Saturday, March 24, 2007
Benzedrine in popular culture
Benzedrine is the trade name of the racemic variant of amphetamine (dl-amphetamine). It was marketed under this brandname in the USA by Smith, Kline and French in the form of inhalers, starting in 1928. Benzedrine was used to enlarge nasal and bronchial passages and it is closely related to other stimulants produced later, such as Dexedrine (d-amphetamine) and methamphetamine.
References in popular culture: This drug was very popular with the beat generation and its influence can be seen in the literature and biographies of William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Also, a famous user was the prolific mathematician Paul Erdős, who spent much of his restless life on psychostimulants. An article of November 1987, published in the Atlantic Monthly profiled Erdős and discussed his Benzedrine habit. Erdős said to writer Paul Hoffman that he had liked the article "...except for one thing...You shouldn't have mentioned the stuff about Benzedrine. It's not that you got it wrong. It's just that I don't want kids who are thinking about going into mathematics to think that they have to take drugs to succeed."
Former Beach Boy Brian Wilson claims that many of the songs on his album Smile were written while the lyricist Van Dyke Parks was under the influence of Benzedrine. The Beatles have said that in their early days in Hamburg, Germany, they used Benzedrine quite often in order to play several concerts a night without getting sleepy. Benzedrine was given to Judy Garland at a young age to help with her weight. She became dependent on the drug for the rest of her life. Benzedrine is the preferred drug of choice amongst the flawed characters which make up the noir fiction of James Ellroy, who himself has confessed a past addiction to the drug. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Benzedrine in popular culture". This entry is a fragment of a larger work. Link may die if entry is finally removed or merged.
"...and some benzedrine for gettin there..."
-Tom Waits, Swordfish Trombone
" Call me, Mr. Benzedrine. Dont let the doctor in i wanna blow off steam."