First: I absolutely love this song. Second: These guys had so many other cool songs it sad this is the only one that really received any air play. It did make it #10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #8 on Cashbox.
I’m talking about Brewer & Shipley. You were expecting another Beatles song, right? Sorry, not today. Although Here Come The Sun is currently playing. But that’ll be another post, another day. George deserves his own day to shine.
Other than this track Brewer & Shipley had two other singles chart;
Brewer & Shipley are an Americanfolk rock duo who enjoyed their peak success in the late 1960s through the 1970s, consisting of singer-songwritersMike Brewer (born in 1944) and Tom Shipley (born in 1941). They were known for their intricate guitar work, vocal harmonies, and socially conscious lyrics which reflected the concerns of their generation — especially the Vietnam War, and the struggles for personal and political freedom. Their greatest commercial success was the song “One Toke Over the Line” from their 1970 album Tarkio. They had two other singles on the Billboard charts: “Tarkio Road” (1970) and “Shake Off The Demon” (1971). They continue to perform, both separately and together, usually in the Midwest of the USA.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewer_%26_Shipley
Tarkio Road is another great track, but again, that’s not what I’m here to tell you about (you were waiting for that line, right?)
Funny story about this song, although I have to admit that I can’t remember where I heard or read this story. But some unknown guy used to drive his grandmother around town, and she loved this song. She would sing right along with the song every time it came on. She just loved that it mentioned Jesus, so she thought it was a religious song. It broke his heart to tell her what the song was really about.
Mike Brewer gives this account of the origin of the song, “One day we were pretty much stoned and all and Tom says, “Man, I’m one toke over the line tonight.” I liked the way that sounded and so I wrote a song around it.”
The song gained popular acclaim while the band was touring as an opening act for Melanie, after they received an encore but had run out of other songs to play. Spiro Agnew said the song with its reference to marijuana use was “blatant drug-culture propaganda” that “threatens to sap our national strength,” pressuring the FCC to include the song on its list of music banned from the airwaves because of drug references.