Yesterday, after someone suggested I watch a silly (fake) clip of the Lawrence Welk Show band "performing" the Velvet Underground's "Sister Ray," I was reminded of the soulless pop vocal version of Brewer & Shipley's top ten (bong) "hit" "One Toke Over The Line" which actually made it onto the Lawrence Welk Show. DAMN. I reckon we all know "toke" is a drug reference and that the reference made it onto the most square of variety shows must'a had ALL the head's heads spinning! Right, well, the idea of a drug reference in pop songs ain't new, but the Lawrence Welk Show silliness reminded me of my favorite not so veiled dope reference song: Tim Hardin's "Red Balloon." It's a beautiful love song he wrote to his one true love, heroin; the song was an album track on Tim Hardin 2. Thing is, as great as the Hardin version is, I always thought the Small Faces gave the better reading of the song. They finish it like a band would, their arrangement is BIGGER, and slightly lysergic.
Also I sorta don't remember any of these boys, the "Darlings of Wapping Wharf Launderette," ever being stung out on heroin; they liked speed. The Small Faces also recorded a killer version of Hardin's well known "If I Were A Carpenter."