Drug use in the rock and pop world is well documented, with many stars over the years frankly admitting what they have done. Others have been caught and publicly shamed. Biographies, biopics, documentaries and interviews are filled with accounts of recreational drug use, often in hair-raising situations. But only a very few have actually confessed to a particularly radical method of getting the drugs into their bodies. Although modern and indeed ancient medicine have both administered medication and remedies via the rectum for greater efficacy, that, it appears is not why these particular stars did it.
Some stories have become urban legends, rather like a certain actor with a rodent romping in the same place – with absolutely no proof to substantiate the titillating rumours.
However, many rock stars have always liked to push boundaries and provoke in interviews.
Rod Stewart famously opened up about his unorthodox way of using cocaine in his memoir Rod: The Autobiography, where he also casually included a certain member of the Rolling Stones in his escapades. It’s a method that has been particularly rumoured about certain stars in an industry where their voice is so important.
Fleetwood Mac icon Stevie Nicks allegedly developed such a high tolerance to the drug from repeated use that she resorted to the rectal method to ensure a purer and potent delivery of the narcotic into her system.
The star had developed a tear inside her nose, which can be caused when heavy use of cocaine burns through the cartilage of the septum that divides the nostrils. This actually contributed to her unique voice but also lead to the widely spread report that the damage had forced her to insert the drug elsewhere, with the help of a member of staff.
Eventually Nicks herself publicly denied the rumour, saying in 2001: “That’s absurd. Maybe it came about because people knew I had such a big hole in my nose.”
However, her apocryphal story in then inspired another rock star to try the same.
Tim Burgess, frontman of indie rock band The Charlatans, confessed in his autobiographical book, Telling Stories.
In a subsequent interview he added: “Well, I think, obviously we’d heard rumors that in Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks had a roadie do it for her. I think you’d have to be on coke to entertain the idea in the first place.
“Well I was pretty high when I did it but I think I described it as if you put a scotch bonnet on your a**e. It’s not for the faint-hearted. When you’re on a tour bus and driving through countries, things get a little monotonous. You’re just looking for something new to do that you didn’t do yesterday.”
It should also be pointed out that the practice when abused recreationally can have serious implications, resulting in damaged anal or rectal tissue. This, in turn, can also increase chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease or infection.