Sure, 12-step has saved many a musician. Heroin, however, has taken its share as well. I'm not keeping accurate track of who's winning but you always hear rumors about how someone's dancing with Mr. Brownstone when they should be injecting their Geritol instead. And while some of the folks on this list might be doing wonderfully these days, you can't tell me their management isn't always looking them over with flashlights and a medical rescue crew to protect their investment.
Syd Barrett: Sadly, he never even got to enjoy being strung out. No, Syd didn't do those fun-lovin' opiates but lost himself in psychedelics. His mind walked away after only one full album with his band Pink Floyd, who, in turn, never stopped writing about him.
Johnny Thunders: The guy made a career out of being a junkie. Fans remember seeing him outside shows asking people if they had any drugs for Johnny. He spoke of himself in the third person. I don't even think he ever went to rehab. And if he did, it obviously didn't work.
Pete Doherty: Crap. Has this guy even been to rehab? You know that show Intervention? Doherty wouldn't be an episode; he'd be an entire season.
Courtney Love: Has made a living as a human trainwreck. Another one where you're never sure if when she's straight if she's actually straight or just not as screwed up as before. Again, not an episode of Intervention, but at least a mini-series.
And of course, the all-time winner of this award:
Keith Richards: We know he'll never die. Indestructible, really. But who hasn't read somewhere that Keith's idea of clean pretty much means no heroin. This doesn't count alcohol, pot, coke and whatever else they sell on the playground. So, as long as the whiskey flows, and he keeps falling out of trees, we're not granting him "sober" status.