Celebrating famous female cannabis connoisseurs throughout herstory to the present day. All contents copyrighted. “Bright Leaf” artwork by Jean Hanamoto http://www.camomoto.com
Monday, October 12, 2015
The Day John Denver Died
|Annie and John Denver|
The film points out that Denver, who projected a wholesome innocence, was known for his catchphrase “Far Out.” Early footage of him singing an anti-Ku Klux Klan song with the Chad Mitchell Trio reveals his politicization, and he’s also shown with Peter, Paul and Mary singing his song, “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” a tune that became an anthem for US boys flying off to Vietnam.
Denver told reporters at a 1976 press conference in Sydney, Australia, “Sure I enjoy hashish. I use it. I have a lot of fun with the stuff. But it’s like alcohol. You shouldn’t let it get out of hand.” According to High Times magazine (March 1976), “One shocked religious leader in Arizona called for Denver to be deported immediately. A newspaper columnist described the candid quote as ‘. . . like Billy Graham announcing he was going into Blue Movies’.”
John’s writing of the song “Rocky Mountain High,” now an official Colorado state song, is covered in the film. But the origin of the lyric, “And they say that he got crazy once and he tried to touch the sun,” about an LSD trip he took, is omitted. Denver wrote in his autobiography Take Me Home that the song wasn’t just about tripping, saying, “It was also about exhilaration, freedom and morality.” He added, “Exploring inner space had become as important to my generation as the exploration of outer space.”
The filmmaker interviewed Denver’s first wife Annie, she of the wedding favorite “Annie’s Song.” In the film, both she and John talk about how the song was written, when John took to the ski slopes near their Aspen home after the couple had a fight. John’s description made me wonder whether he’d had a puff to enhance his physical activity on that day, since he says, “Suddenly I was hypersensitive to how beautiful every thing was.” His thoughts lead to the first line, “You fill up my senses.”
The only nod to Denver’s marijuana smoking comes at the end of the film, when his lyric “while all my friends and my old lady sit and pass a pipe around” from the song from “Poems, Prayers, and Promises” is heard.
Later Denver, a victim of his own ambition/need for acceptance whose music was excoriated by rock critics, succumbed to drinking and had several drunk driving arrests. He was only 53 when his plane plunged into the Pacific Ocean near Monterey, California on October 12, 1977.
“Sure he was a hippie, but he was one the whole family could enjoy,” read his obituary in the Guardian.
Film of Denver on Jacques Cousteau’s boat demonstrates his support of Cousteau, through proceeds of his song “Calipso.” Denver was appointed by Jimmy Carter to work on hunger in Africa, akin to the moment God chose him to spread his word in the movie “Oh, God!”
See a clip of the film:
Taffy Nivert, co-author of “Country Roads,” is shown here with Denver singing VIP Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee” including a verse that hammers home the point that it’s a parody song.Tokin Woman Celebrating famous female cannabis connoisseurs throughout herstory to the present day. All contents copyrighted. “Bright Leaf” artwork by Jean Hanamoto http://www.camomoto.com ]]>