Rock and Roll Meltdown: The Circus Nightclub Story 1979-1983 by Rick Bandazian
Excerpt from “Blow Is Everywhere”:
It’s 1979. Cocaine, that insidious and powerfully addicting nasal
decongestant, is flowing in and around the club scene just as fast
and plentiful as water from a faucet. It was difficult to find anyone
who worked in or near the club scene who wasn’t using the drug regularly.
The 2001 film, Blow starring Johnny Depp, lays the facts out
pretty well. It’s based on the true story of Carlos Lehder and his
Medellin cartel, which specialized in smuggling cocaine from
Columbia to the US on a huge scale. It was primarily responsible for
most of the white powder coming into the US.
But they had help…everywhere. Even in my club. See, every
joke, every cliché about the era is unfortunately true. If you were
there, you know what I’m talking about. In the 1970s cocaine
emerged on the scene as the new and fashionable drug that provided
energy, prestige, and an invincible feeling. It was the drug of choice
for entertainers, their fans, business people, Wall Street honchos,
and their wealthy neighbors. College campuses all over America saw
an explosion of usage between 1970 and 1980 and the drug traffickers
knew it. They set up elaborate networks to get the coke into the
U.S. by the ton to satisfy the soaring demand.