10 Musicians Who Made Mistakes Taking Drugs

One problem with losing beloved musicians, it's usually they turn to drugs. It's good living the sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll life style, but sometimes, the drug part of it has it's toll. So or this list, it's not for musicians who died of overdoses on drugs, but musicians who have a history of drug use. When you read this list, you might learn a thing or two from these musicians.

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Our favorite musicians of rock and metal have had a drug related past, some probably don't. Some even died because of their drug or alcohol use. Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, John Bonham, Dee Dee Ramone, Bon Scott, Keith Moon, Jim Morrison (suspected heroin overdose, but theres other theories too), Elvis Presley, etc. But the artists on this list, are people who made wrong choices are are surprisingly still alive. After you read this, think about this, do you want to make the choices these musicians made. Some readers might think this is pointless, but this will teach you about the dangers of drugs and fame.

Keith Richards

Prescription drugs, cocaine, heroin, any other drug you can think of, The Rolling Stones guitarist has probably taken it. In an interview with, he has admitted to snorting his late fathers ashes. It's a surprise that he's still alive after taking a lot of drugs.

Iggy Pop

Former addict Iggy Pop hated his days as a drug-addled hellraiser - because he wasn't "dumb enough" to fully enjoy a high. The Godfather of punk has struggled with years of a heroin addiction. Thanks to this addiction, his wild stage antics while under the influence put him in a mental institution. How did he get the drugs? Glam rocker David Bowie smuggled them to him. Iggy is now sober, but his drug past is still part of Iggy Pop and The Stooges band history.

Eric Clapton

His song "Cocaine" (originally written by JJ Cale) was influenced from his drug addiction on, well, cocaine. But that wasn't the only drug he took. His $16,000 a week heroin habit almost drove him to suicide in the 1960's when he was with Cream. But he didn't because then he said he'd stop drinking. Because of these addictions, he suffered car crashes, health problems, and being so drunk he performed lying down, he went to a rehab center in Antigua and is now sober. But his horrific drug pat is still in Clapton's history as a musician.

Saul Hudson (Slash)

Now this is a real easy choice to pick for who had a drug problem in the '80s and '90s. The Guns N' Roses guitarist has a history of drug problems. The song "Mr. Brownstone" was influenced by not just Slash's heroin habit, but the whole band's heroin habit. Even before the making of their hit album "Appetite for Destruction," he struggled with a heroin addiction. In 2001, he was diagnosed with a heart problem, and doctors said he has a short time to live. But therapy and a pace-maker saved his life, now he is sobered up and says he has no regrets.

Steven Tyler

The Aerosmith frontman and guitarist Joe Perry have both struggled with addiction when they were with the band. Steven Tyler has taken cocaine, even while on stage. Thanks to this he has attended multiple rehab sessions over the years. In 2009, he fell off stage while under the influence. After the incident, he said the experience boosted his creativity. He has admitted that drugs ruined his life, cost him millions, and gave him hepatitis C.

Brian Wilson

Pot, hash, LSD, cocaine and more drugs influenced The Beach Boys biggest hit "Good Vibrations." Wilson said that cocaine gave him creativity and ideas for songs, but has admitted that the comedown was awful. His drug, alcohol, and food addiction costed him his absences for music and the deterioration of his voice and mental health. Today, he is now sober and is still playing with the Beach Boys.

Dave Mustaine

The reason why he was kicked out of Metallica. The former Metallica guitarist and Megadeth frontman struggled with years of addiction. One of the reasons why he was known as "That One A-shole In Metallica." He has taken 14 different dugs over the years and it was said that Mustaine died in the hospital because of his drug abuse, and was soon brought back to life. I don't know if that's true or not. He has gone to rehab 15 times, while the basset took him 1 time to get clean. Every time he was on MTV, he was always stoned. But now is is kind of sober and still performing and making albums with Megadeth.

Shane MacGowan

The lead singer of The Pogues has a long history of drug abuse, he should be the face of anti-drinking campaigns and anti drug campaigns. Thanks to his dug abuse, he lost his almost all of his front teeth and you can't barely understand a word he's saying. He's even vomited on fans, try to eat a Beach Boys CD, was ratted out to police by Sinead O'Connor so he could quit heroin, and was forced out of his own band because of his drinking. He is not sober, and is still drinking and doing drugs. Shane, give us a favor and go to rehab.

Ozzy Osbourne

Judging on all the drugs he took over the years, he is like an Iron Man. The Prince of Darkness over the years of his musical career he has mixed alcohol with possibly every drug imaginable. Thanks to this, you barely understand what he's saying in his songs and when he's not singing. He survived multiple overdoses, being fired from Black Sabbath, dealing with Randy Rhoads death, and urinating on the Alamo all of these while under the influence. He has also snorted ants and bit heads off bats. But the important thing is that he's still alive, after abusing multiple drugs and drinking heavily.

Nikki Sixx

Now this was an easy choice, not just Sixx, but the whole band of Mötley Crüe was addicted to the whole sex, drugs and rock n roll life style in the '80s and '90s. But the one member who had the struggle the most with drugs was co-founder and bassist Nikki Sixx. Over the years he has struggled with cocaine and heroin addiction along with alcoholism. Even after going to rehab, he still took cocaine and heroin. He said in an interview that when he overdosed on heroin, he was in the hospital and died in that hospital, he said that he could see his dead body and that he was like a ghost or spirit or something. But he has had other overdoses and near death experiences. But now he's sobered up and is still performing with Mötley Crüe and Sixx:A.M.

First off, if there's anybody missing from the list, let me know in your comments. Second, the artists I mentioned have had a regretful past due to drug and alcohol related issues. I don't know why they turned to drugs. Did they have a troubled childhood? Did the grasps of fame get to them? Did someone influence them to do drugs and alcohol? I don't know. If you're doing drugs or addicted to alcohol, contact your closest rehab center. You might think this article is pointless, but let it teach you. Don't make the same mistakes these artists did.

128 comments sorted by best / new / date

    john frusciante. almost died and his arms are still wrecked from heroin
    didnt john come out and say the scaring on his arms happened when his house caught fire? the same fire he lost the fender jaguar he plays in the under the bridge video
    That Jaguar is in the Caracas Hard Rock Cafe currently. But a lot of his own solo recordings at the time were destroyed along with a bunch of other guitars. Plus he had to get all of his teeth pulled after he kicked heroin.
    The fire was caused by him free-basing heroin, so...still kinda counts. He was almost too high to get out of the house.
    Yeah his arms were from that house fire he had.
    He had a pretty bad time nonetheless, had to get false teeth as they were all messed up because of the heroin... Glad he's doing better now though.
    Seeing how at Woodstock '99 his Jag didn't even work right during "All Around the World", I can't imagine he's too torn up about that specific loss.
    I think he wrote some of his solo albums to pay for his addiction. Niandra Lades and Smile from the Streets sure sound like it. I'm glad he's alright now though, he's my favorite guitarist.
    KillRoy Ver 3.0
    I did read that he did Smile From The Streets You Hold specifically for heroin money, that's why it is no longer available in print.
    Bobby Liebling (Pentagram's singer. Basically destroyed his own career with heroin. The skin off his arms were peeling because of how many times he stuck needles into himself.
    that was so badly written, just wow. Eric Clapton never wrote cocaine, JJ Cale did. half the shit in here is bogus
    This article feels like it was written by a fifth grader writing a report on rock stars
    for the last paragraph: *there's *their *their *you're *you're *you 're
    For the whole article, the amount of misspellings and grammar mistakes is cringeworhty
    "First off, if theres anybody I'm missing from the list, let me know in your comments." Literally any musician who has ever done drugs.
    This article is atrociously written. If you guys need a writer that doesn't have the mental capacity of a drunk toddler, hit me up.
    this didnt really have to do with drugs, if you read scar tissue it was because of their falling out
    I don't get it. What happens in this video?
    Well.. This was around the time RHCP suddenly got huge because of this song, and John never really got used to that. He never wanted to get that famous, and this might've been his way of acting out; The band is playing on SNL, which is a pretty big deal. This is a show that may bring the attention of thousands and thousands of potential new listeners... So generally, one would try to lay down a clean performance which would make people go out and get the record you're selling. John, on the other hand, is mucking about. I'm not saying that in a negative way, but he's sloppily jamming his way through the song. That works out pretty sometimes, less pretty at other times, but it's mainly a hassle for Kiedis for instance, who's trying to do his lines over these constantly changing guitarparts. It's not necessarily that the result was awful, it was his attitude at that point; A big tv-performance like this is not the place to jam along like it's just another day at the rehearsalspace. Oh... and his backing vocals are experimental here to say the least.
    phil anselmo, maybe pantera wouldnt have drifted apart, maybe dime would've lived. I don't think it was anselmo's fault dime died. some psycho got ahold of a gun and shot a good man
    this, Dime would be alive if Pantera hadn't broken up due to his drug addiction.
    Dime would have had serious alcohol-related health issues and possibly died anyways. Rex is already experiencing some of the after effects of their non-stop binge drinking days.
    This is quite a biased article, yes, these guys mentioned have gone overboard with drug use, but it really is undeniable that drug use has massively influenced music and culture for the better as well.
    1)Keith Richards would survive even if he drank nuclear waste 2)Mustaine got kicked out of Metallica for being very aggresive while drunk. 3)anybody taking drugs is making a mistake.
    I agree, anyone drinking a glass of beer, smoking a cigarette or a joint is making a mistake and should go to jail.
    beer and cigarettes are drugs?that's a novelty.
    A drug is "a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body."...
    if you cannot see the difference between heroin and beer,no further comment...
    You can also talk about Lemmy Kilmister, who used to drink loads of bottles of Jack Daniels along with some speed, every day, and now has lots of heart problems, even though he has a pacemaker to keep him alive.
    He's also 70. As the man himself said "Speed don't kill and I'm the proof". I hate drugs, but the best way to live forever, it seems, is to act like you don't want to.
    Good topic and quite comprehensive, but why do I get the feeling that this was meant to be an anti-drug PSA rather than an article?
    EVH has made some pretty questionable business decisions while on the hook. That 2004 tour with Hagar was a bad mistake, and he was in shit shape.
    How about Syd Barrett from Pink Floyd? The dude basically lost his mind from doing too much acid.
    I'm a bit of a lucy (and other similar family members ;)advocate but always in moderation. Has improved my life 100 times over but has to be done right. Too much of anything is bad.
    John Lennon also had a drug habit and Ringo got into alcohol pretty deeply too after John died.
    Why is everyone here so badly opposed to drugs? Without them, you wouldn't even know these people!
    Layne Staley - not alive still.. but the other members of AIC had probelms in the 90s with heroin
    Let's see... Layne Staley, Andy Wood, Shannon Hoon all died from heroin overdoes, right? Sad stuff.
    Anthony Kiedis has to be mentioned. He's sampled numerous drugs and it's all mentioned in his book 'Scar Tissue'
    that was so badly written, just wow. Eric Clapton never wrote cocaine, JJ Cale did. half the shit in here is bogus
    The ashes snorting thing isn't really what it's interpreted as, at least in this article. Here's what Keith's autobiography says - 'The truth of the matter is that after having Dad’s ashes in a black box for six years, because I really couldn’t bring myself to scatter him to the winds, I finally planted a sturdy English oak to spread him around.' ‘And as I took the lid off of the box, a fine spray of his ashes blew out on to the table. I couldn’t just brush him off so I wiped my finger over it and snorted the residue.'
    Kieth Richards said the snorting his dad's ashes remark was only a joke. And "Cocaine" is JJ Cale's song, not Clapton's. Clapton just covered it; saying it was influenced by his addiction is not accurate since he didn't write it, unless JJ Cale was writing about Clapton, which isn't the case as far as I know.
    And you said Ozzy bit the head off of bat's. It was one bat not multiple bat's, and he thought it was a fake bat someone threw on stage. Get your facts strait before you post.
    Duff Mckagan got his pancreas swelt up.He couldnt move,talk or play while GnR were in Seattle (his hometown). He was found in his room lying on the floor unable to move due to his pancreas swelling up,he admits that he needed gloves to play bass again,the doctors somehow have managed to save his life.With Velvet Revolver he has helped Scott Weiland quit drugs because he claims that he's been through the same shit,but in a more severe way.And now he's sober.
    Drugs are fine. People are the real issue.
    I can agree with you, it's the person not the drug, the person chose do do that drug. But still, drugs can mess you up though.
    where is jimmy page !???
    I don't think he had a drug problem
    Wasn't there in first person but sources close to thae band vouched for his H addictions, the only one who didn't have a problem was the mighty John Paul Jones. (read from a book)
    Jonathan Davis and Head from Korn. Although the band as a whole was into that lifestyle, Jonathan suffered health problems but is thankfully still alive.
    Article is uninformed with very poor grammar. Should have mentioned David Bowie's cocaine-fuelled pool exorcism though.
    This article is laughable and not because it's all about drink and drugs, it is barely readable in parts.
    Great idea for an article, but there are some badly written parts. Seems a bit sloppy in the latter half especially.
    I'll try to do better. I've always had a hard time writing english. So, that's why my english writing is poor.
    In any case getting messed up from drugs is going to be a mistake. Sometimes that mistake brings about great music, or they could still not be completely destroyed, but I wouldn't use it as a way to justify the heavy drug use. Recreational is a different story since it's usually more controlled.