The party line in ’76 punk seemed to be that drugs represented hippiedom?
We’re only human, and we did have a few lines of speed here and there: a quick drug pertaining to the way the music was changing and our world was changing – a drug with a bit of intensity. Speed was just the same as the alcohol and cigarettes.
Speed similarly fuelled the mod movement.
It did fuel the mod movement, which I was into, and looking at it from a hopeful point of view – which is slightly hippie. We’re all spirits, doomed to suffer and enjoy moments of solitude and sensations and feelings and insights. When you’re taking these things you get to see what’s behind the curtain. It’s important in that way.
What should be legal, and what shouldn’t?
There’s the argument that it all should be legally controlled. The government would like the tax, of course, and then you might be getting a better product.
_Is time on drugs always wasted time? _
Painters stare at a painting for hours on end and then they sometimes see something. Sometimes you have to look at things many, many times. I don’t use any drugs in the studio, but sometimes I’ve been up at two in the morning listening to the album in a different way. But the main thing for me, is that the greatest thing about taking drugs is the day you give up.