The Velvet Underground and ‘Heroin”.
Above Photo: Mexican smugglers perhaps lead authorities to smell a rat by smuggling heroin in “coke” cans.
I recently read an interesting article about the upsurge of heroin use in the USA (see link at the end of this article).
Some blame is placed on previous abuse of prescription painkillers, which doctors are now cracking down on, meaning former prescription-pill addicts have turned to heroin for a similar but cheaper fix.
The other reason is that the supply of heroin has increased in Mexico, so more heroin is making its way to the United States, feeding growing demand and keeping prices low.
Heroin traffickers are also responding to market forces. Americans are consuming less cocaine and buying more home-grown cannabis, and medical marijuana is also making it difficult for Mexican exporters.
Struggling to sell cocaine and cannabis, they have homed in on heroin.
This interesting article reminded me of the Velvet underground track, Heroin, which was included on on the Velvets’ 1967 debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico. Written by Lou Reed, the song deals with heroin use and abuse.
Some critics at the time objected to the band glorifying the use of drugs, although Reed and his band members denied that the song was advocating use of the drug. Lou Reed said his lyrics were more meant to focus on providing an objective description of the topic without taking a moral stance on the use of drugs.
Amazingly, The Velvet Underground & Nico was a critical and commercial failure on its release, but it is a superb album and one of my favourites, helping guide me towards Punk in the 1970s, as described in the pages of my Punk and New Wave memoir, Bombed Out!
Unsurprisingly, the album has endured to be one of the most influential and critically acclaimed albums in “rock” music history.
Buy a signed copy of Bombed Out! here: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/buybook.php
I’ve added a You Tube link to Heroin below. I’ve also added another favourite of mine off that album – Sunday Morning.
Read the full Heroin article on the Economist’s Blog: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/11/economist-explains-19?fsrc=gp_en&google_editors_picks=true