I was seventeen when I first started drinking. I had an older friend, Richard, who wanted to “show me the ropes” of how to be a man including knowing how to “hold your liquor”. It was summer and almost every day he’d take me best friend, Anthony, down to our favorite waterfront park for lessons in “how to drink like a man!”
He would usually bring a fifth of whiskey and we’d sit around drinking, laughing, talking and watching the ships sail by until we killed the fifth! cbd gummies
I wasn’t used to drinking so of course, I didn’t have much of a tolerance for alcohol and I’d get intoxicated very quickly but pretended that I didn’t, so I wouldn’t be made fun of by Richard! But he could always seem to tell when I was faking it anyway!
I was a budding guitarist and I started playing in bars at that time. I was a terribly shy teen and had intense stage fright, so I drank to help ease my stage fright and shyness about mingling with people and talking to girls.
I did a stint in the army when I was 19. The army was another place where excessive drinking was enjoyed as part of being a man. Whenever I went out with my army buddies, I always did my share of heavy drinking like a real macho man should. I felt I had to prove that I could drink anyone of them “under the table” at anytime.
After getting out of the army at around age 21, I started playing in bands again. I got some gigs backing up some of the hot Motown acts of that era like Edwin Starr and the Spinners. Some musician friends introduced me to marijuana, under the guise of an experiment, pretending that had never used it before. Actually, they had some older guys in the band (they were only 28) to ask me if I wanted to “try a joint”.
Marijuana was “dope” and dope had a bad name so they didn’t tell me it was marijuana. They told me to try it and see what I thought of it. I didn’t want to seem like a “square” so after asking a few questions about it I said; “OK I’ll try it.” And I did. With sly smiles on their faces, they’d periodically ask me how I was feeling. I’d say, “I don’t feel anything. I don’t know what the big deal is! ”
But, when we went on stage to backup Edwin Starr. All of a sudden the sound from my amp sounded like it was bouncing of the walls! Sometimes it sounded like it was coming from the dance floor where people were frantically dancing! My head would whip around to whatever direction the sound was bouncing from next!
I started shouting to the guys in the band, trying to be heard above the music, “Did you hear that? Did you hear that?” Each one of them would look at me in turn and say, “Hear what?” I’d say, “That sound!” Then with a delayed reaction, they almost simultaneously realized I was high and just burst-out laughing so hard that they almost couldn’t continue to play! I was the butt of “did you hear that!” jokes for weeks!
After that I got used to smoking marijuana or weed as we called it. I had so much fun when I was high! Everything seemed funny! My friends and I would just laugh and have a great time! I thought weed was the greatest thing I’d ever come across! Now I was drinking and smoking! Mainly, I smoked weed, but when we played bars I’d drink heavily also.
Then I started getting into psychedelics (mescaline, LSD) and cocaine.