HomeNewsHippie Digest: Tommy Chong’s Great Encounter – 10 Best Live Albums – 40 Years Of Los Lobos – Ours is Yours

Readers’ Poll: The 10 Best Live Albums of All Time
Selections include ‘The Last Waltz,’ ‘Live Bullet’ and ‘Live at Leeds’
1. The Who – ‘Live at Leeds’
In late 1969, Pete Townshend made one of the dumbest decisions of his life. The Who had been contemplating a live album to chronicle their Tommy world tour. Thirty-eight shows were recorded in pristine sound quality, but Pete didn’t feel like going through all of them to find the best one. Instead, he decided to tape two upcoming shows at Leeds and Hull in England. He ordered sound engineer Bob Pridden to burn all 38 shows from 1969. “It was a dumb decision commercially and historically,” Townshend writes in his memoir, Who I Am. “Bob faithfully destroyed them in a bonfire in his garden.” More…

Tommy Chong’s Great Encounter with Stuart Varney
Marijuana advocate Tommy Chong had a bizarre yet hilarious interview with Stuart Varney on Varney & Co. Chong maintained that marijuana increases fine motor skills, and that this is why professional golfers use marijuana to improve their game. He argued that “potheads” were responsible for President Obama’s re-election. The best moment came when Chong speculated that Varney himself is a pot smoker.

How The Wolf Survived: 40 Years Of Los Lobos
Chicano hippies playing mariachi music. That was my first impression of Los Lobos when I first saw the band back in the mid-1970s, before it had any albums out.

By that time, Los Lobos had already been a garage-rock band, so it was in the midst of falling back on our parents’ music, having discovered just how complex it was. These guys dug deep into rancheras, son jarochos and guapangos to find the sources of the music for themselves — and, by extension, other Baby Boomer Mexican-Americans who were calling themselves Chicanos.

For their first independently released album in 1978, they played that folk music and called themselves Los Lobos del Este de Los Angeles. The band was a staple at parties when I was in college. Then, in 1983, Los Lobos’ first EP (…And a Time to Dance) fired a warning shot to rock music, suggesting impending change.

Released a year later, Los Lobos’ breakthrough album — How Will the Wolf Survive? — made it clear to everyone who heard it that loving The Rolling Stones as much as Flaco Jimenez was as natural as loving the Stones and, say, Woody Guthrie. More…


Mrs.Powers was the prettiest teacher I had ever seen
When I was a sophomore in high school she was the dish
I obsessively fantasized over when not pursuing girls my own age.

I’d take the long way to nearly every class then I’d slow down by her door,
crane my neck for a not too obvious sideways peek like I was passing the gates of heaven.
A furtive glance and an insatiable desire to catch a glimpse of her stooping or crossing her legs
and not watch where I was going and collide into another horny student coming from the other direction
both losing our attentions in our lookings followed by textbooks tumbling,
slamming the floor, making her turn and look, but I’d be gone.

Those accidents happened a lot that year before I was assigned to her class,
when like many boys my age I discovered true titillation reading Terry Southern’s
Lolita light sex romp “Candy.” I would mentally devour passages and even entire chapters
concealing “Candy” inside my textbook and forget where I was and become so aroused
that when the class bell rang, I’d have a damn hard on and had to hide it
behind my books I strategically carried in front of my waist.

Anyway that following year I was placed in Mrs.Powers class as eager as a puppy
till the dread set in when she called me to the front of the class to read my composition
just as I was staring at her from the safety of my desk
with salacious thoughts like she was an incarnation of Marilyn Monroe.
Standing beside her I felt like a raisin stuttering and nervous, a fly too close to the fire.
When she noticed my discomfort, she gently touched my shoulder
and I jumped as if she had put ice down my shirt.

Up close her scent and glow left me wobbly wrestling with my id
thrusting my loins so high in my head they swamped my mind
recalling her stretching in her high heels,
her hem rising to chalk a lesson on the highest section of the blackboard.

And it was as frightening as salvation when she fleetingly looked into my eyes
as if she could read my thoughts and then smiled so sweetly she melted my shaking body
into a lump of wax oozing as if a laser had struck and lit it like a candle.

She carried herself with grace and elegance just like the wife of a very lucky judge, which she was.
And watching her then and remembering her now, I’m still not sure how brave I might have been
in the ultimate and unlikely scenario of her stepping out of her dress to seduce me.

March 2010


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