The Weezer Song That Shocked The Censors

Unlike contemporary alt-rock legends such as Nirvana, Weezer has shied away from using explicit lyrics in their songs.

"I don't like to use real swear words," frontman and songwriter Rivers Cuomo told Rolling Stone in 2008. "Weezer came up at a time when Jane's Addiction released Nothing's Shocking -— everyone was trying to be controversial. We looked back to rock & roll's pre-drug days -— to the clean im­ages of the Beach Boys - that felt, ironically, rebellious."

Given that stance, it's surprising that Cuomo - who turns 46 today - sparked a censorship controversy when he penned the hit single "Hash Pipe" in 2001. Because of the cannabis connection, the tune was banned from radio play in the U.K. And when Weezer went on the British TV show Top of the Pops that year, they had to change the title to "Half Pipe".

Oddly, they weren't asked to change the rest of the song's explicit lyrics about male prostitution.

In America, the song did receive airplay, but some broadcasters referred to it as "Pipe." And on MTV, the video for the video was listed as "H*** Pipe." Even 15 years later, the track's title is arguably controversial - at least in states like Tennessee, where getting caught with a hash pipe could lead to spending a year in jail.

But if you're lucky enough to live in Colorado or another legal state, you can kick back with a bowl and enjoy the uncensored song.

h/t NME, Song Facts

banner image: Shutterstock / Kobby Dagan


After a battery of tests and misdiagnoses, I was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease twelve years ago, and thus began a long battle with trial-and-error medical treatments. I changed my diet several times, even though my doctors didn’t seem confident it would change much (it didn’t), went to physical therapy for pain-related issues, and took so many different pharmaceuticals I can’t even begin to recall each and every one. My days were foggy due to side effects from pharmaceuticals, such as steroids, that made me feel worse than I did before I even took them.

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