At 4:20 On 4/20, Music's Biggest Burnouts
You should all know what today is. Today is the day pot-smoking amateurs giggle to one another about how high they're going to be all day, while the real potheads simply wait with stoic stoner patience for the magic hour to roll around. Yeah, you'll know the real burnouts when you see them. Not the goofy college kids, laughing and running around on the Frisbee golf course, blaring M.I.A. from a radio cooler. No, see that 50-year-old art professor with the salt and pepper beard, quietly walking home from the convenience store with sacks full of different kinds of cereal? There you go. That guy's almost as burnt out as...
Cypress Hill: Come on, would Cypress Hill even exist if there was no such thing as marijuana? They'd have maybe five songs about killing people, that one song from the Training Day trailers, and then what? They've been on the cover of High Times Magazine more than Julia Roberts has been on the cover of People. Their appearance on The Simpsons even references their beloved hobby, as you can see here, presented in authentic stoner lo-fi quality, and also in Spanish.
Britney Spears: Remember a few years back when everyone thought Brit was going to die soon? When she gained all that weight, married that douchebag, shaved her head and attacked a convoy of paparazzi with an umbrella? Yeah, we're all pretty sure she was high throughout all that. We don't exactly know what she was high on, but she spent a while in rehab and came out way, way saner.
Some suggest the head-shaving thing was to avoid her hair being used to test for drugs, but like any good drug rumor, we have no idea as to the veracity of this claim. Plus, as you can see in this video here, she expressed a desire to watch the 1997 crapfest Spawn, which is one of the twelve signs of THC overdose. We're very grateful Britney got her shit together, if for no other reason than it'll probably be a while before she wants to do another reality series.
Ozzy Osbourne: Ever since The Osbournes premiered on MTV early last decade, Ozzy has been something of a joke. He's in on the joke, of course, and this is because people often make the key mistake of forgetting he's not stupid. No, really. Listen to even his more recent interviews and you'll see the man can still speak lucidly. Even so, he does seem to have trouble expressing himself at times, and Ozzy will be the first to tell you what is to blame: Drugs, and lots of them.
His stumbling, stammering method of speech is often parodied, and serves as a cautionary to the youngsters. Kids, if you fry your brain on tons and tons of drugs, you could very well grow up to be a millionaire rock star who can't speak clearly. Or, you know... the President of the United States.
Brian Wilson: The pressure of fame, new fatherhood and artistic competition with the Beatles finally got to the Beach Boys' chief songwriter around 1968, when he began partying with Three Dog Night singer Danny Hutton and others, his first explorations into the world of drugs. Soon, he was sequestering himself in his room and spent all of his time sleeping, doing drugs and binge eating like Kirstie Alley after a bad breakup. For years, it was impossible to tell if he had damaged himself permanently, if he had legitimately gone crazy, or what the hell was going on with the man.
A sort of hybrid Colonel Tom Parker/Rev. Sun Myung Moon figure named Eugene Landy appeared in Brian's life and seemed to be helping him to get clean, but was soon revealed to be keeping an inappropriate level of control over Wilson until his license was revoked and a restraining order was instated.
After many diagnoses, including schizoaffective disorder and tardive dyskinesia, Wilson finally reduced his drug intake to mild antidepressants and began a lifestyle of moderation and detox, which resulted in his return to writing and performing, which led to the 2004 release of the decades-delayed Smile, probably the best-reviewed album of all time. So never let it be said that you can't come back from having been burnt out, even if it may be a long, difficult journey to get there, which may or may not include watching your daughters become part of Wilson Phillips and watching your former bandmates release a shitstorm of a theme song for a terrible Tom Cruise movie.
Crispin Glover: Wait, George McFly, a musician? Yeah, Crispin "Hellion" Glover got so high, he thought it would be a good idea for him to release an album. And it was. It remains one of the all-time chart-toppers in the realm of glorious fail-pop. Spark up and see for yourself.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.