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Hot Smoke and Sasafrass by Bubble Puppy
Album: A Gathering Of PromisesReleased: 1969Charted:
This song was inspired by an episode of the TV show The Beverly Hillbillies where Granny said, "Hot smoke and sassafras, Jethro, can't you do anything right?" The group liked the phrase and wrote the song around it as an ode to meditating while smoking marijuana.
Bubble Puppy was an Austin, Texas group founded by guitarist Rod Prince out of a previous band called the Bad Seeds. Their name is a reference to the children's game "Centrifugal Bumble Puppy" in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Many listeners at the time thought the name was a reference to smoking marijuana out of a water pipe.
Bubble Puppy was signed to the short-lived International Artists label, which was also home to Red Crayon and the 13th Floor Elevators. The song became a hit when it was featured on American Bandstand
, but it never got airplay in big city radio stations, possibly because International Artists refused to give payola to the men who controlled those markets. The group eventually left the label and signed with ABC-Dunhill, changing their name to Demian, after the Herman Hesse novel. When the band fell apart, the members went on to pursue individual careers in music.