No square Diamond
With a clean cut appearance and songs like "Sweet Caroline," "Beautiful Noise," and "Forever in Blue Jeans," Neil Diamond has presented a wholesome image since the late 60's. To many, his name belongs in the dullsville of pop crooners with the likes of Burt Bacharach and Johnny Mathis and other stuff old people listen to.
In addition to being overlooked for his coolness, his playful “Pot Smoker's Song" from the 1968 release Velvet Gloves and Spit is a song that is barely known, even among his fans. A bouncy tune, it's pretty much a repeating chorus interspersed with ridiculous testimonials of how pot can destroy your life in the most unimaginable ways. A subtle attack on some of the more laughable attempts at anti-pot propaganda, the song is so well done it's easy to believe that it could have actually been written for a backed by more money than brains government sponsored ad.
Neil himself was no stranger to pot. In 1976 his home was raided on suspicion of possession. Though he had less than an ounce, he still had to attend a six month drug aversion program to have his record expunged.
The fake testimonials in the song remind me of some of the more humorous anti-drug ads over the years. The first one makes drugs look more fun than they are (big mistake!), the second one a catch phrase classic, and the third one a terrible attempt to connect two marginally related issues.
And a couple of my favorite anti-drug ads, not-coincidentally featuring young beautiful women:
Rachel Leigh Cook