NewsWritten by Mike Hohnen on September 5, 2013
For the first time ever, The Strokes guitarist turned solo artist Albert Hammond Jr has opened up about his history of drug abuse. Hammond Jr led a lifestyle that ultimately led him to rehab in 2009 and some of his stories would make even Black Sabbath blush.
In an interview with NME, set to be featured in the publication’s next issue, Hammond Jr explained that his troubles began following the release of the group’s second album Room On Fire in 2003. Admitting he was in a “dark place”, Hammond Jr said that it didn’t take long for things to get out of hand:
“It was, like, oxycontin and cocaine at 24, 25, 26. and then I became [addicted to] heroin around then. So from 26, 27 ’til 29. It’s not so much that I wasn’t in a happy place. I was just… God knows where I was. I was just very high. That’s where I was.”
The guitarist went on to explain how dire the situation became, finding himself in a position where he had to cover up in order to keep those close to him off his case:
“I used to shoot cocaine, heroin and ketamine. All together. Morning, night, 20 times a day. You know, I was a mess. I look back and I don’t even recognise myself. I did my own thing. I mean, you have moments when you’re fine. And if someone meets you, you seem fine. But I remember when I was showing someone music and I was wearing a short shirt and (points to wrists)… there were just purple [track marks] all the way down here. And then they would call someone – ‘Did you see Albert, he looks crazy?’ That’s where I learned to wear long sleeves.”
Things seem to be going much smoother for Hammond Jr now. Not only did The Strokes release their latest album Comedown Machine earlier this year, but he will soon be releasing the latest chapter in his solo career, a new EP titled AHJ, set for release internationally on Tuesday, 8th October.
Gallery: 15 musicians with classic “drug problems”
David Bowie – He did so much coke in the ’70s that he told magazines like Playboy and Rolling Stone that he thought witches were stealing his semen and that the Rolling Stones were sending him secret messages.
Doc McGhee – Bon Jovi’s manager was convicted of smuggling 40,000 pounds of marijuana into the United States from South America in 1988 but got off with just a suspended sentence.
Fiona Apple – spent a night in the slammer this year after the cops found hash on her tour bus in Texas and accused the cops of acting in an “inappropriate and probably illegal” manner.
Izzy Stradlin – The Guns N’ Roses guitarist was ordered to get rid of all the drugs in his possession by his manager upon entering Japan to tour...so he took ‘em all at once and wound up in a 96 hour coma.
Lil’ Wayne – His tour bus was stopped by US Border Patrol in Texas and 105 grams of weed, almost 29 grams of coke and 41 grams ecstasy were found. The rapper was sentenced to 3 years probation.
Louis Armstrong – The original muso drug bust. Armstrong was arrested in November 1930 while smoking marijuana and got a 6 month suspended sentence.
Pete Doherty – In 2005, a documentary maker sold pictures of Pete smoking heroin to the tabloids, which led to his arrest.
Scott Weiland – In 1995, the Stone Temple Pilots singer was convicted of buying crack. In 1998, he was busted buying heroin (reportedly dressed like a pimp) and went to jail for his efforts.
Sly Stone – Cocaine’s a helluva drug. Sly has multiple arrests for cocaine possession over the years and by 2011 he was reportedly homeless and living out of his van.
Willie Nelson – The country singer is old hat at weed possession, being done in 1974, 1994, 2006 and 2010. The last occasion, in which he was done with 6oz, saw him pay a $1,024 fine and receive 6 months probation.
David Crosby – Went to jail for coke and heroin possession in ’82, then drove his car into a fence in ’85 with a gun and coke in his car.
George Harrison – The Beatle was arrested for hash possession on the day of Paul and Linda McCartney’s wedding, forcing him and wife Pattie Boyd to miss his friends' big day
Jonny Craig – After numerous reported problems involving heroin, the Dance Gavin Dance frontman was charged with 2 counts of illegal drug use, 2 counts of possession of narcotics and sent to a court-ordered rehab facility.
Snoop Lion – Amongst a plethora of drug arrests, he’s currently banned from entering Norway after trying to enter the country in possession of 8 grams of reefer. Norway! Who doesn't want to go there?!