Thursday, May 5, 2011

A century of music and marijuana

The march of a million joints: strange name for an event that seeks to inherit the spirit of the Million Man march, which met in Washington in 1995 to thousands of people for racial equality. The march of the joints million held in over 150 cities worldwide to demand the legalization of marijuana. Although it calls the first Saturday in May, this Thursday is International Day for the Legalization of Cannabis.

Originally from the Himalayas, cultivated by man for thousands of years, cannabis is illegal for less than a century. That does not prevent the bud (marijuana) and derivatives (resin, hashish) are consumed by millions of people. Embedded in Western culture, cannabis has also been featured in books, films and music.

What got into them? What genres are soaked of its fragrance? What musicians were consumers and, by extension, 'criminals'? The romance between marijuana and music comes in the twenties, in days of confusion, vitality and jazz. Symbol of blackness, the sound of freedom and passion of a race, jazz comes to Chicago or New York in suitcases and hearts of thousands of blacks who came from southern cities like New Orleans.

In addition to jazz, his travels and marijuana permissive mood. Cannabis is cultivated throughout the United States, but only to make clothes and rope. It was not long before, in 1910, when Mexicans fleeing the Revolution popularized smoking the flowers in the southern U.S.. Jazz Lesson learned: many of the musicians helped to play, eliminating boundaries, was 'flow'.

So consumers sprout musicians names: Hoagy Carmichael, Milton Mezzrow (mediocre trumpet player, in turn, spent the best grass in Chicago) and Louis Armstrong, who was sentenced to five years for a butt (not served the sentence). Until its ban in 1937, hundreds of songs spoke of marijuana consumed later by the beatniks to jump, thanks to the hippies and musicians such as Willie Nelson, to other genres.

Bob Dylan, Gainsbourg's proved that as the writer Al Aronowitz, changed at once. Farewell to folk and politics: his rusty throat proclaimed as Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35, the virtues of the grass without leaving much room for imagination. "To put the whole world!" Proclaimed the chorus ...

It was not all that Dylan songs transmitted to other musicians: it was also he who passed the first joint to the hitherto 'innocent' Beatles. The date, August 28, 1964. The place, New York. To meet the Beatles to Dylan in a hotel, this happened to a joint Lennon: frightened, the Beatles chose not to try it, but Ringo was accepted and all catándolo ended.

Since then, words like high, grass or smoke would be common in the work of a Fab Four, as Lennon himself would acknowledge, smoked "up at breakfast." Sure, they paid. As Donovan, Eric Clapton or Neil Young, the Beatles had legal problems. McCartney was convicted twice for possession, but went especially wrong when in 1980 he was arrested at Tokyo airport with a kilo of boiler room in the suitcase.

Lennon Nor had it easy: the U.S. authorities denied for years the residence for possession of hashish. The rest is history: Green Card received in 1976 and four years later was murdered in the doorway of her home in New York. Yes "power of imagination and makes it different than normal" (Antonio Escohotado, philosopher and writer).

"I smoke a lot of marijuana when I write my songs" (Lady Gaga). "Smoking Mary helps me to make music. Open my mind" (Sinead O'Connor). "The joints tend to make more tactile and sensual. But only for 15 minutes: Make use of them, because then you will crush, will antanticreativos" (Joni Mitchell).

No. "I left. It's more to lose than to create" (Moebius, cartoonist and illustrator, author of The Incal). "The body and sends its own drugs to the brain. Of the drugs do not get anything new, except what you have and naturally" (Francisco Umbral). Not all the musical currents take the side of cannabis.

Straight Edge punk movement, spearheaded by groups like Earth Crisis, rejects the use of alcohol and drugs. Jamaica say is, for many, that reggae and marijuana. Cannabis came home in mid-century XIX, brought from India for sugar collectors. Reggae is back: the soul and rhythm and blues evolved to ska and, finally, to reggae, Rastafarians that musicalized demands and called for the unification of all Africans and the power of the black race.

The charm of songs like Bob Marley African Herbsman Redder Than Red or made him an ambassador of music and the local grass.

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