Eric Clapton might have contributed more to the world than wonderful music had he been candid earlier about the stupidity and indignity of heroin use.
Instead of seeing old “Slow Hand” looking cool on stage or imagining him that way while listening to records, youngsters might have learned the reality.
And that was that Clapton, during his heroin addiction, was massively constipated.
Clapton was chokkers, as he reveals in his just-released autobiography.
Writing of his heroin daze with the overdose-doomed beauty Alice Ormsby-Gore, he says: “We lived on chocolate and junk food. Heroin completely took away my libido and I became chronically constipated.”
Eric wasn’t God, as the graffiti painted on the London Underground insisted. He was clogged.
Bluesman Robert Johnson went down to the crossroads to make a deal with the Devil for superhuman guitar powers. Clapton would have sold his soul for a decent bowel movement.
There is nothing glamorous in any addiction, as the current crop of idiots using ice demonstrates daily. But many Australians still haven’t got the message on heroin. Otherwise Afghanistan’s poppies would be used in vases instead of drug factories.
Reading biographies of the great jazz artists of the 1950s, it’s astonishing how many of them were addicted to smack, back when Clapton, Jimmy Page, Lou Reed, and the Beatles were still in grade school. But then, to Start From Zero is to believe that there’s no history in the world to learn from.