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colinmce

A nagging question about the death of John Coltrane

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Often for addicts, we have "wanted" to not drink or use too much or to excess - and we have almost always or always (100% of the time) had VERY little or NO success in moderation - whether it be "hard" drugs or the most insidious of all drugs for an addict: Alcohol

I cannot recall any of the biographies that I've read (many but mostly quite a few years ago) stating that he did anything other than quit all heroin use and alcohol use - all in 1957.

Well said, Steve. Once an addict, always, even if we're clean and dry for decades.

In all the writings about John Coltrane that I've seen and talk I've heard, I've never seen or heard any mention of erratic, that is, drunken behavior after mid-1957.

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It was my understanding that his vices post-1957 revolved around cigarettes and butterscotch lifesavers.

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cigarettes don't help when your liver is already compromised.

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In Porter's book, he also points out that other members of the Coltrane family died young of a similar cancer, perhaps even his father?

Bertrand.

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I am always doubtful that Coltrane's spiritual awakening was all that was needed to free him from H addiction, so it intrigues me that he may have been drinking lots of wine before he died. He was certainly overweight and wine is drink that a lot of people think a bottle a night is quite healthy, when it is nearly the equivalent to a half-a-bottle of whisky or five pints of beer plus, especially if you're getting lashed into New World 14.5% bottles of wine.

The liver is very resilient and is possible to abuse it, cause damage, make it fatty and completely start the process all again.

But along with drugs, diet is critical, how much energy you're burning off, stress and genetics are all crucial and in fact, other than getting heptatis from exchanging bodily fluids one way or another, may be the defining factors. In Coltrane's case, some of these factors, may have contributed to his cancer.

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It was my understanding that his vices post-1957 revolved around cigarettes and butterscotch lifesavers.

McCoy Tyner told me a funny story about the butterscotch lifesavers; that Trane's fingers one time had a problem operating the keys on the sax due to the severe stickiness!

Edited by Mike Schwartz

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Very interesting thought colin. I think alcohol without question contributes to liver problems, oddly I never heard that IV drug use leads to hepatitis C......... very interesting

Just to be clear here, heroin and other narcotics do not cause cancer but the effect of sharing needles as someone else stated can cause hepatitis which when untreated can cause liver cancer. If a person were to never share a needle and used sterile technique they wouldn't get hepatitis from IV drug use. Drinking alcohol when one has hepatitis already will only speed up liver failure. The human body is very resilient which is why someone can do these things for a long time before the body really starts giving up the fight. There used to be a hepatitis non A/ non B as it was what they called it if it wasn't A or B. I believe that is what ended up getting labeled

Hep C.

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Very interesting thought colin. I think alcohol without question contributes to liver problems, oddly I never heard that IV drug use leads to hepatitis C......... very interesting

Just to be clear here, heroin and other narcotics do not cause cancer but the effect of sharing needles as someone else stated can cause hepatitis which when untreated can cause liver cancer. If a person were to never share a needle and used sterile technique they wouldn't get hepatitis from IV drug use. Drinking alcohol when one has hepatitis already will only speed up liver failure. The human body is very resilient which is why someone can do these things for a long time before the body really starts giving up the fight. There used to be a hepatitis non A/ non B as it was what they called it if it wasn't A or B. I believe that is what ended up getting labeled

Hep C.

Thanks for this clarification

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