#3. Iggy Pop
Iggy Pop has been around forever, and is responsible for that one song you definitely know, and several more you probably don't. As a consequence of being around forever, there's two distinct phases in his career: the drug phase and the post-drug phase.
First the drug phase--and hang on to your butts, because this is pretty nasty. Back in 1969-1970, Iggy and his original band, the Stooges, all hung out together in an apartment in Detroit, and, possibly because no one had invented the Internet yet, they got bored and started doing a lot of heroin. A side note: One of the quirks about taking heroin intravenously is that after shooting up, you end up with a bit of blood inside the hypodermic. Which these guys started squirting out over the walls and ceiling. Imagine what that apartment must have looked like after a few weeks and months, and keep in mind that heroine is not known for being much of a motivator, and you start to realize why getting these guys out to a show might have been somewhere between difficult and your worst nightmare.
A Typical Day If You Were Iggy Pop's Personal Assistant (Drug Phase):
You: No. I am not going back into that apartment. Because fuck you guys, that's why. If you need me, I will be five thousand miles away and on fire, because I quit, and because I will light myself on fire having seen what I just saw. Fuck.
Since then, Iggy's cleaned up a bit, which should make shepherding him around a lot easier of a chore. And by all accounts it is, aside from the hilarious contract rider he has for gigs. For those that don't know, a contract rider specifies the required amenities that should be in a performer's dressing room; snacks, beverages, that sort of thing. Iggy's is one of the most extensive in the industry, and although it's almost certainly a joke, has specific requests for:
"Seven dwarves dressed up as those dwarves out of that film about the dwarves. You know the one. Cinderella?"
"Two cans of red bull. Something with testicles in it"
"Cauliflower/Broccoli, cut into individual florets and thrown immediately into the garbage. I fucking hate that."
A Typical Day If You Were Iggy Pop's Personal Assistant (Post-Drug Phase):
Concert Promoter: ...
You: Look, you know the way these rock stars are. They've got an image to live up to...
Concert Promoter: ...
You: And I don't have to tell you that there is nothing more rock and roll than, uh,... drinking testicles and wasting food in the company of a dwarf.
#2. Nikki Sixx
Back in the 80s Nikki Sixx, the bassist for Motley Crue, was along with basically everyone else in the band, taking enormous quantities of heroin. It was a pretty typical rock star thing to do by that point, and not in itself that remarkable, but for the fact that he actually killed himself doing it. The story goes that after taking far too much heroin one night, Sixx collapsed, and for a couple minutes was technically dead. A paramedic at the scene, reportedly a fan of the band, revived him with two adrenaline shots to the heart. Why everyone who recounts the story highlights the fact that the paramedic was a Motley Crue fan is unknown--perhaps if Sixx played for a lower caliber band on the order of Warrant or Ratt, he wouldn't have survived?
"Wait, aren't you in Warrant?! Get the hell out of my ambulance! No, I will not tell the driver to slow down."
Anyways, Sixx did recover and within minutes, bravely escaped the clutches of medical aid to go do more heroin.
We've concluded that there is no way any man or machine could have kept control of Nikki Sixx at this time in his life. If you put a 1987 era Nikki Sixx on one side of a brick wall and heroin on the other side, you will end up with a Nikki Sixx shaped hole in your brick wall. The wall could be only six-feet long and have a door in it, and he'd still go right through the thing like it was paper.
A Typical Day If You Were Nikki Sixx's Personal Assistant:
You: Hey, Nikki, have you... oh no, my wall! Oh my. I should not have left that heroin lying behind that brick wall. For this I have no one to blame but myself.
#1. Eric Clapton
Universally hailed as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Eric Clapton spent much of his early career furiously inhaling massive quantities of alcohol and drugs, possibly worried the world's supply was about to run out. Did it interfere with his music? Yes and no. In his own words:
"I'd wander off the stage and somebody would have to try to persuade me to go back on. There seemed to be a postpsychedelia drunkenness that swept over everybody in the entertainment business during the early 70s. To be on stage, you were almost expected to be drunk. I remember doing one entire show lying down on the stage with the microphone stand lying beside me, and nobody batted an eyelid."
That's right: Eric Clapton was just lying down during a rock concert and that was perfectly cool. Encouraged even. The amazing thing is, he probably just killed that set too.
A Typical Day If You Were Eric Clapton's Personal Assistant
Eric Clapton: Look, I'm going to finish drinking this children's pool full of rye whiskey, and you're going to get 80 feet of high strength fishing line, then learn everything you can about the art of puppetry, and meet me at the show in three hours. OK? Break!
You: Man, there has got to be a better use of my Liberal Arts degree.