RIP Amy Winehouse

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Randy Bass
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Re: RIP Amy Winehouse

Post by Randy Bass » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:03 pm

I think this could go on indefinitely. It's not possible to draw any hard-and-fast conclusions about the effects of drug use on making music because there is simply no way to employ the scientific method or anything resembling it. The measure of a great song is totally subjective to begin with. Many artists that I would consider to be great have presumably been under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol while writing/recording/performing music that I would consider great as well as music that I would consider to be terrible. You could list artists all day long and discuss the chronological relationship between their purported drug use (if any) and the writing of their "best" songs.

Using Jimi Hendrix as an example, you would need to first subjectively determine which songs/albums of his are "great" and then determine his level of narcotic influence at all points during the writing and recording(s) of those songs/albums. Don't forget to do the same for all of the other musicians who played on that particular track. Jimi could have been sober or close to it at various points throughout the writing/recording of a particular song/album, so some songs may be a sobering account of sober songwriting. If his later stuff is less popular, did excessive drug use eventually stifle his creativity?

Even if you could use a stone-cold sober band or artist as a baseline, there is still a natural trajectory to writing "good" music that resembles a bell curve. It is very common for an artist or band to have success with the first album or two and then seemingly lose their ability to make "good" music. Is this because they have stopped using drugs, started using more drugs, or is it mostly unrelated?

The best you can do is draw conclusions based on your own experiences and keep an open mind. I never wrote anything good when I was blasted out of my gourd :( . A lot of people do though :D .

The only thing that can be established conclusively is that you can't write good songs when you're dead :D . Thanks Amy!
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Re: RIP Amy Winehouse

Post by bassdrop » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:34 pm

I think this debate is being framed improperly. What it really comes down to is influences and inspiration. Creativity is an inborn trait- an urge to create art is not going to be fabricated by merely ingesting a chemical. I think we can all agree on that.

If you hike to the summit of a trail in the Rockies you may well be inspired enough to sit down with your backpack guitar and write a riff, chord progression, melody, lyric, or all of the above. That inspiration was influenced by your experience- the hike. Ingesting pyschoactive substances is, similarly, an experience. Whether that experience is positive or negative, influential or not, inspiring or not, is really more about the individual experiencing the experience. Everyone being different, one cannot simply apply a rule one way or the other regarding the qualities of one's own experiences. Since Jimi named his band The Experience, I think one could safely assume that for him, it was a positive one.
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Re: RIP Amy Winehouse

Post by Thinline_slim » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:37 pm

Van Cleef wrote:bullshit - this is an oft repeated myth... what do you mean by 'extremely creative' given that creativity is at it's core - about original ideas, are you saying that all people who express truly original ideas are mentally ill? or close to it? by logical extension, you are then saying that only those people who are not capable of expressing original ideas - are normal - in that case - pass me a joint - followed by a cyanide capsule - seriously...
You make some very valid points and I wasn't terribly clear with my statement although I don't believe that the emotionally stability of some extremely creative people is a myth. There are of course have been some very creative people throughout history who seemed to be emotionally/mentally stable. There have also been some very creative people throughout history who didn't require drugs to reach that level of creativity. I guess they had more natural talent than Hendix/Beatles/Floyd.

Van Cleef wrote:yeah and there are just as many people who say that about the beatles... 'they were simply great - the thing is - you have no way of knowing that about Jimi - because he was already getting jiggy well before his first ever recording... i only believe it is a creative booster for those that wanted it and needed it and for those who it worked for - obviously it doesn't/didn't/won't work for some - ie: if you gave steve vai an acid trip i am sure he would still be an astoundingly boring shredder... but if you take a pop band - who are a bit bored with being pop show ponies... give them a few joints and some acid - suddenly they become interesting (talking about the beatles here in case you missed it)
If it was so simple as taking a few joints and some acid, why has the level of creativity the Beatles achieved not been matched by their pop counterparts the New Kids on the Block, Backsteet Boys, etc? It couldn't have anything to do with other influences like an entire counter culture that erupted causing many their age to go against what had been previously thought and question everything.
Van Cleef wrote:not sure - i know and work with a bunch of programers and systems analysts and very very very smart maths guys and a number of them smoke dope because they say it helps them focus... i also know two three d computer effects guys that get flown around the world to fix effects glitches in feature films - and both of them smoke their own wght in ganja - these guys are mathematically brilliant AND creative AND they are both great musos.....
Where does their lack of focus originally stem from? ADD/ADHD? Or do they simply use the "focus" excuse because they like to get high? Only they can answer that but if they really have a legitimate problem focusing, there are legal drug alternatives without the fun part of weed.
Van Cleef wrote:which proves my point - - the only thing worse than drug use - is people who are self-righteous about drug use...
I believe this is a jab at me, which is fine although I believe it to be an incorrect assumption about my views on drug use. My only response is to agree with the statement as a whole. I have met some very strong proponents of drug use who were extremely self-righteous about drug use as well.

On a personal note, I too have had some difficulties focusing on different things lately. I have developed chronic back pain since March of this year and I will admit the pain can be quite distracting. I will not attribute the vicodin I've been taking for giving me the ability to regain my focus, it's the lack of pain that has done so. I was able to focus just fine before the back pain/vicodin and I always had that ability in me.
Van Cleef wrote:but i will add one final point... i'm really only tlking bout psychotropic drugs... and psychedelics... which are not addictive... i am not talking about heroin and crack and meth and all that gutter stuff... which has about as much creative merit to it as reality TV or... crabcore.... :D
I thought this was pretty interesting that you have conditions regarding which drugs are beneficial to someones creativity. If Ray Charles admitted to you his heroin use opened up his mind and made him more creative would you discredit his statement? It just seems pretty selective.

I will admit I get a kick out the Mr Mackie quotes and the picture, which I'm guessing are directed at least in part at me, which again is fine. It's an odd assumption though and a pretty small minded attempt to goad further debates. No one on here has any idea what my stance is on drugs as a stand along topic.

Everything I've based my side on is the "Drugs have been successfully implemented to generate creativity." To that concepts I will always call BS. Always.

I'm really not here thinking I will change anyone's mind (nor will you mine), I do like a good debate. And with that I'm pretty sure this will be my last post on this thread. But I do look forward to reading anything that comes after this post though.
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Re: RIP Amy Winehouse

Post by Randy Bass » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:03 pm

Oh man. I think I may have accidentally started using hallucinogenics again. Does anyone else see a Smurf in this picture?

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Re: RIP Amy Winehouse

Post by misterMagoo » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:41 pm

All I know is that the beauty of this world is that we are all different and as such we react differently to varying situations and experiences. So maybe some people are highly influenced/motivated/focused when on drugs and others have the exact opposite experience. So don't discount it just because of your experience. I mean, really, how do you even know that water tastes the same to you as it does to me? You don't.

I will agree though that very hard drugs which are generally known to ruin lifes are not cool and ovbiously are not the subject of this topic. However, if someone chooses to use them and can do so in moderation or in other words "responsibly" and not ruin their life in the process then who am I to judge them?

There are a lot worse things than drugs out there that are wasting people lives. One of which is facebook...
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Re: RIP Amy Winehouse

Post by sizzlingbadger » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:35 pm

and Internet forums....

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Re: RIP Amy Winehouse

Post by Randy Bass » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:25 am

sizzlingbadger wrote:and Internet forums....
The Orange Amps Forum isn't worse than drugs - it is a drug. It doesn't make me play better though :D .
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Re: RIP Amy Winehouse

Post by Van Cleef » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:13 am

Thinline_slim wrote: Everything I've based my side on is the "Drugs have been successfully implemented to generate creativity." To that concepts I will always call BS. Always.

yes but again - going back to my first post on the matter - nobody is saying that at all... i am saying that drugs most certainly have through time - been used by artists to enhance their creativity and to expand their perceptions... drugs don't magincally make someone creative - but they certainly can be used by creative people to further their creativity and take it in different directions...

and this gets back to the point about only certain drugs doing that...

that's not my personal choice, that's basic neuroscience... different drugs affect different part of your brain, hence why narcotics are referred to as narcotics - and why you're unlikely to be seeing a snae headed blue vishnu when you chase down a couple of vicodins... they're not psycoactive or psychotropic... they merely give you a bit more dopamine than you normally have floating around your system

i lol'd at the climbing a mountain analogy too - you probably would be tripping a bit from having an oxygen headrush...

the other undeniable truth is that drugs can enhance the music listening experience for some people... entire genres of music exist based on this premise... not to mention the number of musicians and electronics whizzes who have made sounds and or hardware that sonically attempts to recreate the experience of being on drugs...
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Re: RIP Amy Winehouse

Post by bassdrop » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:39 pm

I'm finding the argument that altitude induced oxygen deprivation is somehow akin to tripping on a psychoactive chemical farcical at best. At most you may feel a little light headed, but that is not the point of the analogy. The point is that everyone's experience differs, so why try to make a generalization that everyone's creativity gets enhanced or that enhanced creativity is a myth. Personally, I've found that staying in good health is a much more reliable source of creativity enhancement then packing a bong, to speak nothing of the reclusive nature of a marijuana high conflicting with the social nature of music itself. This may be in direct contradiction to someone else's experience, thereby rendering generalizations to one side or the other completely irrelevant.
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Re: RIP Amy Winehouse

Post by bassdrop » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:42 pm

Randy Bass wrote:Oh man. I think I may have accidentally started using hallucinogenics again. Does anyone else see a Smurf in this picture?

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Smurf? You must have drank some Kool-Aid.
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Re: RIP Amy Winehouse

Post by Van Cleef » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:11 am

bassdrop wrote:I'm finding the argument that altitude induced oxygen deprivation is somehow akin to tripping on a psychoactive chemical farcical at best.

I thought it was pretty bleeding obvious that I said that in jest - sorry next time i'll litter what i say with a few dozen emoticons
bassdrop wrote:The point is that everyone's experience differs, so why try to make a generalization that everyone's creativity gets enhanced or that enhanced creativity is a myth.

this is why i have always been at pains to say that it 'can' enhance creativity - in some people - unless the multitudes of artists, authors and musicians who are on the record saying that drug experiences were beneficial to their creativity are all in complete denial and or lying to us...

it's the across the board generalisations that i find to be problematic... and a little disappointing
bassdrop wrote:Personally, I've found that staying in good health is a much more reliable source of creativity enhancement then packing a bong, to speak nothing of the reclusive nature of a marijuana high conflicting with the social nature of music itself. This may be in direct contradiction to someone else's experience, thereby rendering generalizations to one side or the other completely irrelevant.

bully for you...

would a really great Zumba session have enabled Pink Floyd to write Saucerful of Secrets? maybe not...

hence - vive la difference - and that's my last post on the topic
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Re: RIP Amy Winehouse

Post by misterMagoo » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:46 am

Perhaps a really great Zumba session would have sparked them to write Saucerful of Seamen...




or something like that.



And it would have to be really great.
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Re: RIP Amy Winehouse

Post by Randy Bass » Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:48 am

Van Cleef wrote:
bassdrop wrote:I'm finding the argument that altitude induced oxygen deprivation is somehow akin to tripping on a psychoactive chemical farcical at best.

I thought it was pretty bleeding obvious that I said that in jest - sorry next time i'll litter what i say with a few dozen emoticons
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Van Cleef wrote:this is why i have always been at pains to say that it 'can' enhance creativity - in some people - unless the multitudes of artists, authors and musicians who are on the record saying that drug experiences were beneficial to their creativity are all in complete denial and or lying to us...

There's no doubt that they believe that those experiences were beneficial and can be directly associated with some particular creative breakthrough, but it doesn't mean they are correct. They probably are though.
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Re: RIP Amy Winehouse

Post by Van Cleef » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:01 am

:( 8) :twisted: :x :? :x
Randy Bass wrote: There's no doubt that they believe that those experiences were beneficial and can be directly associated with some particular creative breakthrough, but it doesn't mean they are correct. They probably are though.

:P 8) :lol: :P 8) :? 8) :x :idea: :? :x :P on a similar note, I'm pretty sure that the Aztecs worshipping a feathered snake God and his dog-headed sidekick Xolotl... may.... have had something to do with the ingestion of certain plants and fungi...

what do we get? a dude with a beard wearing a snuggie

... whoop di fricken doo

not much evidence of psychoactives in those fables... though judging by the old testament - there was probably some form of meth or PCP around back then... everybody seemed pretty antsy and uptight
:idea: :| :lol:
8)

sorry - this is my last post - i needed to get some emoticons in :lol:
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Re: RIP Amy Winehouse

Post by myboss57 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:33 am

I have a book that I started reading (but it wasn't as interesting as I thought it was going to be) about ancient cultures and drug use, and how drug use was probably much more prevelant than we ever imagined - even widely used among the Romans and Greeks on a day to day basis. I can't remember what it's called at the moment, but it could be worth a read.

There's also the reports of scientists and mathematicians using LSD (before it was made illegal in the States) to try and "think outside the box" to solve critical equations and problems that they could not solve otherwise. I can't remember what the actual findings of the study were, but again, worth looking into.

I'm not sure how much more creative drugs make a musician, writer, other artistic types, etc; but I wouldn't argue that they make someone necessarily better at a craft. I do think maybe a psychoactive substance can "open" a person's mind up and maybe cause them to approach their instrument or typewriter (Hunter Thompson comes to mind) or paintbrush differently though.

Okay, that's my 2 cents for what it's worth.... :D :) :o :shock: :? 8) :lol: :x :P :evil: :twisted: :roll: :wink:
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