Cooler than you: the Velvet Underground
The three songs on the list so far have all been about sex and/or love (in rock’n’roll terms, there’s not much difference between the two). So where’s the third leg of the holy tripod? Where are the drugs?
There aren’t many drug songs from rock’s first decade or so. Certainly it wasn’t that people weren’t taking them; it’s just that they weren’t writing songs about them, or if they were, they were doing so in code. It just wasn’t socially acceptable to write overtly about drugs, or at least not commercially acceptable. By 1967, the Beatles certainly had experience with marijuana and LSD, but they never wrote a song identifiably about ganja, and John Lennon famously and disingenuously denied that “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was about acid. Even Jimi Hendrix, poster boy for the psychedelic lifestyle, ended “Are You Experienced?” with the disclaimer “not necessarily stoned, but beautiful.”
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