Brobible interviewed author R.U Sirius about his excellent book, Everybody Must Get Stoned: Rock Stars on Drugs.
You devote a whole chapter to The Beatles. Listening to "Sgt. Pepper's," we're not surprised, but were the mop-top lads from Liverpool toking up backstage with Ed Sullivan in the early days?
R.U. Sirius: The Beatles were turned on to pot by Bob Dylan in the summer of '64, so they weren't getting stoned before the historic Ed Sullivan appearances and it's generally accepted that they didn't get high while touring until the last tour in 1966. They had a hilarious poolside trip with Peter Fonda and members of The Byrds on that tour. They did lots of speed pills and alcohol during their early days in Hamburg, Germany. They were pretty much a punk band in Germany, although no one used that label at the time.
Which bands or musicians were the worst junkies and just couldn't survive without the stuff?
R.U. Sirius: Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers were the world's biggest junkies. Some of your readers may not be familiar with them because they were never mainstream but they were hugely influential. Thunders came out of the New York Dolls. The Heartbreakers were huge in New York City in the late '70s and really influenced London Punk, particularly the Sex Pistols. They were going to call themselves The Junkies.
From the Beatles to Sid Vicious, "Everybody Must Get Stoned"