Rock and Roll. Sex. Drugs. Hard liquor. Several of these things are very important to a music scene’s success. However, the laws against people who like to party have put more than just a black eye on the rock lifestyle, as police have been cracking down upon those leaving venues and bars. The black eye has just become an aneurysm. Several notable rock legends have been rumored to be victims of crippling DWI law.
After extensive research, we have arrived at a few conclusions of celebrity drinking and driving based on famous song lyrics. In 1973 Iggy Pop sang a song in which he proclaimed “I am your crazy driver”, yet nearly a decade later on the Lust For Life album, he claims to be a “passenger” and he “rides and rides.” Sounds like a classic case of DWI law gone wrong. In the Smith’s song, ‘There is a light that never goes out’, Morrissey states that he is “riding in your car, I never never want to go home, because I haven’t got one, anymore.” Putting the evidence together, one can assume the song is about getting a DWI, and your parents not letting you back in the house. Female 90s comedian Paula Poundstone, most famous for a VHS tape you could order from the back of a pop tarts package, was also a victim of these harsh penalties as her posh criminal record led to not only the downfall of lesbian comedians in pants suits with large shoulder pads, but also the downfall of the poptarts 90’s female comedians VHS tape series. Lastly, drunk hunk Charles Sheen was kicked off of a popular network series ‘The Odd Couple’ and was replaced by the punk’d guy in the role of Oscar Madison due to drunk driving.
We live in a changing world, and gone are the days of packed local band shows full of non city residing patrons. Sitting in dead venue bars, one must wonder where things went wrong? How are the tales of local bands making a thousand dollars playing on a weekend in the 90’s such a stretch of the imagination? The music was far worse back then, (clearly, it was the 90’s) so it can’t be that. The only major changes that have occurred involve drinking and driving laws for music lovers who live outside of city limits. As younger white people flock to the gentrified city, it’s eased the burden slightly. But promoters will continue to struggle without the suburban money coming in. Several local criminals chimed in with their semi-inebriated opinions, so why not address them now….
Leader of the Rochester Goth scene, Nik Radar, who has had a few run ins with Johnny Law, commented that he has been placed in mandatory sober living facilities due to overly strict laws. These restrictions have rendered it nearly impossible to participate in the music scene. On top of that, limits have been placed on how many hours he can work, also creating an endlessly bad situation. On top of those major set backs, the financial burden of the DWI is potentially crippling for the working class punk/musicians. On the subject, Nik commented,“but yeah it hurts people financially and if you lose your license or get in legal trouble like me, then yeah .. but any true punk will be back at shows as soon as they can. I know I will.”
One of the most criminal aspects of modern DWI law is the money the victim will be robbed of. People who benefit from these laws are lawyers and politicians, the same who make strides to keep proper public transportation out of Rochester, and battle away modern ride share companies such as Uber and Lyft. They also fight to reduce neighbor city Buffalo’s 4am last call time to 2am, citing DWI accidents as a factor. Yet evidence exists to the contrary in Buffalo, and once again corrupt officials have other things in mind.
Colin Baker had the unfortunate pleasure of having a mandatory breathalyzer installed in his car and ran into a countless array of issues. “The equipment is unforgiving,” Collin explained “disabling my own car for less than the smallest of readings. Say maybe .004 or .002? One time it blew positive for alcohol after a bite of Fast Trac garlic pizza” The social lives of these ‘criminals’ suffers intensely as Collin went on to explain,” Music is how I socialize. It affects damn near everything, and ensures that I stay home instead of experiencing new acts…its a circle of shit”
When mention was made of this article on Facebook, as Darren Morris described it as a ‘peanut gallery of holier than now PC Facebookers chiming in with unrelated opinions to the subject which had nothing to do with the original inquiry’ responses flooded into the office. People making valid claims that if they loved the music the drinking aspect is void and people should be responsible. Those are as before mentioned valid opinions but Saturday nights of Rock and Roll chaos are being compromised by these strict laws and it has been harder to draw the large crowds for promoters.
Overall, while drunk drivers should be punished, it is clear the government is taking advantage of the vilification the bar customers and it is hurting the music scene and watering it down with tame millennial’s who can afford to pay high rents and walk to gentrified bars.
The working class suburbanites can no longer afford to pay gouged bar tabs, unfair taxi services, and increased admission prices in the city. As Cathy Snyder suggested ‘maybe hire someone with a different substance problem to drive, maybe heroin or crack” After the work week ends the middle class needs to exit their ‘world of shit’ lives and a rock gig was the most popular way. A local musician (who insisted on being anonymous) that plays at Monty’s Krown, is a mailman, lives on Culver road and name rhymes with Rod Reinder happily recounts his youthful days of drunk driving. “In the 80s we would get a 6 pack and drive around every Saturday night until the cops stopped us and sent us home.” Some drunk drivers should alarm police and be brought to justice, such as show in an episode of the Andy Griffith show in which Otis buys a car or if perhaps local Uncle Bradley was behind the wheel.
However people maturely driving home after a show should not be in fear that the value of local art is not worth the risk of a DWI felony.