Musician Anders Osborne. | Provided by IV PR

When sobriety is your bedrock, but performing requires playing in bars and clubs, how do you avoid relapse?

SALT LAKE CITY — “I am not the right person to give concerts,” composer/pianist Frédéric Chopin once told his contemporary, Franz Liszt. “The public intimidates me. I feel asphyxiated by the breath of the people in the audience, paralysed by their curious stares and dumb before that sea of unknown faces.”

If only there was some way to take the edge off.

For generations, that some way (drugs and alcohol) has proven to be a mixed bag — lowering inhibitions in the short term while often fostering long-term addiction. In a recent GQ magazine story titled “Creating While Clean,” Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler put it this way: “What happens with using is: It works in the beginning, but it doesn’t work in the end.”

The end — that breaking point juncture — looks different for different people. It can be an embarrassing moment or a string of moments. For others, it’s when they lose something important. Or it’s when they lose everything. For Anders Osborne, a well-known New Orleans singer-songwriter, his end happened in 2009. Osborne’s sober periods would give way to relapse, and one especially severe relapse left him facing estrangement from his wife, as well as home foreclosure and near-bankruptcy. Osborne’s mentors in the New Orleans music community, Ivan Neville and Dr. John among them, convinced Osborne to get inpatient addiction treatment.

In the decade since that intervention, Osborne has sobered up, continued performing and helped launch Send Me A Friend, a program for musicians who are trying to remain sober.

Send Me A Friend highlights one of the unique problems musicians like Osborne face: When sobriety is your bedrock, but performing …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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