TF Archives

Jazz Brilliance Linked To Insanity

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Sunday, September 7, 2003
A study of legendary jazz musicians has discovered that the musical innovators were up to four times more likely to use drugs or suffer from mental illness, the Telegraph reported this week, with the genre's highest rated player Miles Davis apparently often hearing imaginary voices.

"I am not saying all jazz musicians are crazy," report author Dr Wills said in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

"But I have highlighted a trend that is comparable with other creative people."

The new study could shed light on why Britain remains such a hotbed of musical creativity, since according to Richard Bentall, author of new book Madness Explained, up to 6 million Brits could be crazy.

"Research shows that as many as one in ten Britons hears voices," Mr Bentall told the Sunday Times last month.

"But most are too scared to mention it." (Schizophrenia affects more than 2 million Americans. People with schizophrenia often experience such frightening symptoms as: Hearing voices, believing others can read or control their minds, paranoia . . .')