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"Stoners" and Otherwise
Hey, if it's not for you, it's not for you, eh? Otherwise... :)
I tend to have one big rule about this: While I'm playing I'd like to be
generally conscious of what I'm doing - and in the process of a fugue area
of a piece, it's quite all right to get lost in it for a bit (even better
when your listeners go there with you!). Perhaps it's like being a good
guide, to bring people back to the End of the Ride, perhaps changed or not.
That's THEIR choice. And if they choose to get stoned and enjoy my work,
that's their choice too. If it's a party situation, or not, I don't want
disappoint, dig? So in general I try to be less high than my listeners.
Later on, I'll relax.
I remember a show Steve Lawson had in 2001 with another fellow, an American
(sorry, can't remember his name despite being painfully straight as hell)
who at one point smelled the sweet familiar scent - which in retrospect
might have been a fox, whose pee smells an awful lot like skunk weed
that I've suspected that some folks put fox 'essence' on the stuff they
to add a false 'value for money' element - yes, I *hate* the phrase) - but
nonetheless, he asked something like "Is that grass?" and said if someone
were they should go outside. The venue would've been a bit odd, as it's
main chambers of a church. In retrospect I think it was a fox letting
outside, as I've smelled more fox pee in the air than dope in the interim.
There's a great couple of interviews in this month's Uncut with Pink
constituents. As the magazine decided to commemorate "Dark Side of the
Moon"'s 30th anniversary by calling it "the ultimate stoner classic" on the
cover - sounds like the idea of someone who never touched grass, frankly -
it perhaps seemed necessary for Mason, Waters, Gilmour, and Wright to
comment on not only the aspects of being stoned and listening to the album,
but a few aspects of "playing under the influence" as it were.
Richard Wright: "I have no recollection of him [Waters] or me smoking
as we recorded Dark Side. We were both smoking cigarettes. I did, of
course, smoke dope, but it doesn't agree with me. I've had terrible times
on it. I had a nightmare once where I did have something in Paris. I knew
I had to go on stage in a couple of hours time and I got too stoned. I had
a total freak-out. If I had nothing to do, literaly nothing, then I could
have a joint and relax. If I had to do anything - play music, go anywhere,
drive a car - I wuld just get paranoid. Dark Side certainly wasn't
or written under a haze of drugs. I couldn't have made that record if I was
stoned out on dope."
This is echoed in the statements of the other members of the band. The
magazine's interviewers held on to the "stoner classic" stuff like a dog
with a leather chew-toy, asking David Gilmour, "Roger, Rick and Nick have
recollection of any great degree of drug consumption around the making of
Dark Side of the Moon. Is this your recollection, too?"
He replied, "To be really honest with you, I can't remember. All of us,
pretty well most of our career, have been very, very professional in the
studio and I don't think that any drugs have played a significant role in
any of it. It's true that Roger and Nick were the drinkers, and Rick and I
would have a puff on a reffer once in a while. It's nice to listen to the
album that way [stoned]. It's an accidental byproduct, really. There's a
lot going on, lots of stuff semi-hidden, all sorts of layers... it's not
that simple to get it. The more you concentrate, the better you listen and
the more you'll get out of it. The classic stoner thing of a reefer and a
pair of headphones does, I'm sure, get you an awful lot out of it."
It's evident that even these greats of the so-called Psychedelic era have
fairly different impressions of the 'stoner classic' thing. I've played at
some medium-scale things where just about everyone was tripping, and I
usually got asked to play material as a kind of psychedelic lullaby of
sorts, during everyone's "peaking" (the most vulnerable time of course),
while things were winding down and folks were crawling into their
tents or sleeping bags etc. I felt honored (and still do) that the
organizers of the gigs trusted me to musically cradle the crowd. But I
My last gig in the US was at a large Pasadena party, where just about
everyone was on [Casteneda-style shudder] Mescaline. I wasn't, as [a] my
stomach couldn't handle it, and [b] I was too busy setting up my equipment.
Ever tried to plug stuff all together when it's changing color? No thanks
to that one. In this regard I'd adopt a loose rule that, while playing,
straighter than the folks I'm playing for. I have a lot less trouble being
the non-stoned one in a stoned crowd, if I'm performing for them, then I do
being stoned in the midst of non-stoned people. It's not my idea of
entertainment, and kind of reminds me of the bring-you-down bit at the end
of "The Groove Tube" called "The Dealers". White socks. If you haven't
seen it, see it.
And get this month's Uncut if you want to read other stuff about the rest.
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