February 13, 2019

It was as incongruous a sight as you could hope to see in the mid-afternoon light of the Burbank Hilton lounge—Lemmy Kilmister, the subsonic genius behind Motörhead, standing alone at the bar, hunched over a glass of whiskey like a bronze statue of Atlas sinking beneath the weight of a metal sky. He was dressed in black with two studded belts and a pair of white ankle boots with Cuban heels like Elvis used to wear onstage in V...

August 14, 2018

I’ll never forget being four years old and watching Elvis’s Aloha from Hawaii satellite broadcast back in ’73. My diaper days were behind me, I owned the fastest Big Wheel on the block, and now this: a comic-book man-god dressed in a red-white-and-blue American eagle suit and cape, singing “Dixie” with sweat running from his eyes like tears. It would remain the coolest image of my life until I caught my first glimpse of tit a...

August 14, 2018

In the coming months, you will be hearing a lot about White Boy Rick, which is the street name of Richard Wershe Jr., who, while still a teenager, managed to be sentenced to life for cocaine distribution. A large part of the reason people are now being hipped to Rick’s story is due to the journalism of Seth Ferranti, who himself did 21 years in prison on a drug conspiracy charge when he was a young man. And while the two have...

April 19, 2018

I started doing drugs when I was a baby. I picked up a nicotine habit when I was a zygote, then a few months after my birth, I started hitting the barbiturates. My mother tells the story like this: I cried a lot, more than most. It was a raw deal, swapping out warm, amniotic bliss for the sights and sounds of living. She took me to the doctor and explained what was wrong with me. I was a malcontent, easily disturbed. He gave h...

October 31, 2017

When you’re out in the wilderness any small gift is magic. Like right now I’m waiting for the two Steves to wake up and all I can think about is coffee. And when I get that coffee, I am not going to care if it is Jamaican Blue Mountain or Folgers freeze-dried crystals. Such is the nature of hunger. When want and need grow strong enough, any facsimile of the object desired can be fulfilling. Dogs like their Alpo, but they’ll ea...

October 16, 2017

The first serious marijuana garden I ever saw, before I became Cultivation Editor at High Times, back when I was still a lowly freelancer trying to impress the boss, belonged to a guy named the Dirt Farmer. He was a bit of a legend around the office—a friendly farmer with his own pot plantation somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line. People would tell stories of this wild old hick with three hundred plants in his backyard jus...

October 15, 2017

When you consider the events of April 19, 1995, and you see those photos of the gutted Alfred P. Murrah Building, images of first responders pulling dead babies from the wreckage, you can’t help but ask, who was Timothy McVeigh? Who was this Desert Storm hero from Pendleton, New York whose last meal was two pints of Haagen-Dazs mint-chip ice cream? Who liked fast cars and Star Trek: The Next Generation? Who at one point consid...

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