Friday, June 09, 2023

La Fin de la Semaine Essay Question: Special "I Worry That Drugs Have Made Us More Creative Than We Really Are" Edition

From his utterly brilliant 1970 album Bad Rice, please enjoy multi-talented San Francisco eminence grise Ron Nagle and his droll and hard rocking cautionary tale of one man's descent into "Marijuana Hell."

Nagle is, as I hinted up top, a really interesting guy, and certainly the closest thing to a Renaissance Dude to have emerged from the San Francisco rock scene. He's had a long and way interesting career as a sculptor -- here's a piece of his that's part of the collection at the Smithsonian American Art Museum --

-- and as musician, after a 60s stint in Fillmore faves The Mystery Trend and the aforementioned solo album, he enjoyed a few minor hits as a songwriter with his New Wave band The Durocs. He also worked on the sound effects for The Exorcist, which is pretty cool, obviously.

I should add that while readying this post I was delighted to discover that Bad Rice was given a deluxe (two CDs with bonus tracks) reissue by the good folks at Omnivore Recordings, and you can (and should) order it at their website HERE.

But now to business. To wit:

...and your favorite or least favorite post-Elvis rock, pop, folk or soul record whose title or lyrics clearly reference drugs of some kind is...?


And have a great weekend, everybody!!!

POSTSCRIPT: The joke in today's title was originally uttered by Lily Tomlin in her 1985 The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. You're welcome.


getawaygoober said...

Thanks for giving Ron Nagle's Bad Rice good notice. Bought the album in 70 and played for many folks who never heard of him. I remember the review in Rolling Stone at the time said something to the effect of out-doing Elton John and other singer-songwriters. Especially like Ry Cooder's playing on it. Other highlights are 61 Clay, Party in LA, Capricorn Queen, Sister Cora.

edward said...

Guessing Heroin by the Velvet Underground is a little to on the nose

Lawrence Welk & crews rendition of One Toke Over the Line deserves honorable mention.

I guess I'll have to go back to the FCC's banned drug song list of the 70's to pull up some real winners.

Cleveland Jeff said...

Wacky Tobaccy - NRBQ

Gummo said...

Henry - New Riders of the Purple Sage
Casey Jones - Grateful Dead
White Light White Heat - Velvet Underground
Cold Turkey - Plastic Ono Band
Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue - The Ramones
Carbona Not Glue - The Ramones
Chinese Rocks - The Heartbreakers
White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane

Anonymous said...

My obvious choices are “Dead Flowers” and “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” by the Stones
“Heroin” Lou Reed R&R Animal version with Dick and Steve
Just Like a Woman-Zim
The Pusher-Steppenwolf (not Hoyt Axton's version which is awful)
Along Comes Mary-Association

Sweet Leaf - Sabbath
Carmelita - Zevon
Kid Charlemagne, Dr, Wu - Steely Dan
Don't Bogart That Joint - Fraternity of Man
King Heroin - James Brown
White Punks On Dope - Tubes
Before the Kiss, A Redcap – Blue Oyster Cult
Here Come the Nice-Small Faces
Truckin’-Grateful Dead
Sam Stone – John Prine
Smoke Two Joints-Toyes; Sublime
Legalize It
Cocaine Blues, Hurt – Johnny Cash
Puttin’ People On the Moon; Let There Be Rock - Drive-by Truckers
Poppies – Patti Smith
Rock & Roll Widow-Three Dog Night
NeedLE & tHE Spoon, That Smell-Lynyrd Skynyrd

Scoring songs

Waiting for the Man VU
Magazine – Rickie Lee Jones
Downtown - Crazy Horse


No No Song – Ringo (so I have a Hoyt Axton in both best and worst)
I Shot the Sheriff, Cocaine – Clapton (both covers but ,,, stick with the originals)
Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue – worst song on Ramones debut
Wildwood Weed – Jim Stafford
Insane in the Brain - Cypress Hill

Steve- in case You haven't seen this yet. Start 15 minutes in


Phil Cheese said...

Got To Get You Into My Life. In the lyrics, just replace occurrences of "you" with "MJ" and there you have it! As a teenager in the 1970s, I always suspected Paul was singing about that, and then he finally began admitting it during interviews in the 1990s.

Anonymous said...

Willin' - Little Feat
Cocaine Eyes - Neil Young
CCKMP - Steve Earle
Cocaine - JJ Cale
Legalize It - Peter Tosh
Lamb's Bread - UB40

- Paul in DK

Alzo said...

Ray Davies was more of an alcohol kinda (Kinks) guy, but on 'Low Budget' he sings "I've got some downers and speed/all the drugs that I need/but I can't buy a gallon of gas."

Anonymous said...

Let It Bleed, Mother's Little Helper, Sister Morphine - Stones
Jimi Hendrix - The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice
Yellow Pills - 20/20
Out of Control - Dave Alvin
Put the Coke On My Dick - Ween
Late In the Evening - Paul Simon
30 Days In the Hole, Only a Roach - Humble Pie
Rebel Rebel, Time, Station To Station, All the Young Dudes - Bowie
Girl On LSD - Tom Petty
Amphetamine Annie - Canned Heat
St. Stephen - Grateful Dead
Intergalactic Laxative - Donovan
Wasted - Runaways
Snowblind - Sabbath


Snowblind - Styx


danny1959 said...

"Drugs" by Talking Heads.

Anonymous said...

The Acid Queen, 5:15 - The Who'
Panama Red - New Riders
Mr. Brownstone - Guns n Roses (I love you Duff)
Junkie and the Juicehead - Kistofferson
Horsehead - Black Crowes
High On a Horse, Inside-Looking Out (nickel bag) - Grand Funk Railroad
Don't Step On the Grass Sam - Steppenwolf
Pot Commercial - Spanky & Our Gang
Rock Show - Paul McCartney (score an ounce) (judges?)
White Honey - Graham Parker


That Acapulco Gold - Rainy Daze
Dr. Feelgood - Motley Crue


Anonymous said...

Alcohol- Kinks
Demon Alcohol- Ozzy Osbourne
Summer Wine- Nancy Sinatra

Anonymous said...

Down the Honkytonk - Frankie Miller
Buy and Sell - Laura Nyro
Truckin' Off Across the Sky - Guess Who
Dead Men Tell No Tales - Motorhead
Opium Trail, Got To Give It Up - Thin Lizzy
Essence - Lucinda Williams
Cover of the Rolling Stone - Dr. Hook
Any number of Shel Silverstein Songs
Passage to Bangkok - Rush
Any number of David Peel songs
People Who Died-Drive-by Truckers (Jim Carroll) (all fans of Neil & Crazy Horse should locate DBT's Live at the 40 Watt DVD. The classic line-up with Jason Isbell made Neil and Crazy Horse look like pussies. DBT knew how to build a concert while getting saturated with booze. Turn the lights off and make the walls shake. If you're so inclined)

Gotta crash. Had an great time tonight. Later

Anonymous said...

"Marijuana Hell" is one of two tracks on the album not written by Nagle. It was penned by John Blakeley (Stoneground). Bad Rice brought togetheer a lot of great people. Jack Nitzsche and Tom Donahue production. Bruce Botnick and Henry Lewy engineering. Ry Cooder, John Blakeley, and the West Virginia Creeper on guitar, Brad Dexter bass. Mick Waller and Geirge Rains on drums. Even Sal Valentino on backing vocals!

Nagle also wrote a couple of songs for his buddies in Stoneground and later a handful for Pablo Cruise. Even Babs covered one of his songs. Probably his most recognizable tune is the one he co-wrote with Jane Dorknacker (Leila & the Snakes), "Don't Touch Me There," for the Tubes.

blogosphere is backwards again

getawaygoober said...

Blue Oyster Cult - Then Came the Last Days of May

steve simels said...

Mick Waller was on Bad Rice? I’d forgotten that, thanks.

Nick said...

Damage Done-Neil Young

Anonymous said...

Ick Waller, great drummer who proved himself on Rod Stewart's Gasoline Alley.
That album is one of my Desert Island Disc's

Anonymous said...

I have read through this list a few times but it seems this was overlooked, correct me if I am wrong...The Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated. ;-)


cthulhu said...

God Loves a Drunk - Richard Thompson
Down Where the Drunkards Roll - Richard and Linda Thompson (saw RT and Loudon Wainwright III do this live acoustic, several years ago)
Most of Quadrophenia, but I’ll mention 5:15 specifically, because I love how they often improvise during the middle section
Narcotic Prayer, Bordertown - Chris Whitley

Anonymous said...

Saw Iggy Pop and The Free Band last night put on a fantastic show. So one more that may be the best of all: Lust For Life.

- Paul in DK

Allan Rosenberg said...

America's favorite drug:

Guns, Guns, Guns - The Guess Who

Captain Al

Anonymous said...

I love "Then Came the Last Days In May," getaway goober. I also agree with all the titles you singled out on Nagle's record. You from Florida? Sometimes I get a sense:) Just curious.

Hey Paul in DK: Congrats on seeing Iggy! He played four dates in Los Angeles in April. I went to three of the four. The ones in small venues. The fourth show was at a festival so I skipped it. He also played The Pearl in Vegas which I also attended. Big fan since I saw the Stooges on "Mid-Summer Rock" TV concert in 1970. At the time I was in high school. My parents were gone and I had male student over. He was kinda quiet but he was cool. He had a girlfriend but we ended up smoking some pot, watching the concert (which also featured Alice Cooper, Traffic, Mountain). Long story short, we got horny and wound up in bed. He got kicked off the football team because he was supposed to be at practice. Mission accomplished :)

Draw the Line, Reefer-Headed Woman, Monkey On My Back - Aerosmith

Lit Up - Buckcherry

Snowblind - Steppenwolf

For Your Life - Led Zeppelin

Coming Into Los Angeles - Arlo Guthrie

Marijuana - Merle Haggard

Going Back To Colorado -Zephyr

It's All Going To Pot - Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard

Accidental Suicide - John Mayall (about Hendrix)

New York Dolls - Looking For a Kiss

Tripmaker - The Seeds

Before They Make Me Run - Stones

Jesus Shootin' Heroin - Flaming Lips

Shooting Star - Bad Company

Coccaine - Jackson Browne (trad)

Illegal Smile - John Prine

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under the Bridge

Lemonheads - My Drug Buddy

Lou Reed - Walk On the Wild Side

Smuggler's Blues - Glenn Frey

Hotel California, Life In the Fast Lane, Tequila Sunrise (but booze shouldn't count-fuck the science :) - Eagles

Hairy Ass Hillbillies - Jerry Jeff Walker

Shepherds of the Nation - Kinks

A Pirate Looks at 40 - Jimmy Buffett

Needle In the Hay - Elliot Smith

Tonight's the Night - Neil Young

Any number of reggae songs TNTC - Marley Tosh Everybody else smoka da kaya, mon

A good portion of Sublime's output

I did some heavy ambidextrous multi-tasking tonight at the jazz gig we were at. Always have carried a Steno-Pad in my purse from the time I was a kid. Taking notes on life seeds it in your memory. Like to write down the setlists and notes about the show. And whenever a drug song pops in back of my mind, I note it so it doesn't slip away.

Thank you for another flash, Captain Al.

Happiness Is a Warm Gun - Beatles


JD Goldberg said...

Copperhead Road-Steve Earle

Anonymous said...

ANON - Jesus, those were the days. For $5 you could see Alice,Leslie,Steve.
I couldn't afford to see Jimi today.
Couple years ago I searched Fleetwood Mac - $ 850 a ticket in nosebleed


getawaygoober said...

For Anonymous (VR),
As a matter of fact, I am from Florida. Good catch, don't know what tipped it off.

Alzo said...

Wow- this much feedback and not one mention of the Rock 'n' Roll Dean Martin of Heroin, Johnny Thunders?
Dead or Alive.

M_Sharp said...

And let's not forget ""Too much junky business" by the aforementioned Mr. Thunders

Anonymous said...

Bass Strings - Country Joe & the Fish
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 - Zim
Tweeter and the Monkey Man - Traveling Wilburys
Roll Another Number - Neil Young
Spoonful - Blues Project, Butterfield Blues Band, Cream, Shadows of Knight, The Rats (pre-Mick Ronson), Chris Whitley, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Dion, Howlin' Wolf, Ten Years After, Canned Heat, Allman Joys, Koko Taylor, John Hammond, Delbert McClinton, George Thorogood, Willie Dixon, Leslie West and on and on and on ............