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Chuck Negron Continues to Rock

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Chuck Negron, an original band member of the legendary rock group Three Dog Night, knows just how true the lyrics, “One is the loneliest number Veronica Dudo with Chuck Negronyou’ll ever do” (from the groups hit song “One”) can be. Negron’s life story takes his fans on an amazing journey through success, despair, triumph and hope. In his book Three Dog Nightmare, Negron shares his story of hitting rock bottom with a suicide attempt, over one hundred drug-related hospital stays and more than three dozen drug-rehabilitation failures.

An inspiring figure to others, Negron hopes his story will give people the courage and strength to overcome their addictions and failures. “You know you don’t have to give up just because life is hard,” Negron shared with me during our backstage interview before his performance at Bally’s Palace Theatre in Atlantic City.

Three Dog Night has had twelve consecutive gold albums and twenty-one consecutive Billboard Top 40 hits, making them one of the most successful rock groups ever. Over the course of his career, there were many good memories for Negron. One that stood out during our conversation was, “The first time I heard “One” on the radio when we were driving—there was eight of us in a station wagon driving in to Miami for the Miami Pop Festival and the guy said, ‘Number One’ and we said, we have a number one record? And it was number one in that area and then the record went on to be a million-seller. But we were just working and it blew our minds so that was just a wonderful memory that we all shared.”

Three Dog NightmareBut the good times for the band eventually came to an end. Negron had this to say about the many controversies that faced the band during those difficult times: “Always the bad memories are when personalities and life interfere with a band and it’s much like sports, it’s much like life, it’s much like marriages; there are ups and downs and if you can’t even share the ups, the downs are going to be really hard. So the band was a very competitive bunch, so sometimes the successful times were as difficult as the lean times.”

For years, Negron’s days were filled with sex, rock-n-roll, and drugs. He admitted to smoking, sniffing, and shooting-up every drug imaginable. These dark and sad years even included two failed marriages, a suicide attempt, three near death experiences, and the birth of his heroin and methadone addicted son. Miraculously, Negron survived managing to continue his singing career by touring and spending time in the studio recording.

“After I found recovery in ’91 and changed my life, I got sober and clean and I’m coming up on 18 years now,” Negron remembers. “I realized that there was a part of me that wanted to sing but I couldn’t even barely talk, so I went and hired a voice coach who gave me a deal—a very special deal. He had done wonderful work with Bonnie Raitt and some of the people from Crosby Stills & Nash. So he took me on and I slowly got my voice back into shape and that was the first time I had ever taken a voice lesson, so I had to do the work. Sometimes it comes and its God’s will and other times you just have to work hard and I did.”

Negron has been so moved by his experiences that he takes time out of his busy schedule to give back. He has since devoted his life to working with recovery programs and counseling addicts at Cri-Help—the drug rehabilitation center where he conquered his own drug habit. Currently Negron says he is enjoying a strong relationship with his new family and continues to tour with his band. “It’s wonderful, it’s great, I’m very excited and my son is in the band now. So it’s a lot of fun for me and I love doing it. It’s what I do.”