Sex. Drugs. Rock and roll. That’s what the music we love is all about…or at least was all about. From Led Zeppelin and the infamous mud shark story to Def Leppard having groupies beneath their stage to all the drugs and alcohol ingested by Nikki Sixx alone, the days of true rock and roll debauchery are disappearing. Somewhere between grunge and now, these notorious ingredients seemed to have slipped out of the rock and roll recipe one by one.
These days, bands still like to sing about sleeping around and downing a bottle of Jack Daniels, but I certainly haven’t witnessed any of it happening. I’ve been backstage at quite a few shows and I haven’t seen any of the legendary debauchery that rock and roll is so well known for. And for the record, I didn’t get backstage by getting on my knees; I either lucked out or knew someone who was nice enough to hook me up. It’s honestly quite shocking how tame backstage really is. Aside from my Dave Navarro incident (which really wasn’t that crazy), I have yet to see anything really, really crazy go down after a show. I’ve even been backstage at a Motley Crue show and…NOTHING.
Why such a drastic decline in after show indulgence? Perhaps a lot of these rock stars are older and wiser and know better now. Or maybe it’s that we live in a more health conscience world and rock stars want to take better care of themselves. I mean, not all of them can be like Keith Richards, right? It could be that with the birth of the internet and cell phone cameras, rock stars are afraid that actual evidence/footage of their debauchery could be spread to millions with the just a click of a button. Perhaps it’s because rock stars, old and new, are recovering addicts. Or maybe these newfangled rock stars know that there’s NO WAY they could ever live up to the likes of Motley Crue or Led Zeppelin, so why even bother? Or maybe I’ve been backstage at the wrong shows at the wrong times. Or maybe I’m just stupid and blind.
Don’t get me wrong. I am well aware that the rock stars of today drink and do drugs and sleep with hundreds of women, but it just doesn’t seem to be as in your face as it used to be. Back in the day, I envisioned liquor flowing freely, half naked groupies running around and servicing roadies, and rock stars snorting coke off of the asses of strippers in front of god and everyone. Today, it’s either not happening or it’s happening behind closed, locked and protected doors. The only current band I’ve heard any bad stories about is Hinder, but I’ve never been backstage at one of their shows so I can neither confirm nor deny those rumors.
Years go by and times change. I suppose sex, drugs and rock and roll couldn’t sustain themselves at full throttle forever. They were bound to shift back down to first gear at some point. So will debauchery continue to decline? Or will it make a resurgence in the next few years?