"If I should feel that I’d like a few drags, it’s just gotta be alright"
May 29, 2015 10:12 PM   Subscribe

“I just won’t carry on with such fear over nothing and I don’t intend to ever stop smoking it, not as long as it grows. And there is no one on this earth that can ever stop it all from growing. No one but Jesus, and he wouldn’t dare because he feels the same way that I do about it. It’s prettier for medical purpose.”

God bless that beautiful man, no one could have said it better.
posted by gideonswann at 10:55 PM on May 29, 2015 [17 favorites]

Once, just once, I want my dad — a fairly hard-line Church of Scotland elder, but lifelong Armstrong obsessive — to listen to his beloved music after a few tokes of gage: “So that's what it means …!”
posted by scruss at 4:55 AM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Louis + gage = this, and that's jake with me!

Thanks, flapjax at midnite.
posted by On the Corner at 5:07 AM on May 30, 2015

just came across his smiling face in martin a lee's excellent social history of marijuana smoke signals

"Mary Warner, you sure was good to me"
posted by paradise at 5:10 AM on May 30, 2015

Gil Evans said that every jazz trumpet player came from Louis Armstrong.
posted by goofyfoot at 5:28 AM on May 30, 2015

"...either fix it so I’m never arrested for possession again, or I quit playing trumpet forever."

And Glaser, who was known for his mob connections, made sure [Armstrong] never was busted again.

What a story, thanks for your post.
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 6:25 AM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

posted by glaucon at 7:56 AM on May 30, 2015

Beautiful. I love that Satch says the same thing over and over about fifteen different times and each time it's more and more colorful and delightful.
posted by vverse23 at 8:32 AM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

"It's prettier for medical purpose" is one of the most gorgeous sentences I've ever read. Even better when I Imagine it in Armstrong's voice.
posted by ostranenie at 9:02 AM on May 30, 2015

Louis + gage = this, and that's jake with me!

Hey, no objection here.
I got preposterously baked and shredded out a 4 minute long funk bass solo last night, it was the best friday night in recent memory dogg.
posted by jake at 10:38 AM on May 30, 2015 [5 favorites]

My father was a semi-pro jazz musician way back when and ended up at a party with Armstrong one night. He saw reefer consumption first hand, as well as some aggressive beer drinking.
posted by davebush at 11:38 AM on May 30, 2015

As an instrumentalist, pot is the wonder drug. A few puffs and old material feels fresh and new material flows from your fingers - and it doesn't impair your fingering. For shows, alcohol can be a trap because you stand around waiting to play and you get some free drinks... I can feel even two drinks in the accuracy of my fingering. (Not that the audience cares hugely about that - they rightfully prefer expressiveness to fingerflinging! - but you want to be as accurate as you can...)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:06 PM on May 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

A couple of years back I worked on dragging some old music documentaries out of BBC Radio 4's vault for reanimation. Here's The Armstrong Tapes, which may be of interest....
posted by peterkins at 12:21 PM on May 30, 2015 [5 favorites]

Just a visual reminder of the solder in "Pineapple Express" jamming out.
posted by clavdivs at 1:39 PM on May 30, 2015

Relatedly, I think.

Pops does not lie. Muggles are, I'm told, conducive to the visual as well as the musical arts.
posted by the sobsister at 3:30 PM on May 30, 2015

Here listen, I was not kidding about getting faded and slaying the bass yesterday (Trigger warning: DISCO)
(It's from an unreleased video game, and MOST of the track is muted so you can hear the bass, it's nuts)
Weed enhances music making, just straight up, Louis knew what was up
posted by jake at 4:36 PM on May 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

I have found that quitting, after I smoked it like a roadie for Steel Pulse for 20+ years, has also had a profound enhancing effect on my musical prowess.
posted by thelonius at 5:55 PM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

I recently listened to Roddy Doyle's Oh, Play That Thing. There's quite a bit of (fictional) Armstrong in there, with or without a bit of pot.
posted by MtDewd at 6:08 PM on May 30, 2015

Essential Reading: Really The Blues by Mezz Mezzrow, AKA Louis Armstrong's pot dealer.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:24 PM on May 30, 2015

> I have found that quitting, after I smoked it like a roadie for Steel Pulse for 20+ years, has also had a profound enhancing effect on my musical prowess.

I know a lot of people who play better when not stoned. Hardly surprising that people play better unimpaired! :-)

For years I thought that was the case for me, but I got a lot of compliments and have a lot of performances on tape that still sounded good later when sober. I realized that, for me, pot makes me much more critical of little errors or perceived timing or pitching flaws - as opposed to alcohol, which makes me more tolerant of these things. So I think I'm all over the place as I play, but actually I'm in the pocket.

Someone who gets panic attacks when smoking described her feelings once to me, and there was a strange parallel to what I feel - you perceive tiny irregularities (in her case, in her heart beat) and every unexpected sound is huge. Much the same as me, except I don't get the agita (when I'm playing, that is).

Those same tapes told me I tend to start singing sharp in the first song or two, and eventually I discovered that exactly one beer before I go on corrects this. Two beers is too much, but for whatever reason, one beer is exactly enough to relax my vocal cords so I can hit the notes in the first song correctly (and then I'm fine...) (Honesty compels me to add that good warm-ups are even more important, but I was always doing those...)

"Better living through chemistry." Thank Goodness huge quantities of alcohol or nasty white powders don't work for me - I'm not sure how it'd have ended up.

Here's a live performance of me when I was baked to the gills. It was the very last show of a long series of 80 long shows with lots of guests, and I had tried hard not to be all over the couple of hundred hours of recording (though not always successfully) but the place we were playing was closing, we were all sad, and I just let it all pour out...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:51 AM on May 31, 2015

This is a pretty great compilation album of Jazz songs about weed: Dope and Glory

The more you listen, the more you learn that jazz and mind altering substances have been historically closely intertwined- jazz couldn't exist without it, as exploration and innovation are part of the improvisational nature of jazz. To not alter mental states would be to ignore a whole realm of imaginative power.

A sublime jazz musician is loose yet in control, can walk the line, can channel the darkness and the light, can hear the larger work, and can do all this while listening to, making space for, and interacting with his/her bandmates.

Jazz music objectifies America. Regarding the dualities within jazz, Wynton Marsalis gently tweaks society in Ken Burns EPICALLY EXCELLENT Jazz documentary: "As they always say, the night people are out get the day people"
posted by Queen of Spreadable Fats at 1:51 PM on May 31, 2015

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