For 26 years, Pinera has been sober, totally clean from drugs and alcohol.
I interviewed him after the Iron Butterfly concert at the Lancaster Roots and Blues festival. He had just finished doing a meet-and-greet with several dozen fans. He had a wide smile as he straddled a chair, told me how wonderful it was to meet me and then gave me a history lesson in Iron Butterfly: how the group was the first rock band to get a platinum record and how excited he was to be working on a new Blues Image album and to write a new Iron Butterfly one in the future.
Fans react to Iron Butterfly performance at Lancaster Roots and Blues
But it was clear there was something he wanted to get off his chest.
When he talked of his sobriety, his voice lowered and his tone became earnest. “This disease of alcoholism and drug addiction, it’s making everybody sick,” he told me.
He spoke of how he brings his own story of conquering addiction to those who he feels need to hear it. He tells them that whatever they’re going through, they don’t have to go through it alone.
“You have to get help outside of yourself,” he said. “Don’t make the number one mistake – that’s ‘Hey! I can do this on my own! I don’t need to go to AA and stuff.'”