Last week’s column featured five songs that best exemplified the vast diversity of quality music made about weed over the years, spanning from 1928 to 2004. As one would expect from a boatload sampling of easily several hundred songs in every conceivable genre and sub-genre, copious obvious omissions were definitely a thing. So we’re thankful to be bombarded by suggestions from Hullamaniacs far and wide, to whom this week’s column is devoted.
Please, keep ’em coming–even I have never heard of most of this stuff. We begin this list with a former Folio Weekly editor, the intrepid Claire Goforth, who said, “If you start this list with Afro-Man’s ‘Because I Got High’, I’m unfollowing.” Has Afro-Man ever played here? Surely, right?
Jay Stamper, guitarist for Ruffians, suggested The Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life” (1966): The Fab Four’s drug use was the tabula rasa upon which millions of people projected their own experiences, from toking up with Bob Dylan to ashram acid-tests with Magic Alex and the Maharishi. Revolver reflected the swirling chaos of their time, presaging the epochal horror of 1968, but it’s still a beautiful album. (By the way, Ruffians’ new album is being released on 4/20, at Jack Rabbits with Neon Bombshell and Borromakat. That’ll be fun.)
Singer/songwriter Jessica Leigh suggested “Rainy Day Women #12 & #35” by Dylan (’66), whose seminal Blonde on Blonde album began with one of his most compelling compositions. This came out the same year as Revolver, by the way.
Drummer Colin Westcott suggested “Let’s Go Get Stoned,” recorded by Ray Charles in–yep–1966. First recorded a year earlier by The Coasters, his version was the first No. 1 hit for Ashford & Simpson, and that’s awesome. Charles caught the scent via Ronnie Milsap, whose version inspired his own. (They were both blind, but that’s a coincidence.) This really underscores how universal the subject matter is, creatively.
Writing in from Tampa, April Alter corrects the most obvious oversight from the first list: “Legalize It,” by Peter Tosh. The Wailers and I-Threes were all pioneering advocates for cannabis in the post-war era. No other artist was so fully identified with the herb than Bob Marley, but his colleague was far more explicit, in all ways. That may have been a factor in his murder on Sept. 11, 1987, a day that will live in infamy. He left behind the quintessential legalization anthem, which became a true rallying cry in states moving in that direction, including Florida.
Luis Pereira offers “Greenery,” from Quasimoto’s 2005 album The Further Adventures of Lord Quas. He’s best known as Madlib, referenced here last week as half of Madvillain.
Our own indispensable senior copy editor Marlene Dryden, the bestest Tom Petty fan we know, shared a number of notable contributions from Gainesville’s greenest. “You Don’t Know How It Feels” was a big hit in 1994; “Don’t Pull Me Over” came 16 years later. His loss will always hurt; it wasn’t fair.