The solo violinist is pulling the tourniquet tight around her bicep before shooting up prior to the Brahms on the second half, the clarinets are passing around dime bags to get through Bartok a week later, and...no, just stop.
Anyone who went to music school can tell you stories of depravity that will make you doubt the future of humanity, but this notion of classical musicians living lives of Hendrixian excess is just funny. Of course, anyone who went to college can tell you similar stories. The only difference is that the music-school ones implicate more sopranos on a percentage basis.
And so once again we get this headline of musicians doping it up with Inderal, a heart disease medication that salves adrenaline-addled nerves. And then Blair "Mozart in the Jungle" Tindall steps in to the breach to say that musicians use beta-blockers to enhance performance and aren't a bunch of junkies. This being the same Tindall who's responsible in no small part for planting the notion of competitive musicians reduced to drug addiction in the public mind.
"Today, I drink alcohol on a social basis, as well as beta blockers," Tindall wrote in the Guardian. I never took beta blockers, but I've never heard of them being ingested in a drink, or taken socially, for that matter. I admit I lead a sheltered existence.
So here's the thing: Normal people use drugs. Musicians are not normal, but they also use drugs, which makes them like normal people. They also take a (legal) drug that eliminates some aspects of human physiology which make it difficult to do their jobs. They also blow off steam (and how!) to get away from the stress of that job, and for the simple fact that blowing off steam is fun. Many normal people do this, I think it's fair to say. Musicians aren't all heroes, they are people.
Just drop this brain-dead non-story. "Musicians take drugs," is not a story. "Accountant takes drugs," also less than interesting. Had Arthur Rubinstein been arrested at Heathrow with a kilo of cocaine in his luggage, I might think this was more interesting. But he wasn't, and it isn't.