Aerosmith And Dr. Demento Once Collaborated On A Cannabis Blues Standard

Aerosmith has collaborated with a lot of diverse acts over the years - from teaming up with Run DMC for a rap-rock remake of Walk this Way, to working with hall-of-fame songwriter Diane Warren on the blockbuster hit I Don't Want to Miss a Thing. But their strangest collaboration has to be a cannabis song that wouldn't have been recorded without the help of Dr. Demento, the comic DJ better known for spinning novelty records.

In 1979, the band was working their sixth studio album - Night in the Ruts - and they wanted to include a cover Jazz Gillum's cannabis blues song Reefer Head Woman, which is about a guy who has trouble keeping up with his heavy-toking girlfriend. 

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There was only one problem. No one could remember the words to the song. Lead singer Steven Tyler later explained the embarrassing situation in the memoir Walk this Way (1979).

"'Reefer Head Woman' was a 1940s blues record. I had the lyrics in a notebook that got stolen, and I had to call Dr. Demento from the Record Plant, where we finished the album, and the Doctor read the lyrics to me over the phone."

Unfortunately, the doctor wasn't able to prescribe a remedy for the larger problems faced by the band that year. Relationships between Aerosmith members had become so toxic that guitarist Joe Perry - who turns 66 today - actually quit at one point during the "Ruts" sessions. He didn't return until 1984, so he wasn't around to play "Reefer Head Woman" when the album was released.

But he has played it live with the group plenty of times since returning. Check out the album version and a live recording from below.

Banner image: American rock band Aerosmith performs at Olimpiysky on May 24, 2014 in Moscow, (Yulia Grigoryeva / Shutterstock.com)

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