My name is Preston Hubbard. I was a rock star, appropriate to both  meanings of the word, if you catch my meaning. For 10 years, from 1984-1994, I was the bass player for the platinum selling, multi-Grammy award nominated Fabulous Thunderbirds. Before that, I was with Island recording artists Roomful of Blues, also Grammy nominated and the prototype first backup band for the Blues Brothers. I recorded on Bonnie Raitt's monstrous comeback record "Nick of Time", Stevie's final record while alive "Family Style" with brother Jimmie, Big Joe Turner's final record, Toni Price's "Swim Away", Duke Robillard's "Swing Time", and a host of others. And, of course, five of the T-Birds CBS records, including "Tuff Enuff" and most of Roomful's recordings. Having been a bass player since I was 14, there were many other bands and records, but the aforementioned made the biggest mark.

I was also a junkie, a heroin addict, for 18 years. Which is not to say that I was a drug addict for only that amount of time. Far from it! I had been drinking and doing drugs of some kind since I was 15 years old. Weed, reds, acid, coke, what have you. I came to heroin late, at age 28, for some reason. But  when I did, I took to it with a purpose! I had no traumatic childhood, no injuries, nothing that I can directly blame my addiction on.  I just always loved drugs, loved getting high on something. Also, I came of age in the 60s, was 17 during the Summer of Love, and was always in an environment of artists and musicians which embraced the drug lifestyle wholeheartedly. Remember, this was when it wasn't politically incorrect to get fucked up, or not hide your substance abuse. All my friends and contemporaries were, at one time, drug addicts and alcoholics. And lastly, many of my idols, whether jazz, blues, or rock `n' roll artists, were junkies-Bird, Billie Holiday, Coltrane, Hendrix, Ray Charles, Keith Richards, Paul Chambers, Lenny Bruce, on and on. It was part and parcel with the life.

Music was always my first love, with women and drugs a close second and my biggest weaknesses. I took from music, women and drugs took from me, ultimately putting me on the proverbial roller coaster ride. I went from 5 star hotels to living on the run in cheap motels, from king sized beds in suites to palettes on the floor in junkie pads, from hanging with rock and movie stars to running with street whores, junkies, tittie dancers, crackheads, the whole gamut. I was a "playa", and the game was rough.

My big brother gave me my first shot of opiates, a quarter of a #4 Dilaudid. I promptly fell down on the floor, probably from the rush, and scared the shit out of him. But I came right up, thinking, "This is it! This is the feeling!". It was like coming home, the best feeling I could ever have imagined. A girlfriend recently told me that, neither of us being religious, she envied people who found peace and tranquility through religion. That's what heroin became for me-my religion, my peace and tranquility, my veil between me and the world. But that, unfortunately, never lasts. With that first shot, I entered a new world that I would inhabit for the next 18 years, one that would see me go through numerous relationships, a marriage, three bands, rock `n' roll stardom and a descent into losing everything, including my freedom in a Texas penitentiary. What a long, strange trip it's been!

I'm here to neither condone nor condemn drug, especially heroin, use. I don't believe in the "war on drugs". It is an extremely expensive sham, costing billions, and doesn't accomplish anything beyond keeping the gangs and drug lords in business. And , of course, the police departments, courts, legions of lawyers, rehabs, methadone clinics, prisons, and the rest of the industries which benefit from drugs being illegal. Prison is big business now, especially in George W's Texas, where we have 150,000 people locked up, mostly for drug charges, with thousands more waiting in the county jails. The United States last year far surpassed the old universally reviled Soviet Gulag system, with over two million people in prisons now, not counting county or city jails. Prison originally was a safeguard, a place for sociopaths who were a danger to society. Not any more.

It is human nature to want to alter our consciousness, but I think more so with artists, writers, and especially musicians, who are thrown into an environment that lends itself toward excess. Sex, drugs, and rock `n' roll ain't just a cute saying! Over the years, I sold to doctors, whores, dealers, street junkies, rich kids, the whole gamut. But a large percentage of my customers were always musicians, local and touring, rock stars and unknowns, running the entire musical spectrum from punk to country. Drugs make no distinction.

I have no regrets except for hurting the ones I love and who love me. Fortunes can come and go. I have definitely put well over a million dollars in my arms and up my nose over the years, lost everything I owned, but came out alive with my health and my loved ones intact. I've been very lucky and know it. As we junkies say "I got out alive". I do know that I can never do another shot, another hit, ever again. Next time, I'm dead. But I never was one for denial. I was a junkie and knew it. There was a time when I thought that heroin was it, the way to nirvana, and I would expound on it's virtues and gladly introduce anyone into the life. That particular way of thinking changed a full 180 over the years to where I refused, and still would refuse , to turn someone on to the drug. I have no regret or guilt about my dealing days, either. People always came to me, and I gave them a good, safe product for a good price. I took care of my own, truly, and was never a hustler, a pusher, just making enough to support two or more habits, and day to day living expenses. My fortune quickly disappeared.

"Dope game ain't no joke" was written above my bunk in Del Valle county jail complex. Truer words were never spoken. But, as I said, no guilt, few regrets. I've written all this with very broad strokes because of the obvious space limitations, but here is my story...