interviews

this page was updated on 2014.08.14 @ 23:51:36 CDT

Rockers, Models and the New Allure of Heroin
by Karen Schoemer
Newsweek - August 26, 1996

After a series of drug deaths, the music world wants to clean up its act. But are teen fans still falling under the influence?

[long article--only Navarro portion is featured]

'Heroin ruined my dreams,' says Navarro. 'It turned the thing I had worked my whole life for into the thing I wanted to get away from most.'

And once someone is addicted, it doesn't matter who he is. "An addict is an addict," says Dave Navarro, guitarist for Red Hot Chili Peppers. Clean for four and a half years, Navarro used heroin while in Jane's Addiction, an influential first-wave alternative band. But he started long before that. "When my mother died when I was 15, I discovered I didn't feel it as badly when I was loaded." People speculate that the pressures of success and touring contributed to the deaths of Cobain and Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon, but Navarro says it works the other way around. "In Jane's Addiction I felt very unsure, very uncomfortable," he says. "By the time we were successful I was so down in the depths of despair that I didn't experience any of it. Perhaps the level of success we did reach enabled me to get through the destructive side of my use quicker, because I was able to spend more money and go down faster. Whereas who knows how many years it would have gone on had my habit been $50 a day?"

Recovery has allowed Navarro to see his addiction in clear terms. "Heroin ruined my dreams," he says. "It made my work life an unhappy experience. Basically turned the one thing that I had worked my whole life for into the thing I wanted to get away from most." He tried to detox several times before entering a long-term rehab program after Jane's Addiction broke up in 1991. "Being in the Chili Peppers, I'm able to experience what I'm doing," he says. "I'm able to be present for it. And happy with what I'm doing for the most part. I would never trade that feeling for anything in the world. It's a long road, but it's well worth it. At least it was for me."