicion that the only finger prints on that baggie belong to the arresting officer and the evidence room staff.)

    2. He said something about depression medication, which I would think is more in line with what I’d expect out of him than meth.

      But then again, he was driving in a Subaru, so I’m confounded.

  6. Found in the police patrol car? Sounds fishy. 
    Couldn’t they test him for consumption or test his skin/hands if he had touched the stuff to substantiate their charge?

  7. I had to revise wiki on Bauhaus – I was a shade too young to sign up, and the “gloomy and introspective sound” rubbed me the wrong way.  They made something of themselves though, which I admired.  I’m probably in the wrong den right now.

    But what interested me was – he lives in Turkey?  Why?  It’s nice I imagine, and I can picture myself enjoying Istanbul say, but I’ve only ever heard of Turkish people going to Turkey to live.  Aaahhh … is Beyhan Turkish?  That would do it.

  8. I apologize to Sasha or anyone else I offended with my comments in this post.  I was not intending to be an asshat, just spread the facts about pharmacology and pharmacokinetics.  As a scientist, it really breaks my beakers to see misinformation spread as fact, when the facts are so interesting in themselves!

    Also, I would be among the last people around to agree with the US drug policy, which is illogical and not based on scientific evidence.  From my personal anecdotal experience, my friends that ended up with drug problems did so because they realized they were being lied to after trying pot.  From that point, it was fair game.  This is why I strongly believe that our government policy should be evidence based, kids bullshit meter seems to develop faster than they’re self-preservation instincts.  But I’m preaching to the choir here.

    Sasha, your anecdote on Dexedrine is very interesting.  I fear for where our current Adderall culture is taking us.  I always have found it very interesting that evolution and natural biology has taken the human race this far, with buildings and cities as monuments to human ingenuity, and now we feel the need to pill pop for that extra boost.

    1. Buildings are just as bad as adderall.  We should all live in our natural biological state: outdoors (caves if you’re a wimp), and drug-free.

        1.  It’s OK, I’ve listed them in this comment for those who can’t find an Anthropologist.

  9. Watch That Grandad Go. He must be Burning From The Inside with Adrenalin from the meth. He should be careful. That stuff can give you a Black Stone Heart.

  10. I trust the LAPD exactly zero in this.  I doubt he is a meth-freak, though he could be one of those occasional casual users.

    That said, it was probably in the squad car already, or planted there by the cops when they had him pegged for another defenseless loser and didn’t know that he will probably be able to afford lawyers that will utterly shred their bogus case.

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