Long before Afroman wrote about missing out on life while smoking marijuana in "Because I Got High," Shel Silverstein covered the subject. Silverstein is a famous children's author whose books include Where The Sidewalk Ends and Falling Up, but he also wrote a great deal of adult material, including songs like "The Mermaid" and pieces for Playboy. Mitch Myers, who is Silverstein's nephew and runs his estate, says, "There's a moral to that story, but also it's shown with a certain degree of insight into the counterculture. I mean, these were the people Shel was around: Musicians, and artists, and intellectuals, and partygoers, and a fast crowd. And I'm sure he was exposed to plenty of people that did get stoned, and missed it. And I'm not saying Shel was above it, I'm not saying that that was his pursuit, either. But he certainly, he had enough exposure to it to be able to write a song like that. And there were other commentaries on pot, I mean, 'The Great Smokeoff,' which I believe he recorded, and also was in Playboy magazine. So he had the ability to lampoon things that he was familiar with, and find humor and creativity in the kind of cultural fads as they were occurring, and the way that life was being led in the 1970s." (Myers is author of Silverstein Around the World, which contains many more stories about Shel. Read more in our interview with Mitch Myers.)
Jim Stafford, who recorded many successful novelty songs, had a hit with this song in 1975. His version also featured Ray Stevens, and made #37 in the US.
Esskayess from Dallas, TxShel was one of a kind. He penned and performed material ranging from very 'G' rated to very 'R' rated.
Harris from Longview, TxDr. Hook and the Medicine Show recorded a version of this song.
Ed from Canton, OhMy older brother had the Freakin at the Freakers Ball album and there was another song called Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout (would not take the garbage out). It was hilarious. My brother and I still sing it when we are together to this day.
Howard from St. Louis Park, MnJim Stafford recorded a cover version of I Got Stoned and I Missed It. It was his last Top 40 hit.