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Reagan, Drugs And Rock 'N' Roll

August 24, 1986

The critical responses Patrick Goldstein quoted to President Reagan's attack on rock 'n' roll for its contribution to the drug problem did much for the credibility of Reagan's remarks ("Rock World Raps Reagan's Drug Stance," Aug. 10).

Witness:

Eddie Rosenblatt from Geffen Records: "Truly ridiculous and frightening," and, "certainly there have been isolated instances where musicians have encouraged drug use. But we've been a very positive force in this country."

Reagan expressed what is a widely held perception that rock as an art form is a vocal supporter of drug use; to reiterate such is hardly "ridiculous" or "frightening." And his assertion that instances of drug support have been "isolated" is just plain misinformation.

Tower Records owner Russ Solomon: "Ludicrous," noting that, "rock is entertainment, not some negative social force." Aside from his implication that rock has little cultural impact (a naive statement) he did little else but whine "I disagree."

Danny Goldberg notes that a Jackie Collins novel will glorify drugs more explicitly than anything in pop music. Now there is an interesting defense--pointing a finger and saying, "Look, there is something more socially degraded than we are." His point is true, but it just indicates the depth of the problem; it hardly exonerates rock 'n' roll.

The other remarks were similar. And predictable. Those polled have remunerated greatly from the success of rock, and their invective could only be called instinctive.

But the only thing ludicrous is the complete unwillingness of these individuals to assume even the smallest responsibility for what has become a plague in society. To anyone assisting in the reversal of this problem, the only logical assessment is this; the institution of rock 'n' roll is contributing, to whatever degree, to drug abuse, and the holders of its philosophical keys just don't give a damn.

GENE CHILL, co-author

"The Truth About Drugs"

Los Angeles

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