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About a drug dealer. It is one of the first songs to deal with harsh realities of drug use, and condemns "the pusher" as a heartless criminal who is only after your money.
Written by Hoyt Axton after one of his friends died of a drug overdose. Axton has written songs for many artists, including Elvis Presley, The Byrds, and Three Dog Night.
This was popularized by a Canadian group called The Sparrows, who played it as a long jam during their concerts. Steppenwolf recorded a much shorter, more radio-friendly version.
Along with Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild," this was featured in the 1969 movie Easy Rider, starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. The film is considered a landmark of '60s counterculture, and using this song in the movie was important because it portrayed the downside of doing drugs.
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