I was just curious. What rock stars have had their career essentially ended due to schizophrenia, too much acid, or general insanity.
This should not include those who have died or recovered from addiction.
I can think of two:
Syd Barret. Formerly of Pink Floyd. He may have released an album or two. Last I heard he was living with his mom in England somewhere
Roky Erickson. From the 13th Floor Elevators. A Texas psychedelic band from the '60’s. He got busted, spent 4 years in a mental hospital instead of jail (probably a bad choice). Upon his release he continued to write songs and tour on a very limited basis through the '80’s. He lives near Austin, Tx. His financial and personal affairs are managed by his family.
Peter Green, the founding member of Fleetwood Mac, back when they were a blues/rock band in the late 60’s/early 70’s. He wrote Black Magic Woman, Oh Well and The Green Manalishi. He had a breakdown of some description. I’m fairly certain he’s still alive, just lost to the world.
Cat Stevens turned into an asshole. Does that count?
Will you count people who eventually made a return?
After The Stooges broke up Iggy Pop wound up homeless and eventually checked himself into a mental hospital. This was primarily for his substance abuse problem, but he also received psychiatric treatment. But he cleaned up, got his head together, and launched a relatively successful solo career.
Ironic that Brian Wilson is often considered to be a “rock and roll casualty”, yet he’s the only Wilson brother still alive…
The one that instantly comes to my mind is Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke – after recording a couple albums, he decided that the apocalypse was nigh and fled to ICELAND to await Judgment Day. The rest of the band finally talked him into coming home after a few years, though. He’s definitely kinda nuts.
There’s Jim Gordon, the drummer for Derek and the Dominoes. He also worked with The Byrds, Traffic, Joe Cocker, Frank Zappa, and George Harrison. Acute paranoid schizophrenia ended his career by 1981. He beat his mother to death with a claw hammer in 1983. He was sentenced to a life term soon after.
After I wrote that, I realized that I’d left it a bit too open.
No, I don’t deliver his paper or anything. It just seemed that everytime we got one of these laudatory pieces on TV about the Recovered Brian Wilson, he was then interviewed and seemed non compos mentis, at least to me.
Brian Wilson is a good one. I wonder why I did not think him. His family had to get a court order to keep that Psychiatrist, who was keeping him drugged and dependent, away. He has been doing much better.
Sure. As long as they aren’t some talking testimonial.
Actually, that’s a possible tangent. Messed up rock singers who found Jesus, then became messed up Christian rock singers. I can think of a couple of possibilities, but they struggle with drug dependency more than sanity.
“Skip” Spence, former member of the Jefferson Airplane and co-founder of the psychedelic band Moby Grape, died nearly four years ago. He spent 30 years as a diagnosed schizophrenic, drifting in and out of mental institutions. But he was a musical genius, as anyone who has heard Moby Grape’s first album, or Spence’s solo album, “Oar,” can attest.
His story is really tragic. You can read more about it here.
Richey Edwards (aka Richey James), the guitar player for The Manic Street Preachers went missing in early 1995. His car has been found near a bridge known as a local suicide spot, so suicide is a possibility. But a body was never found: maybe he’s still alive, and decided to run away from it all.
Vivian Stanshall of the Bonzo Dog Band (and, as I just discovered here was the original owner of the dead parrot) ended up spending some time in a mental hospital, suffering from depression made worse by his incessant drinking. He was checked out by Keith Moon (hardly the best role model for someone who needed to stay sober). Stanshall never really licked his alcohol problems, and died when his apartment caught fire. Technically, the mental illness had nothing to do with the fire, though he may have been smoking in bed. Also, despite his problems, his career never ended and he was working on various projects up until his death.