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- Posted on May 9th 2008 5:00PM by James Sullivan
According to Chuck Negron, one of the three lead singers of the band that virtually lived in the Top 40 in the early 1970s ('Joy to the World,' 'An Old-Fashioned Love Song,' 'One'), his by-the-book excesses -- sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, followed by (a lot) more sex --eventually led to a brutal incident in which he found himself holding his bleeding instrument, split open "like a hot dog," in an emergency room in Oklahoma.
In his book 'Three Dog Nightmare,' Negron recounts the buildup to this traumatic event. He went to see a doctor to get help with his organ, which was growing swollen and chapped from overuse. "In my ignorance I thought, 'Wow! It's just like working out a muscle. It's going to be huge!'"
The doctor, however, was appalled. He made the singer promise to quit shtupping, cold turkey.
A week later the singer spotted a beauty queen backstage, "a Miss-Something-or-Other" who was ignoring the advances of his bandmates. Back in Negron's room, one thing quickly led to another. Suddenly, he heard a ripping sound: "Tsh-tsH-tSHTSH!"
The embarrassment, he reports, was even more painful than the injury. Everyone on the hospital staff was "pointing and giggling," and the doctor who stitched his manhood back together laughed all the while.
Yet the experience didn't stop him. Negron's book is fully engorged with tales of run-ins with groupies, including the Butter Queen from Dallas and Little Rock's Sweet Sweet Connie (who was immortalized in Grand Funk Railroad's 'We're an America Band').
He's also frank about his substance abuse: "I was a hardcore drug addict for twenty-five years," he writes. When heroin took control of his life, he lost his "five-thousand-square-foot, Mediterranean-style villa" in the Hollywood hills and began sleeping on a filthy mattress in the corner of an abandoned building.
Now clean and sober for 17 years (and presumably practicing a safer brand of sex), the still-touring singer knows his is a cautionary tale. Still, he can't help but admit some amusement from the memories.
This, after all, is the guy who sang 'Easy to Be Hard' and 'Mama Told Me Not to Come.'