To Hell and Back: Excessive Drug Use, Addiction, and the Process of Recovery in Mainstream Rock Autobiographies

School of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.
Substance Use & Misuse (Impact Factor: 1.23). 01/2012; 47(2):143-54. DOI: 10.3109/10826084.2012.637441
Source: PubMed


Rock autobiographies have become increasingly popular since the 1990s. This article analyzes 31 mainstream rock autobiographies describing a wide variety of legal and illegal substances used and reckless behavior. Narrative analysis shows that books concentrate on recovering from addiction. The majority of writers have participated in some kind of treatment. Rock autobiographies use therapeutic vocabulary and borrow discursive elements from culturally familiar Alcoholics Anonymous texts recounting recovery stories. The analysis shows that drugs and alcohol are not associated with rebellion and authenticity as they once were in rock music. Surviving addiction has become a key theme of rock culture.

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