The Young, The Rich, and Heroin (and the Founder of the British Water Cooler Association)

Anthony Haden Guest 1983 article in Rolling Stone.

Last December, there were two arrests at JFK Airport. On December 8th, Peter Madok, once a lawyer for the Who, was picked up with more than four pounds of Brazilian cocaine. Twelve days later, a young woman named Laurita Watson was arrested. Her payload was four pounds of Indian heroin. Based on the information gained from these arrests, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began its investigation. In the subsequent months, 3500 telephone calls were secretly recorded, and on May 19th, the DEA raided a townhouse, with a fancy West Side address. The house belonged to Nik Cohn, author of Rock from the Beginning, Rock Dreams and some haunting novels, but best known for the short story “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night,” which was the basis for the movie Saturday Night Fever.

Cohn was arrested, as were fifteen others. Cohn was born in Ireland; among the others arrested were two Englishmen – Lord Jermyn, heir to the marquis of Bristol, and Ian Ben Brierley, a record producer whose marriage to Marianne Faithfull had recently ended – as well as an American woman, Kathy Anday, a Wall Street broker. Having known these four people, I find the notion that they may be dealers preposterous. But it does seem as though certain major upper-class taboos are eroding in the United States, as in Europe.

via — Articles: Rolling Stone.


The Peter Maddock (that’s the right spelling) had a happier ending. Here is a 2007 Telegraph article.

In that respect at least, he admits, the play is autobiographical. Having worked as a showbiz lawyer for 10 years, handling the affairs of Epstein, Lambert, Pete Townshend and Keith Moon, by the late 1970s Maddock had himself begun to succumb to some of the music industry’s more hazardous enthusiasms.

Casting his law practice aside, he moved to New York and lived “on to the razor’s edge”, throwing himself into the louche, hedonistic scene around the city’s legendary disco, Studio 54.

…  [After prison] With his brother, he bought a trout farm in Buckinghamshire which they converted into a spring-water factory, and began supplying water coolers to offices. Maddock went on to found the British Water Cooler Association.

via ‘People have no shame these days’ – Telegraph.

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