The Relationship Between Music and Drugs

Drugs and Music; The Perfect Pair

If you’re like us, the sudden lack of any concerts, festivals or just some good, live jams is slowly breaking your soul. There’s only so much YouTube music one can watch.

But there’s no doubting that drugs and music have been synonymous with each other since forever! Here’s a little distraction to help you along your day for all music and drug fans out there.

Marijuana Music Madness

Some would say that nothing goes together better with reggae than a little Mary-Jane, and no concert would be complete with that background smell. Legal or not, it has had its place in music since music began and helps many musicians feel their groove.

Obviously Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson and Bob Marley were big advocates for the herb, but many wouldn’t have thought that Louis Armstrong and Lady Gaga accredit their talent to it. Being able to relax their brains and allow the soul to filter through has long been an excuse for many musicians. And let’s face it, when you’re that famous, you don’t need no excuse.

Even Rihanna is a big blunt fan. Not shying away from the spotlight when it comes to weed, her Instagram is packed full of smoking photos and she has even released her own brand; MaRihanna no less.

Festival Drug Testing

Not only is New Zealand killing it right now in terms of managing COVID-19 (not a single case in the community as of April 2021), but they are also streaks ahead of other nations when it comes to drugs and festivals. Understanding that a festival is different to a bar or nightclub where one can easily be evicted, many festivals have you camping on site and are out in the middle of nowhere. 

Instead, the NZ Drug Foundation have been allowed to operate free and unbiased pill and drug testing at all concerts and festivals in NZ. They understand that recreational drugs will be present and have spent their resources in making sure kids are safe instead of policing them. They even offer chill out areas at longer festivals if you have taken too much and need to get your thoughts together. Nothing like this at Woodstock, but also no need back then. The chill out areas can feature band-related games, too.

LSD and the Beatles

Given their wholesome early reputation for being typical boys next door, it may surprise many just how heavily the quartet hit drugs in their early days. Rumoured to have begun by an offering of weed from Bob Dylan, they soon graduated to Preludin to help keep them awake on the road.

But when the summer of 1965 rolled around and John and George were given LSD without knowing it, it started a new and crazy period for the foursome. Having had such a good time being high, the two later stated that “they could no longer relate to them on any level, because acid had changed us so much”. They twisted Paul and Ringo’s arm and the rest is Revolver history.

Boozing and Beats

Alcohol and music have also played hand in hand since the dawn of time. From song lyrics, advertising and famous musicians penchant for alcoholism, just why do the two make such a happy couple?

Firstly, we all know that alcohol is a depressant, so it makes us feel chilled out and relaxed, so easier to do with some background hits. But it also suppresses our inhibitions which is how karaoke was born. No wonder people have a sing-a-long when downing a couple of bevvies.

But beyond that, research has shown that bars that play music at a faster pace or a louder level will actually have people drinking more. It could be that the increase in volume directly correlates with one’s arousal, sparking an increase in the speed of drinks consumed. Or it could simply be that if the music’s too loud to hold a conversation, what else are you going to do in a bar. Gets you thinking though.


I listen to and write about music!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.