Monday, September 4, 2017

Did "The Pusher" song by Hoyt Axton save lives?

It saved mine. I have lived through some interesting times having grown up around the 1960s and even 70s drug culture. I've often ascribed my survival to the Steppenwolf song "The Pusher", since it came out. Since I first heard it. Though obviously it also had to be considered with a certain level of intelligence, my own DNA and simply how I was raised.

I got to see a solo John Kay of Steppenwolf on stage in Seattle in the early 80s, which was pretty awesome.

I always avoided anything I thought I wouldn't be able to kick. So I've never done heroin. Opium in the late 70s and I really liked it. A lot. But it was only more the proof to the belief. The 80s were potential for a mistake in the flood of cocaine back then. But somehow I got through it all with my life, my dignity and my friends.

Yet that single line, "...I never touched nothin' that my spirit could kill", resonated in my mind all through the 1970s and 80s. After that things toned down a lot for me.

The Pusher (Steppenwolf, 1968) first stanza:

"You know I've smoked a lot of grass
O' Lord, I've popped a lot of pills
But I never touched nothin'
That my spirit could kill"

"He’s smoked his fair share of weed and messed around with some uppers/downers, which was extremely commonplace at the time. However, he made sure not to cross the line into hard drug territory with spirit killing drugs like heroin."

"The Pusher" is a rock song written by Hoyt Axton, made popular by the 1969 movie Easy Rider which used Steppenwolf's version to accompany the opening scenes showing drug trafficking.

Songwriter Hoyt Axton did not record "The Pusher" himself until he included it on his 1971 album, Joy to the World.[citation needed]

The lyrics of the song distinguish between a dealer in drugs such as marijuana—who "will sell you lots of sweet dreams"—and a pusher of hard drugs such as heroin—a "monster" who doesn't care "if you live or if you die".

Whatever it is that we latch onto that keeps us alive through our formative and into our adult years in helping us to be smarter than stupid, is certainly worth finding and having. What's yours?

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