Grim reaper with guitar tombstone

Rock of Aging: Heroin is not a Vegetable

Keith Richards is still alive. This fact has been a joke amongst the popular culture ever since I was in middle school.  It’s been a joke for so long that it’s stopped being funny and has taken on more of an ominous curiosity. Come to think of it, there are a lot of rockstars that seem to be upright far beyond what the human body is supposed to handle. Sure their absurd yearly salary combined with modern medical technology could explain this to some extent, but it’s not like they’ve spent their entire lives eating healthy and abstaining from vice. No, I think there are deeper darker forces at work here. I think they’re sapping life energy from other beings of the universe

“But Rick”, you might say, “You’re a batshit insane crazy person.”

To which I would reply “FUCK YOU. YOU’RE A BATSHIT INSANE CRAZY PERSON. YOU DON’T KNOW MY LIFE.” After taking several deep breaths and removing my fist from the drywall, I would follow up with, “Absurd? Perhaps. But dearest reader, I always have a basis for my claims.”

From a purely mathematical standpoint, The Rolling Stones are each about 71 years old (I’m going to be using largely British rockers because the American ones are mostly in their sixties). That’s under the British national average of 78, but lets have a look-see at some other numbers. A cigarette is said to take 7 minutes off of your life. The average heroin addict supposedly lives only another 15 to 20 years after they start using. 0% of doctors have high-fived a patient after they’ve just described their propensity for binge drinking. What does all that say?  I’ll tell you what that says: If this lot ate nothing but heroin pancakes for brunch throughout the sixties, reaching middle age was generous, but getting to 70 is a straight up middle finger to physics.

At least they're whole grain
At least the pancakes are whole grain

Mind you, when I say they’re sapping life energy from the universe, I don’t mean intentionally. I may be an insane person, but I think even the lizard government has better things to do than invest in life sapping  tech for the remaining Yardbirds. Besides, sacrificing a blood-slathered goat may be a standard Tuesday at the Osbourne family mansion, but I imagine most other septuagenarian rock gods taking naps in front of the golf channel long before I see them calling forth the dark lord.

What? Osbourne? Again?! No, I'm not going.
What? Osbourne again?! No, I’m not going.

So there’s the question. If Satan himself isn’t supporting his finest acolytes here, then how are they getting these years? There’s no possible logical explanation for this.

I have two leading theories.

And for the record, I’m not saying you have to believe any howling-moon-man insanity that I put on the page, but you’re the one who clicked the link.

 

Life gives some people lemons and others a big basket of dicks

Scale

I believe the system the universe runs on, deity-based or otherwise, is a cruel and unforgiving one. The type that distributes lifespan, happiness, and resources into lopsided clumps. I’m not happy about this fact, but I live in a world where Bob Marley dies of an extremely rare skin cancer in his thirties and Fidel Castro is still chugging along at 88. The kind of sick world where Oreo O’s are cruelly ripped off store shelves while Grape-Nuts are allowed to continue being churned out like the shitty little fiber rocks they are.

Where specifically is that spare life that I mentioned coming from? There’s no funny way to get this point across, so I’m just going to say it: Sick puppies, childhood cancer victims, prom night car accidents; all the untimely tragedies that involve a substantial loss of potential. Promising sports careers cut short so that some rocker can live to gum down another serving of rice pudding. Doesn’t seem like a fair trade off at all, but I never said it was. When I typed “basket of dicks” I meant the floppiest veiniest tragedy bouquet you can think of.

Funny Img not found
Funny Img not found

That probably rubbed some people the wrong way, but understand what I’m saying has nothing to do with deservingness, just randomness. But if you want some proof of concept, here’s some brought to you by google:
Ozzy Osbourne has died. Twice. One of which involved a rolling atv, a broken neck, snapped collarbone, and cracked ribs. Keith Richards has fallen out of a palm tree onto his head, which I’m told is an important part for a 60+ year old man, and lived with no major ill effects.

My grandpa died around that age sitting at a fucking slot machine.

Osbourne? Again?! this is what we have interns for
Osbourne? Again?! This is what we have interns for!

“That’s not a very comforting way to look at life,” you might be thinking, “And besides what about the Twenty Seven Club? The legendary group of rockers who died at the age of twenty seven?” That’s got to torpedo my theory, right? Right. Twenty seven is a number that is far away from seventy.

Unless…

 

Old rockstars are like highlanders

Carrows

If you Wikipedia any deceased rockstar who went in their prime, odds are pretty damn good that they were preyed upon by one of their 3 natural predators:

  1. The crushing embrace of dear mamma chemicals
  2. Their own incompetence at swallowing
  3. The most terrifying aerial predator of all time: The private airplane.
Get in. Your career is going to pound town
Get in. Your career is going to pound town

But I’m here to posit a fourth option that no one ever suspects in the mysterious deaths of these folks, and it even covers the more awkward ages.

  1. Other rockstars.

If you’ve never seen the movie Highlander ( which you should have) you wouldn’t know that Highlanders are supernaturally powerful men born of  different world nations. Every time a Highlander dies, all his power and life force goes to all surviving highlanders. He is immortal, unless he is confronted in battle and defeated by another of his kind. And yes, that’s exactly where I’m going.

It’s unbelievable, what I’m saying, but what would you rather believe, that Jimi Hendrix died like an infant by choking on his own vomit, or that he was beheaded with a Stratocaster by Eric Clapton? We each create the world we live in.

At the precise moment Hendrix passed, Kieth Richards felt a little tingle in his ballsack and got another couple of months of life. When Jim Morrison gave up the ghost, Bob Dylan was granted another two years to mumble like an insane man. And so on. Do you know how to murder a man with a Korg keyboard? Because I bet the keyboardist from Yes does. This might even apply to other kinds of celebrities, I don’t know what they would use as weapons, but it certainly might explain why the last couple of decades have been a bloodbath for famous people.

Same reason they call a guitar an "axe"
Same reason they call a guitar an “axe”

 

BUT. I digress.  After all, this is the time in the post when I’m supposed to distill a lesson to be learned. Perhaps a bumper sticker aphorism, or at the very least a recipe for a ketamine quiche. I went pretty deep into the lunatic fringe  up there, but we’re gonna salvage this. Perhaps this is a commentary on the fragility of life? After all, I am discussing a group of men who have tried to live as hard as physically possible, even if that involves flying too close to the sun. Here goes.

“Your time here on earth is a gift that’s why it’s called the present”?
Nope. Never trust a life mantra with wordplay.

“Live, laugh, love”?
I’ve seen this on the dorm walls of multiple sorority girls who only do one of those verbs. I’ll give you a hint; it’s not “love”.

“Everything happens for a reason”?
A simple “Thinking hard about life hurts me” would be a bit more to the point.

How about this:

Cram as much experience as you can into your lifehole, because you never know when you’ll get everything stripped away from you just so that the bassist for Led Zeppelin can survive his morning bowel movement.

Sound good?

In fairness, he's got a bidet
In fairness, he’s got a bidet

 

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