April 28, 2017  Last Update: December 21, 2016, 11:10 pm

About the Barbie

Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction on stage, with barbie poised on the amp stack in the background. That barbie is now in our logo.

What’s with the Barbie doll?

Well, it started with Jane’s Addiction, out of San Francisco. As shown in the photo, Jane’s Addiction keeps a barbie on stage during shows, on a stand on top of the amp stack. We don’t know why. If you know, please tell us.

Dave Navarro has a long public history with drug addiction. His accounts epitomize the struggles we have at JohnsAddiction.com, as we review the world’s communications on drugs and alcohol and addiction, and try to make sense of them.

On the one side, drugs are bad, illegal, and “even just trying it once can get you addicted!“. There’s a war on drugs, with mandatory sentencing for possession of sometimes personal use amounts.

Meanwhile we as a society shower our “creatives” with money and rewards for entertaining us, being amazing, and, well, sometimes just plain messed up on drugs. We even praise them when we know their performance was drug powered.

As a society we also encourage state-approved dispensing of opiates like the synthetic heroin Oxycontin,¬† manufactured by corporations, and prescribed by licensed physicians. Even when that dispensing seems completely unreasonable. It’s legal, so it must be ok?

Dave Navarro knows the conflict… he’s openly discussed how when you are in the creative¬† life, drugs are simply a part of it. He purposefully followed the path Jimmy Hendrix, a heroin user, on his way to success as a musician. Hendrix was one of countless “amazing people” who have died from the drugs they used to be who they were. Dave ran into similar problems… and now says he likes himself better sober. How does he manage the rock star life now? That’s a tough discussion to have, in public.

Barbie is a reminder of this dichotomy. Clean cut, perfect “model” barbie, but naked and tied to a stand mounted to the amplifiers of a rock and roll stage, back-lit for all to see. How does she do it?

Drugs and alcohol… all around us, seemingly ok, but then … no way, it’s not ok. Which is it? We’re learning more about addiction every single day.