A Child’s Garden of Grass (a pre-legalization comedy)

“A Child’s Garden of Grass” was a comedy album that was nearly 50 years ahead of its time. Subtitled “A Pre-legalization Comedy” it foresaw the day that occurred in my home state of Michigan this past election day and all across Canada not too long before that: the legalisation of marijuana for recreational use.

I’ll admit it. I used to smoke pot. I haven’t in decades, but I did pretty regularly back in the late ’70s (not too bright for a kid still in high school, but hey, I still got good grades). The thing is, I never saw marijuana use as any different from drinking alcohol – with one exception – it was illegal. I never felt it should be. Well, it’s not any more. This record knew that day would eventually come. Way back in 1971, it knew.

When I ran across this record a couple of weeks ago, I had to pick it up. It brought back memories relating to a book of the same name that I read back in the day (The book was subtitled “The Official Handbook for Marijuana Users”) This album is based on that book which was published a year earlier. I found the book in my high school library during my junior year. (Disclaimer: It wasn’t a book that actually belonged to the school library. I always guessed that somebody put it on the shelves as a joke, for someone to find…and guess what!) I decided to use it later as the subject for an English class book report assignment. Now that might seem a little brazen, but you see, the whole school knew I had smoked pot anyway. Students, teachers, the administration, even the janitors. (Let’s just say there was an incident during my sophomore year and leave it at that.) So I figured what the hell, let’s have some fun.

I think my general synopsis of the book was that I found it to be factually accurate but at the same time, absolutely hilarious. The same goes for this album. The one thing I will say is that I remember the book being more detailed. “A Child’s Garden of Grass”, the album, is a somewhat quirky collection of the more humorous parts of the book of the same name. But right now, it’s mostly a great trip down memory lane.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I got a ‘C’ on the book report. The teacher told me I would have gotten an ‘A’ but they marked it down because of the poor choice of subject matter.

I didn’t care. It was so worth it.

The B52’s – Wild Planet

I’ve been told by my friends and family that sometimes I take life too seriously. Sometimes I even say that to myself. It’s times like those that the B-52’s are the perfect band for me to listen to. I don’t care what album it is by them. They’re all good. But “Wild Planet” is probably my favorite, but only because it’s the album I first heard by them. 

If ever there was a band that didn’t take itself too seriously it’s the B-52’s. They border on being a novelty band, but unlike most novelty bands, their songs are timeless and even have a decent level of musicianship. But most importantly, they are a band that reminds you to stop taking life too seriously and just have some fun.