Even back in the early days of the Blues, many musicians were elevated to the heady heights of fame and fortune. With their new life offering a stark contrast to where they came from, several blues artists struggled to cope with their newfound fame. Sadly, more than a few blues artists needed to find outlets other than their music. As such, over the years many an addiction was born. Here are two of stories from the more well known Blues legends.
This legendary, larger than life Bluesman had a long and impressive career, with his unmistakable sound and powerful voice recognised by all. However, it wasn’t always plain sailing during his years in the spotlight. For many years he struggled with a gambling addiction, throwing away thousands of dollars on a roll of the dice or a spin on the wheel. Casinos were his thing and he struggled to say no. Surprisingly it was when he moved to Vegas that he finally managed to beat his addiction.
A former manager advised him to write a check every time he went to the casino and it was this advice that saved him. Seeing how much money he had thrown away when that check came back shook him out of the habit as he realized how much he was wasting each time he walked into a casino.
The legendary Janis Joplin, famed for her sultry, raucous voice and big presence was a Blues legend that left us too soon. As her voice earned her wider recognition, she battled a drink and drug addiction for much of her career. She managed to get off the drugs for a while, but she could never give up alcohol. In the end she sadly died from an overdose after getting her hands on a potent batch of uncut heroin. She and several others died as a result of taking the drug.