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Mark Stryker

Roy Hargrove in Trouble

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This doesn't surprise me at all. Many years ago, I saw Roy at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA. In between sets, I went to ask him for an autograph. I was told he stepped outside. Figuring maybe he went out for a smoke, I went out to see if he could accommodate my request. I saw him get out of a car and he was sniffing like crazy. Not wanting to assume anything, I went up and asked him for an autograph. He just hopped back & forth in the balls of his feet and looked around like a psycho. He didn't answer me at all. He didn't seem to understand what I was asking. This went on for several uncomfortable seconds so I just turned around and went back into the club.

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So would they still lock him up for 20 years or so? The way they did with Frank Morgan, Dexter Gordon, Teddy Edwards, Art Pepper ... sure drugs suck and sure they don't do damage exclusively to those that consume them, but ... various sets of morals on display.

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This is so sad... I know jazz musicians (most) know about the history of drug use within jazz and I know addictions are awful... Just sad...

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Back in March he was supposed to play a week long stand at Yoshi's. They had to cancel the whole week at the last minute. I suspected it was something sad like this. I truly hope he succeeds in recovery because he is one very talented musician. It would be a shame to see him waste that talent.

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Unfortunately not suprised, talented guy but I've heard stories about him similar to what Kevin mentionned about playing while under influence , hope he gets his shit together.

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So would they still lock him up for 20 years or so? The way they did with Frank Morgan, Dexter Gordon, Teddy Edwards, Art Pepper ... sure drugs suck and sure they don't do damage exclusively to those that consume them, but ... various sets of morals on display.

In a sense the morals don't matter; the guy knows the rules and if he's prick enough to break them...

Getting lucky doesn't change a person.

MG

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I thought they had delivery services in Manhattan. What's this guy doing coming outside and getting in a dealer's car?

There's stubbornly old school, and then there's just foolishly recalcitrant.

Besides, at some point, you have to decide what you're going to be - an ex-drug user or and old guy who never moved on.

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I thought they had delivery services in Manhattan. What's this guy doing coming outside and getting in a dealer's car?

There's stubbornly old school, and then there's just foolishly recalcitrant.

Besides, at some point, you have to decide what you're going to be - an ex-drug user or and old guy who never moved on.

When it's 4:00 in the morning, we do anything for a hit

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I thought they had delivery services in Manhattan. What's this guy doing coming outside and getting in a dealer's car?

There's stubbornly old school, and then there's just foolishly recalcitrant.

Besides, at some point, you have to decide what you're going to be - an ex-drug user or and old guy who never moved on.

When it's 4:00 in the morning, we do anything for a hit

You're not them anymore, Steve.

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I thought they had delivery services in Manhattan. What's this guy doing coming outside and getting in a dealer's car?

There's stubbornly old school, and then there's just foolishly recalcitrant.

Besides, at some point, you have to decide what you're going to be - an ex-drug user or and old guy who never moved on.

When it's 4:00 in the morning, we do anything for a hit You're not them anymore, Steve.

This be true but I have an understanding that I could be there once again. I have empathy for those in the grips of active drug addiction

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Addiction is no excuse for being stupid. I've known smart addicts and idiot addicts. The smart ones plan ahead, the idiots don't plan at all. Nothing's 100%, but odds is odds.

As does the general population, the addict population has far more idiots than it does smart people.

I have empathy for smart people of all stripes, idiots of none, and so much so much for the vast majority in between.

Hargrove, stop being an idiot. Whether you want to be a user or not, that's your business. But when your usage-management style is this low-grade...gotta do better than that dude. You know what they did to Gene Krupa. Do you want that to be you?

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There is absolutely no such thing as a smart addict, sorry.

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William Burroughs, for one. Bird.

Edited by AllenLowe

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Whether or not the addiction itsef is "smart" I'll leave for others to argue.

Bet there are definitively different competencies when it come to personal addiction-management.

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'Sright - Ray Charles was a smart user, until he decided to quit. That's smart, too.

MG

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Whether or not the addiction itsef is "smart" I'll leave for others to argue.

Bet there are definitively different competencies when it come to personal addiction-management.

On that part we'll agree.

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There is absolutely no such thing as a smart addict, sorry.

When we are using we sometimes think we are fucking brilliant and invincible. For some to get clean and stay clean, one of the most important ingredients is to realize that we are not equipped to manage our lives while using. To think a true using drug addict plans and manages and might be true on the outside as I also know many who never got arrested or ever lost jobs, etc. - but those are a small minority.

The answer for a guy like Roy Hargrove if he is an addict has nothing to do with learning or hoping not to cop on the street at 4:30 in the AM. If he is an addict and continues to use, he isn't gonna get any better at using or any smarter. It only gets worse.

William Burroughs, for one. Bird.

Yes brilliant intellectually for sure just as in the population as a whole. Ability to manage their lives? Very little - see how most addicts end up. The vast majority die from the damages from active addiction.

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There is absolutely no such thing as a smart addict, sorry.

When we are using we sometimes think we are fucking brilliant and invincible. For some to get clean and stay clean, one of the most important ingredients is to realize that we are not equipped to manage our lives while using. To think a true using drug addict plans and manages and might be true on the outside as I also know many who never got arrested or ever lost jobs, etc. - but those are a small minority.

The answer for a guy like Roy Hargrove if he is an addict has nothing to do with learning or hoping not to cop on the street at 4:30 in the AM. If he is an addict and continues to use, he isn't gonna get any better at using or any smarter. It only gets worse.

Perfectly stated, my friend.

I currently work in a substance abuse rehab, and see example after example to reinforce what you have stated.

It's incredibly complicated. And it consumes some really good people...

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I was thinking about starting another thread, but I'll post this here:

I'm getting really tired of losing Atlanta musicians to heroin. It just keeps happening.

Y'all wouldn't know the latest, who died Friday night/Saturday morning. He was a guitarist with a couple of legendary local rock bands. He was 41, and had a son.

As my friend Ben said, "This shit's getting old."

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There is absolutely no such thing as a smart addict, sorry.

When we are using we sometimes think we are fucking brilliant and invincible. For some to get clean and stay clean, one of the most important ingredients is to realize that we are not equipped to manage our lives while using. To think a true using drug addict plans and manages and might be true on the outside as I also know many who never got arrested or ever lost jobs, etc. - but those are a small minority.

The answer for a guy like Roy Hargrove if he is an addict has nothing to do with learning or hoping not to cop on the street at 4:30 in the AM. If he is an addict and continues to use, he isn't gonna get any better at using or any smarter. It only gets worse.Perfectly stated, my friend.

I currently work in a substance abuse rehab, and see example after example to reinforce what you have stated.

It's incredibly complicated. And it consumes some really good people...Yes it is but it is incredibly simple to get and stay clean

Also the hardest thing I've ever done. I have often been less direct about my past and I do post under my own real name so I choose to break anonymity but I don't get specific about how I've been able to keep drugs out of my system for quite a few years now. But the message I have is to try to not judge guys like Roy Hargrove or whoever we might know that us suffering or dying. It's a bitch to treat this disease as it's self diagnosed and it is a disease that tells us that it isn't a disease or we can just drink a couple or smoke a joint of just hang out like all you other cool dudes. But it is liar and a thief.

I heard from a very wise old time addict who is clean now 28 years. It takes one thing to stay clean. Everything you got. If any addict thinks they know how to stay clean without the help of those who actually know how to stay clean or they think they can use different drugs or think alcohol isn't a drug for them, they are doomed.

Every time.

I see and hear it every Monday night when I'm in the rehab at the local county jail or when I go to the 21 day rehab at the local county hospital or the detox at that same county hospital. Very sad but it keeps me in touch of my past.

Some of my best friends are in the grips if active addiction and there is nothing I can of to help them. And they had been clean in some cases over 5 or 10 of 15 years. Some of the best people I've ever met. Some smart / a brilliant guitarist I know is back clean 120 days today - and he's been clean 6 years twice and also in prison in between. A brilliant passionate guy. But he struggles with life and when he uses, very bad things happen despite his intellect and good intentions.

So the idea that Roy Hargrove, if he is an addict, can manage his life while using? Maybe on the outside he can get his shit together better - for a while - often we get our shit together for a while - but inside using drugs for an addict is a slow or fast trip to the grave.

Edited by Steve Reynolds

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I was thinking about starting another thread, but I'll post this here:

I'm getting really tired of losing Atlanta musicians to heroin. It just keeps happening.

Y'all wouldn't know the latest, who died Friday night/Saturday morning. He was a guitarist with a couple of legendary local rock bands. He was 41, and had a son.

As my friend Ben said, "This shit's getting old."

Yeah, at some point...it gets old. all of it. At some point people either get their shit together and move towards recovery (itself an adventure), or else they don't, with predictable results. In the meantime, we all got our own lives to lead, and all that goes with that.

I recently had a guy who relapsed tell me that he told his therapist, that his behavior was stupid, and the therapist told him, no, don't call your actions "stupid", call them "distorted thinking". Apparently calling an action stupid is the same as calling the person who committed it stupid, like smart people can't do stupid things, only stupid people do stupid things.To me, that's bullshit. At some point, "wholeness" only becomes a possibility through owning your behavior, and if you do something stupid, hell, it is stupid. Own it, fix it, learn from it, and then begin moving ahead. If you're the victim of "distorted thinking, hell, that's psycho-killer, mental institution shit right there. you can't fix "distorted thinking", you can only get yourself away from potential victims the next time you thinking distorts again, you need to be locked up because apprently this "distorted thinking" thing is something that can strike without warning and you're powerless to do anythng but succumb to it, look out everybody else.. So, good job therapist, so much for ownership. Now this guy's gone from, wow, I really fucked up, to, oh wow, maybe it wasn't my fault, and maybe it's somebody else's responsibility to deal with this. I'm kinda like, dude, recovery is truly a "one day at a time" thing, and every day you think that you're not responsible for your choices and their repercussions is a day that I do not want you in my life past whatever time is absolutely necessary for the conducting of essential business, and don't be surprised if other people feel the same way. We all got troubles of our own.You dig drama so much, watch a fucking soap opera.

So yeah, at some point it does get old. At this point, I've realized that good people die, bad people die (hell, everybody dies somehow, sometime, I think we get too gushy about death as a way of compensating for all the fuckups we tolerate while alive, tolerations we know we could/should do better with but just...don't), good people can hurt you, bad people can hurt you (hell, everybody can hurt you, and most people do hurt you, it's just a question of intent and severity). It's not about deciding whether or not anybody is a "good person" or some such, it's only about this - random shit, I have no control over, but seeing a trainwreck starting to happen, seeing the debris come flying through the air right at my own head, and not at least trying to get out of the way, that's nobody's failed opportunity other than my own.

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