*Image from the internet and likely subject to copyright
I must admit, straight away, that I’ve never been a big fan of the hookah. I chose my poison long ago and it’s in the form of a dark and murky fluid, an elixir known as bourbon. However, while I’m not a fan of the hookah, I’ve always been a friend of the hookah. Call me, pot adjacent. I always liked the stoners in high school and enjoyed hanging out with them. They were generally more laid back than most teenagers. They were also typically more intelligent and quite frankly they had a better sense of humor. I can’t count the times those stoners turned me on to great music. It would have taken me years to find Pink Floyd without those guys. Those few attempts to be a groovy, turnt guy, smoking weed, ended in paranoia and fear. However, the Rock Chick is a big fan of 420. After all these years, I find myself again, pot-adjacent. Even her cat’s birthday is 4/20.
I feel like pot is pretty pervasive these days. It wasn’t always that way, or so it seemed. I remember watching the comic, David Steinberg, on Johnny Carson one night when I was a kid. He told a story about his only pot smoking experience without mentioning the words “pot” or “smoking” so fearful was he about being censored. It was a funny story. He was at a party where people were smoking pot so he partook in an attempt to look hip. He was a little paranoid so he jumped in his car to drive home. This was before Uber people, we all drove impaired, sadly. A cop pulls him over and asks Steinberg, “Do you know how fast you were driving?” A stoned Steinberg, gripped with the fear, responded, “I don’t, maybe 80 miles per hour?” The cop, now apparently amused, responded, “No sir, you were going 8.”
I remember David Lee Roth coming on Rockline, the weekly rock and roll interview show that was on back in the day. My roommate and I went up to the top floor of the building we lived in and rigged a home made antenna so we could hear the KC radio station, KY/102 since they didn’t have any rock stations in Manhattan, Kansas. Roth referred to a joint as a “behavior modification device” and smoking pot as “burning local herbs for strictly medicinal purposes.” Those immediately became part of our vernacular. Ah, Roth was cool, once upon a time.
The first time I ever tried to be cool and smoke pot ended in disaster, at least emotionally. A friend of mine, who I’ll call Nately procured a joint from his big brother. He and another friend of ours, who I’ll call Orr (names changed to protect the guilty) sat on Nately’s back porch and smoked it. We could see a family eating dinner like a Normal Rockwell painting, in the house behind Nately’s which we found hysterical for reasons, well, unclear. Suddenly, in the distance we heard a police siren. We joked that it was coming for us, that the Norman Rockwell family had called the cops. Oh, that was hysterical alright… until the siren got louder and louder and louder. We all reached the same conclusion at the exact same time – Jesus, the cops are coming for us. We all three scrambled in different directions. I remember Orr dove under the deck. I seem to recall punching Nately’s cat, who had snuck up on me, and diving into a bush. At some point I just panicked and ran the two miles to my parents house, where I promptly locked myself in my room and hid under the bed until my stoned friends showed up to retrieve me.
After that I just stuck to beer. Pot left me a mute, catatonic, fearful, drooling moron. But since I hung out with stoners I was always approached with different sales pitches on different types of pot that I should try. Edibles, that’s the answer to your weed anxiety, it’s a different high. My one pot eating experience resulted in me vomiting on the shoes of a sober person and yelling, “Eating pot sucks.” Hash, you’ve got to try hash, it’s a different high. Yes, hash is different, it’s more terrifying. I made the mistake of listening to the Velvet Underground after hash and again, I ended up under my bed, convinced Lou Reed’s voice was the voice of Satan. What you need is indica, that will relax you. Nope. Nowadays people always seem to recommend CBD, which is the non THC component of pot. I have bad news for you folks it’s all the same high. I haven’t touched a hookah in over 25 years. But I will drink and toast those who are getting toasted. Like sexual preference, practice that which makes you happy, just don’t try and convert me.
When I realized today was 4/20, I felt compelled to do something for our herbal enthusiasts out there. There are so many great songs about pot. I was thinking Neil Young’s “Roll Another Number” or Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf.” While I think I could have cobbled something enjoyable for our B&V stoner fans out there, I just felt I was out of my element. We’ve never had a guest contributor here at B&V but I turned to the foremost weed enthusiast I knew, the Rock Chick and asked her to compile some music for this, the National Holiday for Weed Smokers. Below, you will find her list. You can find it on Spotify under BourbonAndVinyl.net 420. Enjoy burning your local herbs for strictly medicinal purposes today and please, don’t get in your car and drive 8 miles an hour some place. And always… don’t bogart that thing, pass it around.
- “Legalize It” – Peter Tosh. I do think pot should be legal everywhere, not just a few states. Even if it’s just to allow medical experts to study it for help in PTSD, anxiety and depression.
- “Kaya” – Bob Marley. You knew Bob was going to be here and the name of this song, says it all.
- “Hits From the Bong” – Cypress Hill. This one, like many of the Rock Chick’s brilliant selections was new to me. This is hysterical.
- “Young, Wild And Free” – Snoop Dogg (with others) – Well, like Bob Marley, you knew Snoop would be here.
- “One Draw” – Rita Marley. I was glad to hear a little something from Bob’s wife.
- “Smoke Two Joints” – Sublime. When one is not enough and three is too many.
- “Officer” – Slighty Stoopid. This is a band I might have to do a lot more investigating into.
- “Indo Smoke” – Mista Grimm. This song is guaranteed to make even the most hard core pot smoker laugh his ass off.
- “Cheeba Cheeba” – Tone-Loc. This is a great song with a wonderful Stevie Wonder sample. To think I thought of Tone as a one hit wonder.
- “The Next Episode” – Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg. Dre and Snoop, together again. It’s money.
- “Smoke The Weed” – Snoop Lion, Collie Buddz. “Smoke the weed, not the seeds.” It seems like sound advice, but what do I know?
- “I’ve Been High” – Khia. I think we all have. Don’t trust anybody who hasn’t at least tried weed.
- “Let’s Go Get Stoned” – Sublime. I think Ray Charles has a song with the same title. I don’t think he’d fit in on this list, though.
- “Easy Skanking” – Bob Marley. Today I’ll be “Skanking it slow…”
- “Bowl For Two” – The Expendables. A track for all of you romantics. “I packed a bowl for two.” Share a bowl with the one you love?
- “Mile High” – The Movement. Having just been in Denver, where the smell of weed is pervasive, this song is perfect. And my beloved whiskey gets a shout out here too. Everybody wins.
- “Gin and Juice” – Snoop Dogg (with others) – A story as old as time… your mom is out, you’re having a party with the ho’s and drinking gin. Your friend shows up with some “bubonic chronic” and “yeah, I’m fucked up now.”
- “Fat Spliffs” – Slightly Stoopid. The only way to roll one, I presume.
- “Blueberry Yum Yum” – Ludacris, Sleepy Brown. I’ve loved Luda since “One More Drink.”
- “Who’s Got the Herb” – 311. I’ve seen these guys in concert and they’re a great band.
- “I Got 5 On It” – Luniz, Micheal Marshall. I don’t know where she finds this music, but I’m glad the Rock Chick is out on that wall…
- “Smokin’ Love” – Stick Figure, Collie Buddz. This Collie Buddz keeps showing up on songs about weed… Could it be the name?
- “Legal Dub” – Sublime. I fear our next cat may be named “Legal Dub.”
- “Kush – Main” – Dr Dre and Snoop. Dre and Snoop are like peanut butter and jelly. They just belong together.
- “My Medicine” – Snoop Dogg. This is my favorite song on here. It’s Snoop doing a country track that he dedicates to Johnny Cash, a personal hero of mine. This is the funniest track on here.
- “This Joint” – Slightly Stoopid. Perhaps if they didn’t smoke so much weed, they’d be slightly smarter?
- “Burn By Myself” – The Dirty Heads. Where our hero laments the fact that he has to smoke his pot by himself.
- “Because I Got High” – Afroman. Is there a message in this song? I seem to remember my wife and daughter both being fans of this one back in the day… Hmmm.
Sure, there are probably hundreds of 420 play lists out there but none of them have that touch of the Rock Chick’s magic. And I know that stoners probably don’t have the stick-to-it, gung-ho urge to search this stuff out, but before you light that bowl, dial up Spotify and enjoy!