Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Genius and Junkies: Generation X in the Spotlight

The Generation X (or Gen X'ers) is a term given to my generation, the one born after the 'Baby Boomers': we are the children of the hippie generation, falling approximately into the birth years 1961 - 1981. In the next few entries I'm going to look at the natal charts of some of Generation X's more notable (or notorious) characters, focusing on music first and foremost, since every generation can be defined, more or less, by the music it makes as well as the drugs it takes.

There are plenty of people from whom to choose, but I'll focus on the charts of four of the more interesting (to me) musicians, two of whom have (so far) survived the ravages of fame and drugs, and two who didn't: John Frusciante (of Red Hot Chili Peppers), Scott Weiland (of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver), Kurt Cobain (Nirvana, of course!), and the one I find the most wrenching, Layne Staley of Alice in Chains.

What interested me most in these four men, and what I will explore in their respective and collective charts, are the commonalities between them: music-making and drug addiction being the most obvious. The music business and drug-taking famously go hand-in-hand; this in and of itself is not surprising. What interests me is all of these men struggled openly with their addictions; their suffering was witnessed by a generation of fans. Two have managed to (sometimes) overcome the addictions; the other two succumbed. But what other things did they/do they share? Any differences or similarities in upbringing? Do these differences or similarities reflect on 'Our Generation' as a wider whole?

Three of them (Weiland, Cobain, and Staley) were born with Neptune in Scorpio; Frusciante's Neptune is barely in Sagittarius, at 0' 53". All of them share the generational aspect of Neptune sextile Pluto. How did this aspect influence these men? How did it influence all of us? Or did it?

This isn't intended to be an in-depth examination of any of their charts, or to become a treatise on addiction or generational aspects. All four musicians made or make music that I love; all four are or were colourful, complex people whose triumphs and tragedies happened to be played out in a vast public fishbowl. I am simply looking at this from a 'human interest' point of view, rather than making any hard and fast statements about the X Generation. Stay tuned!

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