Herbie Hancock is an award-winning jazz pianist, keyboardist and composer with a career that has been ongoing since the 1960s. Despite his fame, Hancock has been carrying a burden in his personal life and shares his struggles with crack addiction in a new memoir.
Hancock‘s memoir, Herbie Hancock: Possibilities, was released Thursday and reveals a dark side to the artist. Like many jazz greats and musicians before him, one of the many pitfalls of fame is drug addiction and it took Hancock quite some time to let go off his crack use.
Here is an excerpt of Herbie Hancock: Possibilities via Vulture:
I said, “I want to see.” So I was led down the hallway into the bedroom, where somebody put a pipe in my mouth and lit it. “Draw it in and hold it,” the person told me. I did. And when the high hit me, it was like nothing I’d ever felt. Crack overloads the pleasure center of your brain, hitting you with a wave of every pleasurable sensation you can imagine, physical and emotional, all at once. I closed my eyes and thought, Oh, sh*t. I should never have done this. This stuff was obviously way too dangerous to mess with.
I decided that night that this would be the last time I ever smoked crack. Unfortunately that resolution lasted only about a month before I picked up the pipe again.
Hancock kept his crack use hidden from his wife, Gigi, and others. He only shared news of his drug use with friends who also were addicts and said he took great measures to keep his secret safe. This memoir is the first time Hancock has been candid about his past as an addict.
Hancock’s memoir, Herbie Hancock: Possibilities with Lisa Dickey can be purchased here.
Photo: Viking Books