Did The Quality Of Jimi Hendrix And Pink Floyd Shows Depend On Their Drug Consumption, Jay Jay French Explains
Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French spoke to Ultimate Guitar’s David Slavkovic and expressed his ideas about drug usage before the concerts by revealing whether the drugs had effects on Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix’s live performances.
As you probably know, especially during the 60s, some of the most famous rock stars in the world started to become more and more addicted to alcohol and various drugs as a part of their motto, drugs, sex, and rock and roll. They had been fighting with their addictions for many years until the they decided to get rid of them and to go to rehabilitation.
Some people believe that their songs and performances were extraordinary thanks to their drug consumption even though it was killing them slowly. However, others like Jay Jay French think that it was not only destroying their lives but also affecting their live performances. French stated that he witnessed Jimi Hendrix and late Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett’s concerts under the influence of drugs in a recent interview he joined.
Jay Jay French stated that neither the legendary band Pink Floyd nor talented guitarist Jimi Hendrix performed unforgettable shows all the time. According to him the reason behind these disappointing performances can be considered as drugs that these icons used. He highlighted that when both Syd Barrett and Hendrix had consumed drugs before their performances, they couldn’t play as well as they did when they were sober.
French said in his interview that:
“Well, I guess the question would be – do I think they were any good, to begin with? If you’re gonna ask me do I think these artists were good, that’s a whole other question because I don’t think most of the artists I’ve ever seen are good.
That’s just my own personal view of it, and I’m not gonna get into specifics but let’s just say that, um… look: I’m a hippie from the ’60s. So, obviously, having seen Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix – all those artists in the heyday of their bands when they were probably all partying and to greater or lesser degrees, they were good and bad.“
He went on:
“I mean, with Jimi Hendrix, sometimes you got a good show, and sometimes you got a bad show – it just depended on how f’cked-up he was on LSD. Watch Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett – if he was f’cked-up on acid, you didn’t get a good show. If you saw the Grateful Dead and everybody was on acid – the Grateful Dead was fun if everyone was tripping at the same time – as long as you were tripping at the same time.
So, I can’t say that drugs definitively destroy the ability of every artist to put on a great show. I will say this though: the commitment that an artist has to an audience, I believe, is sacrosanct.”
Even though Jay Jay French added that some of these musicians were able to perform well despite their drug consumption, he still believes that the artists should show respect to their fans who deserved to watch their best performances without drugs.