“The Adventures Of Little Diego - Former Child Star” Chapter 8 - Part 4 of 5, Bad Boys, Bad Boys, What Cha Gonna Do?
My friend Daryl turned me on to sushi and imported beers. We used to jokingly refer to ourselves as some sushi eating negroes! Black men eating sushi was not a visual that would enter most peoples minds at the time. Don't get me wrong, we did enjoy our fried chicken and BBQ too mind you! Every New Years day Daryl's mother would prepare collard greens, chitlins, black eyed peas, pigs feet, and cornbread. I would join them on occasion. They said they did it to remind them where they came from.
Unfortunately, my best friend Daryl had a rather serious substance dependency and it’s been many years since I’ve seen or heard from him. The last I heard anything about Daryl he was leading a transient kind of existence in New York City. A mutual friend told me they had run into him while on a trip to New York. Daryl was playing the guitar in a subway station and singing for change. Daryl was a wonderful talent! Had it not been for those inner demons he was wrestling with I would like to believe we’d be hearing more from him today. He reminded me of Samuel Jackson. Daryl brought a similar kind of intensity and energy to his work.
Actor Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel Jackson In Pulp Fiction
Though I had tried marijuana in the past, it was under Daryl’s influence that started me to smoking on an ever increasing bases. And it’s true. Nothing can quite compare to that first time you ever got high. It eventually loses much off of that initial experience. As one dear friend of mine put it, “You can smoke and smoke and smoke, but you can only get so high.”
Cheech Martin And Tommy Chong - "Up Un Smoke"
I never did try acid with Daryl. He did convince me to take mushrooms with him on a couple of occasions on days we were to put scenes up. Daryl would do scenes while on acid. Mushrooms was something I felt I could handle. I had taken mushrooms in the past.
Nothing like seeing the walls breathe and your scene partners face melting right in front of you while you’re doing a scene from “The River Niger” or “All My Sons”. I’m surprised I was able to get through it and as far as I’m aware, undetected. However, this is something I would not recommend.
Dude, You're Face Is Melting!
And My Face Feels Like A Big Gob Of Goo!
I tried acid on two occasions. The first time I was alone. I took one hit, but it didn’t have any kind of effect on me. Probably all for the better. My reasons for trying LSD was not for recreation, but as a means or path to self discovery or some form of enlightenment.
At least that’s what I thought. I was also trying to figure out why nothing was coming together for me both in my career or in my personal life.
Gilbert O'Sullivan - "Alone Again (Naturally)"
So I decided to try acid a second time. The second time taking it I was at least smart enough to do it under supervision. One of my acting teachers got wind I was interested in trying it and offered to be my guide. He would not be participating in taking the drug, but merely guiding me through the experience and help bring me back if I were to drift too far out there. Ya dig?
So this time I took two hits. My teacher stayed with me the entire evening, but nothing. The drug never felt like it took effect. Oh well. I guess it wasn’t meant to be. Perhaps I would have tripped so far out, never to return.
Before long Daryl and I smoking marijuana before acting class became something of a ritual. We would sit in his car and usually have a St Pauleys Girl or Grolsch or two as well just to take any edge off. Before that I had never even tried an imported beer. I was strictly domestic as I wasn't really much of a beer drinker at all up to that point.
St. Pauli Girl
Daryl was also into speed kinds of drugs like smoking cocaine and crack. I had tried snorting cocaine a number of times but it really wasn’t my thing. I’ve just never been attracted to speed types of substances. I don’t even drink coffee. I remember one particular evening when I’d been doing a lot of coke with some friends all night long. It was a period in time when a lot of people were doing coke. It was kind of the rage. When I got home around 8'oclock the next morning my heart started pounding so fast and so hard it literally felt like my heart was going to jump right out of my chest! The irony was I was asked to do two anti-drug public service announcements around this same period. I'm pretty sure I was high when I shot them.
Marc Copage KHJ Anti Drug Public Service Announcement
Anyway, my heart feeling like it was going to jump out of my chest proved to be enough for me. It was quite a scary moment. That was the very last time I ever tried cocaine or anything like it. I’ve just never really found any pleasure in speed types of drugs. Thank god I never tried crack or smoking cocaine as I realize I do have a somewhat addictive personality.
I’m now well past the age where I’ve lost any kind of desire for any type of drug experimentation what so ever. But I must admit I do find actor Dennis Hopper quite interesting to watch.
Dennis Hopper, Francis Ford Copola - Behind The Scenes "Apocalypse Now"
My friend Daryl was hardcore. He used to work at an animal hospital where he would inject himself with morphine and other hard drugs. He was also a chemistry major so Daryl seemed to know quite a bit about drugs.
I didn’t learn about Daryl's addiction, which eventually became a very serious addiction, until we were well into our friendship.
So Daryl and I went to see pop star Prince one evening and unbeknownst to me, Daryl had been taking acid earlier in the day as well as drinking excessively. He was perfectly fine driving us to the show. Yes, we were in his vehicle and he was driving. At the concert Daryl had more to drink. He was so messed up by the end of the show I had to drive him and his car home as he was quite obviously in no condition to drive.
When we got to his place he was still so wasted he didn’t want me to walk him inside for fear his mother would freak out if she were to see him in this condition. It was the first and only time I ever saw Daryl where he had taken so much, of whatever it was he took, that he was completely out of control. My guess is he had ingested other substances that I was not aware of earlier that evening as well. I had never before seen him not able to handle his drugs and alcohol.
Long story short, I ended up taking Daryl over to his neighbor’s, Lenny Kravitz’s, house so he could sleep it off and get his act together before returning home. As I’d mentioned in a previous chapter Lenny and I were schoolmates and Lenny happened to live a couple of doors down from Daryl and they were friends as well. It was probably around 1 or 2 in the morning when we knocked on Lenny’s door. Lenny was wide awake working on his music. Nice to see how Lenny’s persistence, dedication, and hard work has paid off for him! Even back then he was focused on his music. When we attended high school together he used to hang around the theater department quite a bit as well so it's now of no surprise to me that he is also establishing a name for himself as an actor.
Lenny Kravitz - Actor / Musician
Lenny was great to take Daryl in like that in the middle of the night and let him sleep it off. Lenny has always been a stand up kind of guy. A good soul. I’ve run into Lenny a couple of times after becoming the 'Rock Star' Lenny Kravitz and he’s still the same. An extremely humble and down to earth kind of guy.
My friendship with Daryl came to an end when I invited him to a party some other friends of mine were having and Daryl returned to their home later that evening and stole from them. Up to that point, I had never known of Daryl to be a thief. It’s one thing when I’m at risk by being in your company, but when you put my friends at risk, that is something that simply could not be tolerated. Substance addiction is no joke. I truly hope Daryl was finally able to get his act together. Prince gave a great concert, BTW! One of the best shows I’ve seen ever!