Seattle scene veteran Kerri Harrop shares a tale or two about cannabis, music, and the ties that bind them
My very first memory of marijuana is firmly wrapped in music.
It was the early ‘70s, and we lived in a red house, in Mukilteo. At the time, it was a sleepy little community, littered with artists and creative types. When she wasn’t busting her ass as a cocktail waitress, my mom painted pictures, and we had tire swings in the front yard.
Her boyfriend, Neil, lived with us. He helped plant a big garden in the backyard, and converted a small porch off the kitchen into a darkroom, where he developed the black and white photos he was always taking.
We called him Fuzzy, because of his long hair and thick beard. Fuzzy was always kind to us, and we loved him. We especially loved him when his band would practice in the living room. A raggedy group of longhairs would show up, and make a terrific racket, while my sister and I drifted off to sleep.
Like any kid forming memories, I was highly attuned to the smells of my surroundings. The sharp chemical odor from Fuzzy’s darkroom, where trays of fixer were always full. The homemade bread my mom would bake, trying to stretch every one of our meager dollars.
I was in kindergarten, and had recently written my first and only fan letter. It was to my idol, Cher. I had learned from my teenage aunt that Cher and I had the same birthday, which only increased my devotion to her career.
“The White Man always called me “Indian Squaw,” she would belt out, in her 1973 hit “Half Breed.” I would clutch my Sacajawea doll, and wish for long, braided hair.
One night, with Fuzzy’s band jamming in the living room, I woke up. I laid in the dark, listening intently, and wishing the band would play my favorite song.
I crept to the bathroom, and it was then, that it hit me. A sweet, pungent smell, wafting down the hall. It smelled exotic, and made me think of camping in the woods on
It was weed.
Fuzzy’s guitar wailed, as I snuck back to bed. I never again smelled marijuana in the house and, about a year later, after a loud fight, my mom packed us up, and we moved away in the middle of the night.
I still love the steel guitar, and that sweet, sweet smell that often accompanies it.
When I was 19, I went to Jamaica for Christmas. I was living in London, and working as a nanny for a well to-do family with a little baby boy. I was spoiled by all the readily available hash in England, but still missed that NW green. It was hard to find good weed in old London town.
After a couple of weeks in the hills of Montego Bay, I flew back to England, separate from the family. Filled with the indestructible confidence of youth, I scored a ounce of quality Jamaican chronic, and stashed it in my panties for the long flight home.
In retrospect, it was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done. But, man, were my friends happy to see me.
The very first time I hitchhiked, the first vehicle that passed picked us up. The back of the old Econoline van was filled with gigantic speakers, and two kindly old hippie dudes sat in the front. As we climbed in, the passenger turned his bearded head, and uttered the first sentence.
“You kids like to get high?”
They smoked us out, while regaling us with tales of being on the road. It is the very first time I can remember hearing the Grateful Dead. I didn’t think much of the music, but Bob and Roy sure were nice.
When Amy’s mom was going through Chemo, I would bring her a joint on her visits to Seattle. It helped with her dwindling appetite, and soothed her fraying nerves. Marijuana had become a crucial part of her pain management.
One holiday season, Amy consulted with her dad, and gave her mom a vaporizer. A few years later, on Christmas Eve, Carol died.
I sure wish I’d been able to smoke with her.
– I worked at Sup Pop Records in the early to mid-90s, and it wasn’t terribly uncommon for bands to request drugs when they rolled through town. It was always such a relief when all they wanted was a sack of weed. Sure beat having to deal with sketchy pushers.
– I smoked a joint on the observation deck of the Space Needle one night. It was awesome.
-My friend Derek and I shared a fat doobie in the back of a Ride the Ducks boat while we were floating around Lake Union. It ruled.
-Pestering a DJ with song requests is unacceptable behavior. Dropping a fat blunt at the turntables at the end of the night, however, is encouraged.
-I might Snoop Dogg once. He was having a bad day and I made him laugh. He was high as fuck.
-Everyone knows this to be fact: Security guys at the club almost always have the best weed.