80′s Rocker Arrested on Drug Charges in Indy
I always find it hard to believe that so many rockers become addicts. But just last night I found a story I’d written in 1995 about an Indiana singer named Henry Lee Summer, who hit it big in the 1980′s. And in that story, I wrote:
“Despite his success, though, Summer did not give in to the lure of drugs and alcohol . . .”
Well, that didn’t last. Because, apparently, the past eight years have been tough for Summer. And, according to this story, he has indeed become addicted.
If you remember (and maybe you don’t), the mullet-headed Summer had a nice following in the 80′s, with hits like “I Wish I Had a Girl” and “Hey Baby.” What started out as a regional following became a national one, and Summer sold over a million records. Meanwhile, his songs were featured in movies like “Twins,” “Sniper” and “Iron Eagle II,” and his videos got lots of airplay on MTV.
But a couple of paragraphs in my old story might have tipped off Summer’s pending fall:
“After two consecutive international successes, though, the sales figures of Summer’s “Way Past Midnight (1991) and “Slum Dunk” (1993), released during the height of the alternative rock craze, were somewhat of a disappointment. Making matters worse, MTV suddenly seemed less interested in Summer’s chipper pop-rock hits and more in favor of the despairingly grim grunge sound.”
Summer told me: “I remember commenting one day, because every time you’d turn on the TV, you’d see ‘I Wish I Had A Girl.’ I remember saying, I wish they wouldn’t play that any more . . .’ Little did I know a few years later, I’d be wishing they’d play anything.”
According to the Indianapolis Star, his fall from grace finally got to him and he replaced the natural high he got from performing with a high garnered from meth.
Summer was driving his car in Indianapolis earlier this month when a police car tried to pull him over. Panicking, Summer allegedly tossed meth out of his car and fled. (The photo above is his mug shot from that night.)
While Summer’s court case is pending, he continues to fight his addiction, playing small clubs to make ends meet. In the Star story, he recently performed before a crowd of 40.
“I might never get back up there again, but so what?” he told me 14 years ago. “At least I got the chance to do it once.”
But apparently once wasn’t enough.
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