Bob Weir (1947–) is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was a founding member of the Grateful Dead, one of the most popular bands to ever come out of San Francisco. Bob’s first experience with homeopathy occurred in 1972 when the Dead were touring England and all came down with a nasty flu. Their tour manager, Sam Cutler, who had previously worked for the Rolling Stones, arranged to obtain homeopathic medicines, which got them up, playing, and “truckin’” in short order.
During a recent lunch with the Weir family, Bob and his wife, Natascha, told me that they sought the care of a homeopathic pediatrician, Ifeoma Ikense, MD, shortly after they had their first daughter, Monet. Natascha told me that she has called Dr. Ikense dozens of times during various music tours to treat someone in the family and “homeopathy works every time.” Bob and Natascha swear by homeopathy, and they both “wonder how other parents do without it.” Even Bob’s father (a former colonel and B-52 pilot in the U.S. Air Force) and his stepmother, both in their eighties, use homeopathic medicines as an integral part of their lives.
Paul Rodgers (1949–) is a British singer who is most well known for being a member of the bands Free and Bad Company. He collaborated on two albums with Jimmy Page in The Firm, and has created albums and toured with David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Kenny Jones (The Who), Bryan Adams, Muddy Waters, and Journey. Rodgers has also had a successful career as a solo artist.
In a 2001 interview, he stated:
I like for the vocals to challenge and stretch me. It keeps it interesting. A voice is not just a voice, it is your whole self. You have got to look after yourself physically, mentally and spiritually to keep the level of what you put out as a singer. Part of my meditation that I do includes a lot of deep breathing. It is very beneficial to breath in a lot of clean air. There is also a homeopathic medication that I take. There is a guy I see that gives me Argentum nitricum [silver nitrate]. I would not recommend just taking that. You have to see the proper guy. It helps keep my voice nice and clear. (Wright, 2001)
Annie Lennox (1954–) is a Scottish rock musician and vocalist who has won an Oscar, a Grammy, and a BRIT. In the 1980s she was lead singer for a duo called the Eurythmics with British musician David A. Stewart. She wrote and performed the soundtrack cut for Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 movie Dracula (“Love Song for a Vampire”). She also made a magnificently memorable appearance with David Bowie and the surviving members of Queen at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert at London’s Wembley Stadium. Inevitably, when singers travel, they carry certain must-have tour supplies, and Annie Lennox always includes homeopathic medicines. She admits that she sometimes feels like a witch doctor in her efforts to ward off illnesses (Smith, 2004).
Axl Rose (1962–) is an American hard rock singer and songwriter who is best known as the lead singer of Guns N’ Roses. In the late 1980s, Guns N’ Roses shot to the top of rock music charts as a result of the massive popularity of the songs “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Paradise City,” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” In 1992, after performing at the tribute to Freddie Mercury at London’s Wembley Stadium, there was a problem with airport security when he asked that his black pouch containing homeopathic medicines not undergo X-ray (Smith, 1992). Rose supposedly flew into a rage because he was concerned that the X-ray would neutralize his homeopathic medicines. (Although X-ray may possibly create some problems for these medicines, there is no conclusive evidence of bad effects.)
According to Rolling Stone, Rose has been a powerful, almost evangelical believer in homeopathic medicine for close to a decade. The singer is strongly critical of conventional medicine and conventional physicians and considers the AMA to be populated by greedy doctors. Homeopathic elixirs for his throat were always on hand whenever Rose toured with Guns N’ Roses (Rolling Stone, 2000).
Moby (1965–) is an American singer and electronic musician. He took his name from the book Moby Dick, whose author, Herman Melville, happens to be his great-great-granduncle. Moby has created numerous albums and scored several movies, including an updated version of the James Bond theme song for the movie Tomorrow Never Dies. His breakthrough album, Play, was released in 1999, the first album in history to have all of its songs commercially licensed. Despite his great popularity, Moby is known to live a relatively simple life, in a relatively small apartment in New York City, eating a vegan diet. In a 2002 interview, he told salon.com that he is a devout believer in homeopathy and alternative medicine (January 2, 2002).
Nelly Furtado (1978–) is a Grammy Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter, instrumentalist, and record producer. She came to fame in 2000 with the release of her album Whoa, Nelly!, which featured the Grammy Award-winning single “I’m like a Bird.”
Nelly, like most working musicians, must travel great distances for gigs. In 2007 she told the Times (of London) that she swears by NoJetLag, a popular homeopathic medicine that helps reduce the symptoms and discomforts of jet lag (Times, 2007).
Jon Faddis (1953–) is an eminent American jazz trumpet player, protégé of Dizzy Gillespie. In December 1991 Faddis was appointed music director of the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, an eighteen-piece all-star orchestra that typically includes some of the greatest names in jazz. Faddis was the music director of the 1995 Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, “The Majesty of Louis Armstrong Tour,” and the “Newport Jazz Festival 40th Anniversary Tour.” Jon’s distinctive trumpet voice is heard on albums by superstar performers as disparate as Duke Ellington, the Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Luther Vandross, Quincy Jones, Billy Joel, and Stanley Clarke. His horn was heard on the theme of The Cosby Show and on the soundtrack of Clint Eastwood’s films The Gauntlet and Bird.
When speaking about Jon Faddis, Dizzy Gillespie once said, “He’s the best ever—including me!” Faddis’s trademark is the very high range in which he plays. He doesn’t simply hit those higher notes, he plays and stays in that range.
When teaching master classes on trumpet technique, Jon Faddis first emphasizes the need for jazz players to acquire solid fundamental skills on the instrument, but he is known to quickly move the discussion to his interest in homeopathy, and to “treating the whole trumpet player” (Donaldson, 1999).
Shirley Verrett (1931–), an American mezzo-soprano opera singer, has enjoyed great fame since the late 1960s. She has sung with the New York City Opera, had repeated roles with the Bolshoi Theatre, the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House, and the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra. In the late 1970s she began to tackle soprano roles, including Tosca, Norma, Lady Macbeth, and Aida. In 1990, Verrett sang Dido in Les Troyens at the inauguration of the Opera Bastille in Paris.
Opera News reported that it is extremely rare for an opera singer’s voice to actually improve after turning 50 years of age, but the magazine writer insists that it is true with Verrett. She credits her improvement to homeopathic medicine. For thirty years allergies to mold spores clogged her bronchial tubes. Her allergies were so bad that she planned to give up her singing career on numerous occasions, but the real and practical benefits she received from homeopathy helped her regain her health and recapture and even improve upon her magnificent voice (Dyer, 1990).
Carl Davis, CBE (1936–) is a conductor with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and regularly conducts the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. He has written music for more than 100 television programs and dozens of films, but he is best known for creating musical scores to films that were originally silent. He also assisted in the orchestration of the symphonic works of Paul McCartney.
This modern composer has used homeopathic medicines since the 1960s. He once told a London reporter that he still laughs at the memory of conducting a concert on a platform over the Thames River: “I was cocooned in homeopathic insect repellent while everyone else was besieged by mosquitoes” (Kindred Spirits, 1989).
Appreciation to and for homeopathy among musicians is significant enough that even some recording studios are providing access to homeopathic medicines in the studios themselves. Grouse Lodge is a recording studio in County Westmeath, Ireland, that advertises itself as Ireland’s only residential studio where musicians can have comfortable lodging as well as access to a health spa with homeopathic and herbal services. Musicians who have recently recorded there include Snow Patrol, Republic of Loose, Bloc Party, Doves, Skinsize Kings, and Muse (Absolution), but this studio became particularly well known in late 2006 when Michael Jackson recorded there.
Wayne Newton (1942–), “Mr. Las Vegas,” was reported to shop frequently in a certain Las Vegas pharmacy. When asked what he buys, the pharmacist reported, “Anything homeopathic” (In Style, 2004).
Victoria Beckham (1974–), formerly nicknamed “Posh” of Spice Girl fame, is married to David Beckham, the soccer superstar. Victoria has told the media that she has a special interest in yoga as well as in homeopathic medicine. Homeopathic medicines are also helpful in this celebrity household that presently has three sons.
Many internationally acclaimed classical musicians sought care from Elizabeth Wright Hubbard, MD (1896–1967), a respected homeopath in New York City. Some of these musicians included Darius Milhaud (1892–1974, a French composer and teacher who was a member of Les Six, and who was one of the most prolific composers of the twentieth century); Georges Auric (1899–1983, a French composer who scored many films including Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast, Moulin Rouge, and Roman Holiday); and Lily Pons (1898–1976, a French-born American coloratura soprano) (Naifeh and Smith, 1989, 482).
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[i] Beethoven was showing a fine sense of humor when he made reference to “notes save from distress” because the German word for notes, like the English word, refers to both musical notes as well as money.
[ii] Otto von Bismarck (1815–1898), minister-president of Prussia in 1862–1890 and the first chancellor of the various states of Germany during 1871–1890, was another advocate for natural medicine.
[iii] Ignaz Schuppanzigh (1776–1830) was the leader of Count Razumovsky’s private string quartet, which was considered to be the first professional string quartet. Schuppanzigh and his group premiered many of Beethoven’s string quartets, in particular, the later pieces.
[iv] For more details about this story, see Chapter 12, The Royal Medicine. For more details about Father Veith and his homeopathic practice, see Chapter 13, Clergy and Spiritual Leaders.
[v] An entire book, Beethoven’s Hair: An Extraordinary Historical Odyssey and a Scientific Mystery Solved, was written about this subject. Although recent analysis has determined a high concentration of lead in Beethoven’s hair, the deafness associated with it seldom takes the form that Beethoven exhibited. However, it is also possible that the homeopathic treatment that Beethoven received may have reduced some but not all of the symptoms of typical lead poisoning. One review of 105 studies investigating the use of homeopathic medicines to reduce the toxic effects of heavy metal poisoning found beneficial results, especially among the highest-quality scientific studies in this field (Linde, et al., 1994). More recent studies have also confirmed these results (Ullman, 2007; Khuda-Bukhsh, et al., 2005; Belon, et al., 2006).
[vi] Each homeopathic medicine is known to treat a certain body-mind syndrome, and people who benefit from Sulphur are typically artist-philosopher types who wear tattered clothing, develop a personal attachment to whatever possessions they have, and have a thin body frame and gaunt face. For more details about the constitutional types of various homeopathic medicines, see select books called “homeopathic materia medica.”
[vii] Dr. Schwenninger was also the medical adviser of Prince Otto von Bismarck, the minister-president of Prussia who engineered the unification of the numerous states of Germany and who was a longtime advocate of natural medicines.
@ The article is published in Dana Ullman’s book: The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy and republished at hpathy with friendly permission of the author.
(North Atlantic Books/Random House, 2008) by Dana Ullman, MPH Copyright 2008 (www.homeopathic.com) [email protected]
DANA ULLMAN, MPH, CCH, is one of America’s leading advocates for homeopathy. He has authored 10 books, including The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy, Homeopathy A-Z, Homeopathic Medicines for Children and Infants, Discovering Homeopathy, and (the best-selling) Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines (with Stephen Cummings, MD). Dana also authored an ebook that is a continually growing resource to 200+ clinical studies published in peer-review medical journals testing homeopathic medicines. This ebook combines the descriptions of these studies with practical clinical information on how to use homeopathic medicines for 100+ common ailments. This ebook is entitled Evidence Based Homeopathic Family Medicine, and it is an invaluable resource. Dana has been certified in classical homeopathy by the leading organization in the U.S. for professional homeopaths.
He is the founder of Homeopathic Educational Services, America’s leading resource center for homeopathic books, tapes, medicines, software, and correspondence courses. Homeopathic Educational Services has co-published over 35 books on homeopathy with North Atlantic Books.
Dana writes a regular column for the wildly popular website, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-ullman