Alcohol and playing

jer

Silver Member
Alot of bands have done alot of drugs and alot of drinking and done pretty well...Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Led Zepplin, The Who..etc. etc.

Now some of them are dead from to much partying and some look like they're dead, but it's hard to argue with their success.
You have to recognize that it was a different game back then. With bands and labels doing everything they can to salvage a bottom line these days, it's no surprise that the industry took a shift towards the "safe".

Freddy makes a valid point, even outside his personal experience, bands that don't allow themselves to be distracted by things like drugs or alcohol tend to get further these days.
 

con struct

Platinum Member
Having spent a good amount of time in Europe I can tell you that the French, British, Spanish and Italians drink all day, including the musicians, and it doesn't seem to affect them at all when it comes time to hit.
The British drink like fish, but I guess they're used to it. Whenever I was in France there was always a glass of wine in front of me on the table. And so on. It's a cultural thing, I think. Americans go a little overboard about the evils of drinking in my opinion. I've been around booze all my life; it's impossible not to be in this business, and I know what my capacity is for alcohol.
That's the whole point, whether you're a musician or not. Knowing what your capicity is. It's unrealistic to tell young musicians, or young people in general, to never, ever drink alcohol, it's really rather ridiculous. It's also pretty silly to say "Don't get drunk." EVERYBODY is going to get drunk sooner or later. I think it's best if it happens sooner. One really embarassing night and a hangover the next day that makes you wish you could just die is all it takes to be convinced that you never, never, ever exceed your capacity for alcohol. Anyway that's all it took with me. Well, maybe more than one time but I did learn. BUT. I've never in my life been drunk on a gig. Never. When would you find the time to drink that much anyway when you're working?
It wouldn't be a gig for me without a few drinks to accompany the whole experience, but then I'm a drinker. And I don't apologize for that. I always had plenty of work, I never had a reputation for over-drinking and anyway I always enjoyed playing too much to turn any gig into a night on the town.
 

RollingStone000

Silver Member
You have to recognize that it was a different game back then. With bands and labels doing everything they can to salvage a bottom line these days, it's no surprise that the industry took a shift towards the "safe".

Freddy makes a valid point, even outside his personal experience, bands that don't allow themselves to be distracted by things like drugs or alcohol tend to get further these days.
Continuing on that point, a lot of band probably had some certain level of success but the drinking and drugs probably took a toll on the band as a whole, not just the individual musician. Think about it like this, there's one Aerosmith, but there were probably a heaping helping of Aerosmith like bands that did the same thing (booze and drugs) how many of them are around. Biggest thing is just don't take it to an excessive level. Damn I could use a Guinness right now.
 

CJM

Member
Freddy makes a valid point, even outside his personal experience, bands that don't allow themselves to be distracted by things like drugs or alcohol tend to get further these days.
I don't think it was really different back when, either. Plenty of bands started partying prematurely. Think of all the One Hit Wonders. One hit, go to pieces celebrating, infighting and stressing over what comes next. Poof, you're gone.
 

Neil

Senior Member
I have a water for during the set and a couple of banana's during the two intervals. A recent gig, I was hanging around for ages waiting for the other guys to get themselves sorted so thought I'd have a Cuba Libre, worst gig I ever played in my opinion, I just didn't seem to be able think properly my mind kept wandering...so since then I'll be sticking with water and 'nana's

Neil
 

Phildas

Junior Member
I don't drink alcohol at all. The stuff is nasty!
Same goes for drugs and smoking.
I must be one of the few in the West that can say "I have never been drunk in my life" !

I find that the power of music and drumming alone gives me my kicks i need and relaxes me.
A short meditation is good too before gigs, to be focused yet relaxed, ready to give your best!

Also during the gig I drink water infused with an ayurvedic herb (medicinal herb from India, which I bring back when there) that is great for avoiding cramps and staying hydrated.

Aum Namah Shivaya

Phildas
 

ChipJohns

Senior Member
I can't think of any job where drinking before of during work is acceptable.

Why would being a musician be any different?
How about PR people for big business. They schmooze clients. They are on the job and the take in alcohol. Actually part of their job to do so.. Granted the smarter ones do so in moderation. So, here is at least one job (and we are talking Fortune 100 Companies) where an employer doesn't mind their employee drinking alcohol on the job...

So there is at least one job! I could think of quite a few more but won't take the space here!

One more is, well, music. It IS considered acceptable, and I don't know of any club owners that would frown if they saw a member of the band having a drink.
 

Rascul

Senior Member
Alot of bands have done alot of drugs and alot of drinking and done pretty well...Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Led Zepplin, The Who..etc. etc.

Now some of them are dead from to much partying and some look like they're dead, but it's hard to argue with their success.
Alcohol and drugs might make for inspired songwriting, but it is VERY clear whether anyone of any of those bands have been drinking while on stage - it always sucks. By the way, for me the best albums of those bands have been written and recorded completely sober. Moreover, for all these bands, drugs and alcohol have in one way or another been their undoing. So yeah, being amongst spirits (ha ha) while writing or recording your album might have its benefits, but in the long run it'll break you down. Moreover, for us mortals alcohol usually has the effect of convincing yourself that your playing is great, while anyone in the audience thinks you're an idiot.

I think it's pretty simple, just don't drink and play. One beer, maybe two, that'll make little difference, but in general it doesn't mix.
 

Eggman

Member
I agree with Rascul. I've always been of the opinion that great bands are great despite their alcohol and drug abuses, not because of it.

For me personally, I don't usually drink at all at gigs. Especially for more difficult prog/jazz stuff, I need a perfectly clear head. When playing with a cover band where the songs are simpler, I might have a drink or two over the course of the whole night, but any more than that and it will start to adversely affect my playing.

I know some people who get really nervous on stage, and a drink or two helps them relax and actually play better. Whatever works for you, I guess!
 

toddy

Platinum Member
mmh, i don't personally but i do play with people who like to drink/consume drugs before gigs though. i've tried to get them to calm down a bit though, it really isn't needed at all, and imo it just makes them play worse.

i'd much rather get crunk after the set.
 

sqadan

Senior Member
I save the beer for AFTER the show... water only on stage for me. I find drinking booze on stage to be incredibly unprofessional.
 
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BigSteve

Guest
Maybe an occasional beer for me at a gig. Mostly water, one of those 5 hour energy drinks for a long night. Two years ago I played a New Years Eve gig, the band was "set up" through out the night with shots of Tequila and beer. I didn't feel it until we loaded out and I drove home....I was $hit faced. Not a good situation at 2:30 in the morning while driving. I pulled over at a rest stop and chilled for awhile before I went the rest of the way home. Never again! I felt pretty foolish for being that stupid.
 

MisterMixelpix

Silver Member
I can't really play drunk, but anyone claiming that bands today are stone sober is just crazy. Let's not forget The Rev.
 

Florian

Gold Member
My .02 here. Im a linesman in the AHL as well as a drummer in a regionally touring band. As a band we do a shot of our favorite 1 hour before a gig to get our heads together in the greenroom or the trailer. There is always loads of booze/beer available for free, but it is too easy to get carried away with it. People are paying their hard earned cash to see you, why would you want to disappoint them with mediocre playing or run the risk of being labelled a bunch of drunks/bad performers. We do save the partying to afterward as a sort of reward for work well done. The audience alone is typically enough to get your juices and adrenaline going. How does this all work back to the AHL stuff? Our Director of Officials once told me (he was an ex-NHL guy) that to counter the effects of the adrenaline and energy you get from skating (in this case drumming) hard, that two beers or drinks after a game was necessary. Not enough to get you buzzed, but enough to at least allow a solid nights sleep.

best to all!


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