Dizzy Gillespie (1917 -1993)

From 420 Magazine

"When I came to New York in 1937,' Dizzy Gillespie recalled in his autobiography, 'I didn't drink nor smoke marijuana. "You gotta be a square muthafucka!" Charlie Shavers said and turned me on to smoking pot. Now, certainly, we were not the only ones. Some of the older musicians had been smoking reefers for 40 and 50 years. Jazz musicians, the old ones and the young ones, almost all of them that I knew smoked pot, but I wouldn't call that drug abuse.'

References to marijuana, under various aliases, abound on early recordings: Here Comes the Man with the Jive; good news If You're a Viper, Viper Mad for Sweet Marijuana Brown; Light Up and Jack,I'm Mellow. Too bad, however, if The G-Man Got the T-Man and All the Jive is Gone, in which case, Save the Roach for Me. These titles (and numberous others) have been collected, remastered and reissued on compilation albums, such as Reefer Songs and Viper Mad Blues. Let's take a moment to conjure the image of the hissing viper taking a swift, sly suck on a skinny little joint. A 'viper' is a toker, which practically all jazz musicians were and the viper songs celebrated a new social hero: the dude who supplied the inspirational herb that made the rent parties go with a swing.

Save 10% on All Products









No comments:

Post a Comment