May 16, 2012 9:00 PM
2619 N. High St.
Rock and roll lore is full of stories about artists getting sucked into the drug-fueled, sex-crazed underworld of stardom — and musician Mike Doughty is no exception. His memoir, The Book of Drugs, chronicles his struggle to survive his own lifestyle and offers insight into the world of addiction.
In The Book of Drugs, Doughty provides snapshots of his family life and the development of his love of music, including his time at The New School in NYC, where he had class with renowned folk singer Ani DiFranco. He recalls playing to empty clubs, getting high with Jeff Buckley, and forming his own band. As Doughty and Soul Coughing, his ’90s alternative rock group, rose in popularity and fame, his drug use spiraled out of control as he abused marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and acid.
Eventually, he quit the band and set out to make a name for himself as a solo performer, building a fan base by driving across the country, performing, and selling CDs in white paper envelopes after shows. The realization that he’d also become addicted to alcohol, which he used to fill lulls between heroin binges, did what countless close calls and an overdose didn’t: motivate him to seek out twelve-step meetings and begin the struggle to stay sober. Being a drug addict was one thing; being an alcoholic like his grandfather was something else entirely.
Doughty’s solo career caught a big break when Dave Matthews, completely taken with his music, signed Doughty to his label, ATO Records. Since then, he has recruited bandmates and continued touring and recording. And he has stayed sober for more than five years.
Mike Doughty is a musician and prolific blogger. Among other publications, he has written articles for the New York Press, Paper, and the Village Voice. His most recent album, Yes and Also Yes, was released in August of 2011. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.