Grace Slick, a former lead singer for Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, discussed the chaotic 1960s rock and roll scene in an interview dated December 12, 2015, as well as her thoughts on Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin’s sad overdose deaths. Slick went into detail about her background, talking about her involvement with the Monterey Pop Festival, the complexity of the relationships in her bands, and her personal dislike to continuing to perform rock music after the age of 50. But what really stuck out were her thoughts on drug usage and the music business.
Slick pointed out that many of the generation’s young musicians used drugs out of curiosity and a desire to experiment with their affects when discussing the drug-fueled culture of the ’60s. She recalled that Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison, who passed away from a drug overdose, had all written about their propensities toward suicide. She asserted that they were merely doing it for fun, though: “Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison. They have written novels about the drama, about how they were depressed, suicidal, and haunted by demons. We all have minor issues, but trust me when I say that the goal in your 20s is to do drugs as much as possible.
We didn’t have AIDS back then, and you were getting paid to tour the globe to make music, so you could screw anybody you wanted. You’re not suicidal, I promise. Mostly, we were doing narcotics for entertainment. How do you feel when you do this? is what we wanted to test. That’s intriguing, ooh. Oh, that’s lovely, LSD. I want to unwind. She therefore concluded that the excitement of new sensations, in addition to ignorance of AIDS and a traveling lifestyle supported by their artistic endeavors, created the ideal environment for a hedonistic time. The deaths of Joplin, Hendrix, and Morrison weren’t as sad as they appeared, as Slick suggested.
Slick then discussed the difference between what she referred to as “fun drugs” and riskier narcotics like heroin. Her personal aversion to heroin was caused by what she called laziness rather than fear: “Sexual experimentation is hardball entertainment. You must be aware of this going in. It’s a crapshoot using stronger medicines, and I don’t just mean the things your doctor gives you. Heroin is particularly difficult because the doses are so small that you believe you’ll only need a little more. It’ll kill you with just a little more, though. Since I’m too lazy, I actually never used heroin. There, God sort of saved me. It’s too difficult. The dealer you need might not be at home. You must secure your arm with a knot. You must find a vein. On me, the doctors can’t even find a vein. I have far too many deep veins. I once snorted heroin, but I didn’t feel anything. ‘Okay, I don’t need that,’ I reasoned.
At the age of 27, Morrison was discovered dead in his Paris residence. Some people close to Morrison think he may have died from a heroin overdose, despite the fact that heart disease is frequently suggested as the cause of death. In a book written in 2007, Parisian nightclub owner Sam Bernett stated that Morrison died from heroin overdose in his establishment, and that the incident was manufactured to appear accidental in Morrison’s flat. The precise cause, however, is still up for debate because there was no autopsy. In 1970, Joplin passed away tragically in Hollywood, California. Her accidental heroin overdose was determined to be the cause of death by Los Angeles County Coroner Thomas Noguchi. When Joplin’s road manager John Cooke found her in her hotel room, he surmised that she may have unknowingly ingested a supply of heroin that was much stronger than usual.