In 1979, Chuck E’s In Love made Rickie Lee Jones a star. Her secret heroin addiction almost destroyed her. However, she chose motherhood over addiction.
In her new memoir, Last Chance Texaco, Jones details her highs and lows. “People mistake famous people for being rich, and they mistake rich people for being happy”, Jones says in her book. She also believes, “becoming an addict only happens to people who are damaged”.
Music helped her through, and in her memoir, she details how. An ex-boyfriend, Zackary, asked if she wanted to go to Long Beach to get high. “Sure, get high on what?” He raised his eyebrows and said, “we are going to get high on heroin”. Jones says she planned to “just watch”.
She did try the heroin and describes this as the “gateway to Hell”. “The feeling was so overwhelming, I could not stand. For the price of a shot I had bought a lifetime in the shadows”.
She says for two years (1981-1983) she couldn’t see any way out of the addiction. There was no rehab then. She had a discussion with a doctor. He told her she could and would quit drugs. This gave her hope and she began to replace the drugs with faith in herself and faith in God.
She also began replacing her former bad habits, like replacing the former ritual with going out to get drugs with some other physical ritual. First, it was eating a lot, then exercising a lot, and then fasting. Eventually, she removed herself from all the people and places that were associated with drugs.
The birth of her daughter Charlotte Rose gave “me something to do besides myself 24 hours a day”. Today she says months go by “when I forget I was ever an addict”.