In the primary three components of this unique interview sequence with Three Dog Night vocalist Chuck Negron, we mentioned why the basic rock group is just not within the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, why the band in the end break up up, the large hits “One” and “Joy To The World,” when Negron found his voice and extra. Here, we deal with a harder topic: Negron’s long-time battle with heroin dependancy. It’s not fairly. We additionally ask whether or not he misses his late ex-bandmate, Cory Wells. Following are edited excerpts from an extended telephone dialog.
Jim Clash: For a superb a part of your life, you prevented heroin, proper? What lastly made you attempt it?
Chuck Negron: I got here house from a protracted tour in Australia and Japan. I hadn’t been capable of get ahold of my first spouse, Paula, for fairly some time. When I opened the entrance door, it was apparent she hadn’t been house. Plants had been dying, and so forth. Then I came upon she had left me, was residing with one other man and was pregnant. I used to be devastated, went into this actually deep melancholy and ended up in a psych ward. I couldn’t eat, and had dropped to 142 lbs. When I obtained out, I felt considerably higher, purchased a brand new automobile, a Mercedes 300 SEL, prime of the road, then went to my supplier buddy for some cocaine. But beneath, I used to be nonetheless fairly down. He mentioned, “Look, if you really want something to help, I’ve got it.” I knew what he meant. It was heroin, which I had all the time turned down. I sniffed it, and went to this unbelievable place. It’s a really highly effective drug, as opiates are. It eliminated all of the angst and ache. The man then proceeded to fulfill me day by day to present me the drug without spending a dime. This went on for 2 weeks. One day I felt sick, thought I had the flu and stayed house. The subsequent day, the man referred to as and mentioned he couldn’t imagine he hadn’t heard from me. I informed him that I knew we had been hanging out, however that I had a nasty chilly. He mentioned, “I don’t think it’s a cold.” I mentioned, “What do you mean?” He mentioned he’d come by to present me some heroin. “You weren’t sick, you just have a little habit.”
The man did it the textbook strategy to hook somebody! Then he mentioned, “By the way, that’s $100.” My behavior escalated to the purpose the place he informed me the availability had been interrupted, that I could not get any, that I’d need to taper down. I informed him I had virtually completed up my quarter-ounce. He mentioned I had higher get into detox instantly, if I used to be doing that a lot. In truth, it was a lot that he thought I had been promoting on the aspect. When I went to the hospital, the physician mentioned he’d by no means seen anybody with a lot heroin of their blood. He put a pin in my finger and requested me to style it. It tasted like dope! Then he mentioned that he didn’t understand how I used to be nonetheless alive.
Clash: Wow. I do know you had been on it for years. How did you lastly cease?
Negron: I went by way of many rehabs attempting. It wasn’t solely a bodily dependancy, however a psychological obsession. That’s much more highly effective, as a result of whereas being significantly sick for 5 days is terrible – the retching and pooping in every single place – after which subsequent uncomfortableness, it’s finite. But the psychological a part of needing it now drives you insane. You’ll go to the financial institution, you’ll borrow $20, no matter it takes, and it doesn’t cease. That’s why folks can’t get clear. You need to be separated from that psychological obsession lengthy sufficient to each bodily detox, after which have the psychological right-of-choice. Your mind runs the present. And it’s always telling you to get excessive. Finally, after 37 rehabs, 13 years, I went to the home the place I now assist out, referred to as CRI-Help, previous navy barracks from the Forties. They had a contract with the jail system, so it had some bad-ass folks in there, together with extra regulars, too – Sly Stone and Robert Downey, Jr., went by way of. It was a extremely robust, end-of-the-block place. And, due to its recognition, it took six to eight months to even get in.
Once in, I came upon there was no detox. It was chilly turkey! There had been these robust guys, with tattoos throughout their our bodies. When I obtained antsy, they’d inform me that I wasn’t going anyplace, not even to consider it. I’m like, “Oh sh&t [laughs].” But I did get clear after virtually a 12 months. When I went in, I weighed 126 lbs. I’m 6-ft, 1-inch. I solely had 15 enamel left in my mouth. I felt so ashamed. CRI-Help saved my life. For two years after I obtained out, I went again to play basketball with the blokes. They’d all the time ask me why I got here again all the time. “What’s wrong with you, homie?” I’d say, “Look, man, this is the only place I feel safe, the only place I’m not going to get high.” Little by little, I used to be capable of detach from them. But they’re nonetheless a giant a part of my life. I do what I can for them – sponsor folks, take them out. I even wrote a tune they use of their conferences.
Clash: Do you miss your ex-bandmate, Cory Wells, who handed from blood most cancers in 2015?
Negron: As I’m getting older, lots of people are passing. This is a time in life for reflection. Sadly, lots of the belongings you want you had mentioned, needed to do, want you hadn’t executed however did, come to thoughts. Cory is a type of. He was like a rock, the man once we got here again at 5 a.m. from the golf equipment who’d be sitting out entrance in a bass boat able to go fishing. I swear to God [laughs]. He was a straight man, a superb father, and music occurred to be his enterprise. He should have thought that after we’d been doing this so lengthy, and at last obtained a break, that we screwed it up. I did lastly get to speak to him, a few years earlier than he handed, and informed him how a lot I beloved him. I even wrote a tune referred to as, “I’m sorry,” and despatched it to him. We began writing forwards and backwards. He additionally mentioned he was sorry. We made our amends. But I want I had gotten extra time to truly sit down and inform him how vital he was to me, and that by no means occurred. He was one of many best singers I ever heard.