Posts Tagged ‘Neil Young’


Rock ‘n’ Roll has received a bad rap where drugs and alcohol are concerned, and for pretty good reasons really. Lord knows how music has been altered by musicians suffering from addictions to God-knows-what. Frankie Lymon, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Sid Vicious, the list is endless. That said, there have been many artists who have written about the negative results of drugs, and I’ve chosen my 5-favorite anti-drug songs below. Feel free to remind me of the songs I’ve missed in the comments section and I shall ignore them accordingly.

5. Medicine Jar – Paul McCartney & Wings

Sung by Jimmy McCulloch, it’s pretty ironic because he died of a heroin overdose 4-years later. Didn’t heed his own advice it seems.

What’s wrong with you? I wish I knew,
You say time will tell, I hope that’s true.
There’s more to life than blues and reds,
I say, I know how you feel, now your friends are dead.
Dead on your feet, you won’t get far
If you keep on sticking your hand in the medicine jar.

4. The Pusher – Steppenwolf

This is the first anti-drug song I ever recall hearing. Great vocals by the great John Kay.

You know I’ve smoked a lot of grass
O’ Lord, I’ve popped a lot of pills
But I never touched nothin’
That my spirit could kill
You know, I’ve seen a lot of people walkin’ ’round
With tombstones in their eyes
But the pusher don’t care
Ah, if you live or if you die.

3. Hey Stoopid – Alice Cooper

As always, Alice takes a more direct approach.

Hey bro, take it slow
You ain’t livin’ in a video
You’re flying low with a high velocity
No doubt, you’re stressin’ out
That ain’t what rock n’ roll’s about
Get off that one way trip down lonely street.

Now I know you’ve been kicked around
You ain’t alone in this ugly town
You stick a needle in your arm
You bite the dust, you buy the farm.

2. That Smell – Lynyrd Skynyrd

One of my favorite Skynyrd songs, without a doubt. There’s a great version of this song performed by 3 Doors Down that I highly recommend.

Angel of darkness is upon you
Stuck a needle in your arm
So take another toke, have a blow for your nose
One more drink fool, will drown you
Ooooh that smell
Can’t you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you.

1. Needle and the Damage Done – Neil Young

In my opinion one of the greatest songs ever written. Hauntingly beautiful.

I caught you knockin’
At my cellar door
I love you, baby,
Can I have some more
Ooh, ooh, the damage done.

I hit the city and
I lost my band
I watched the needle
Take another man
Gone, gone, the damage done.

I sing the song
Because I love the man
I know that some
Of you don’t understand
To keep from running out.

I’ve seen the needle
And the damage done
A little part of it in everyone
But every junkie’s
Like a setting sun . . .

So what have I missed? Let me know!