Sex, Drugs, Rock N Roll: Drug Era Public Figure Archipelago
Photo illustration of psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane performing at the KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival in California (Source: Commons Wikimedia)

JAKARTA - The 1970s marked the beginning of the widespread culture of drug use among young people, including Indonesian public figures. The spread of this drug culture cannot be separated from the influx of Western cultural influences that stimulate the spirit of freedom and resistance among the younger generation.

The modern era that began in the 70s raised a number of types of drugs such as heroin, LSD, morphine, and marijuana plants. This era took place after the opium era. The narratives of the young people's resistance are also synonymous with loud music and free sex.

This is where a new culture emerges: sex drug and rock n roll. The heavy influence of Western culture in Indonesia has become a dilemma. Take, for example, pop-rock music. On the bright side, the genre of pop-rock music often fosters and tests social and political ideologies in the form of anti-establishment movements.

The excitement of the struggle to defend the weak is also clearly voiced through music in this era. At the same time, this music also creates many young Indonesians who like to rebel. Their desire to be free is never satisfied.

As a result, there is an attitude of 'curiosity' or young people's curiosity about many things. They try the culture of alcohol consumption, free sex, and drugs. This curiosity then escalated thanks to the involvement of public figures, especially Western musicians from 1960-1970.

The Beatles (Source: Apple Corps Ltd)

“Intentionally or not, culture, alcohol and drugs are related to the creative process in making their album. The Beatles started it since Tomorrow Never Knows in the album 'Revolver' (1966), the Rolling Stones immortalized it in Sister Morphine (1971), Led Zeppelin adored him through Stairway to Heaven (1971),” said Rudy Badil in the book Warkop: Main-Main. So Not Play (2010).

“By borrowing the culture of alcohol and drugs, the popularity of pop-rock has changed to become more psychedelic and progressive. This bad influence also hit Indonesia in the 1970s. If at first the young flower generation in Indonesia just formed a gang to set up a radio station, or slowly accelerated the culture of alcohol, drugs, and free sex, also creeping into their lives," he continued.

Some famous names became role models of a free lifestyle in their time. Call it Eric Clapton, Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys), Syd Barret (Pink Floyd), and Keith Richards (Rolling Stones). Their music, especially the psychedelic genre, also depicts the 'fly' atmosphere of a narcotics addict.

But pop-rock music that used to tend to contain praise of resistance actually loosened after the players and listeners drifted into drugs. They become apathetic. Even the rebellions that are carried out often trigger trouble.

General Hoegeng intervened

This phenomenon was observed by the fifth National Police Chief, General Hoegeng Hoegeng Imam Santoso (1968-1971). As the National Police Chief, Hoegeng participated in the fight against drug trafficking in Indonesia. In one case, there was once a child of the New Order minister who was caught in a drug eradication operation.

Hoegeng is aware that drugs are not an easy matter. The Singing General analyzes Western culture as the culprit. In Western countries, drug addicts are often associated with the hippies. They live in a subculture that defies the establishment.

Many social corridors are violated by people who live in the slogan "love, peace, and freedom". The way they live, including with drugs, quickly infects young Indonesians.

Police operation Polda Metro Jaya in 1976 (Source: Commons Wikimedia)

"The life atmosphere of young Indonesians in big cities is known to be oriented towards the habits of the hippies and pop singers who become idols for teenagers."

"Then it is also associated with the symptoms of 'cougar' and 'cross mama' household life in big cities such as Jakarta. Many children of rich people who experience broken homes try to escape from the bitterness of life by becoming addicts to marijuana, heroin, and narcotics,” said Hoegeng as quoted by Abrar Yusra and Ramadhan KH in the book Hoegeng: Ideal Police and Reality (1993).

Sex, drugs, and rock n roll
Visitors to Woodstock (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

In its journey, Western culture slowly won the hearts of young Indonesians. Public figures are also included in this line. At first, they imitated only a trend. However, over time, many continue to devote their lives to the narrative of sex, drugs, and rock n roll.

One of the most well-known Westerners is the legendary rock band, God Bless. In the mid-1970s, taking drugs was commonplace for public figures. Even for rockstars. God Bless's bassist, Donny Fattah, said that this culture made the band grow rapidly.

In his view, all Western influences are automatically considered good. Regarding drugs, however, the presence of drugs helps the creative process of music. Remember how Bob Dylan indirectly revolutionized The Beatles' music with the marijuana he offered The Fab Four?

God Bless (Instagram/@godblessrocks)

At that time in 1964 Dylan brought marijuana to the members of The Beatles. The album "Rubber Soul" which was released in 1965 is the result of John, Paul, George, and Ringo's psychedelic journey. Quoted by Ultimate Classic Rock, Lennon even called the album a deeper and more captivating "pot album".

Return to God Bless in the Motherland. The success of the first album released in 1975 entitled "God Bless" immediately catapulted the band's name. Simultaneously, marijuana and groupies milled about. Do not ask about free sex. And it's not just God Bless, a local band that is synonymous with drugs.

“Initially we were influenced by the trends and actions of young people. Later, I realized that these narcotics destroy inspiration. The idea is so boutique, wants to have fun alone. Slowly we started to clean up. I started using it in 1967. It was the most chaotic year of my life. But thank God, when we got married, one by one, they started to stop on their own. I got married in 1975. After that it slowly stopped, because there is a sense of responsibility as a husband and father, “said Donny Fattah quoted by Ninin P. Damayanti in his article in Tempo Magazine entitled Sex, Drugs, and Beceng (2011).

*Read other information about HISTORY or read other interesting articles from Detha Arya Tifada.


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