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A Child’s Garden of Grass: A Pre-Legalization Comedy (1971)

In 1969, Jack S. Margolis wrote a book called A Child’s Garden of Grass. Two years later, an album based on that book surfaced on Elektra Records. If you’re looking for a silly comedy album in which the entire theme is on marijuana, and its affects, then you should go get a copy. I am not certain the album is available on CD, as far as I know, it’s only available on LP.

Each subject of the album starts off with some strange electronic effects before the narrator gets on with the subject. Example is “Listening to Music”. This cut tells you what kind of music you can listen to while being stoned (classical, folk, acid rock, jazz, electronic music). He warns you never listen to Myron Florin (accordion player for the Lawrence Welk Show), as well as several other polka players while stoned, unless they were being played all together at once.

Another example is “Creativity” where the narrator seems to suggest when you’re stoned, you begin to overestimate your “artistic” talents. By the end of that cut, you start hearing some really bad rock and roll, played and sung by the person being stoned. Of course an album dealing with this subject should never be without “Physical Effects” and “Psychological Effects”, as well as how to acquire marijuana (which seems to suggest any manner possible, even stealing). “Psychological Effects” really cracks me up, because you hear a conversation between a man and a woman, and the person totally forgot what he was saying, and didn’t care. There was also a lot of giggling as they listen to some really crappy music.

You can be very certain that this album would not be in the hands of the “Just Say No” crowd, or conservatives in general. This is one silly album and a great period piece. If you’re looking for comedy about the affects of weed, this is the album to get.
– Written by: Jack S. Margolis and Jere Alan Brian
– Produced and directed by: Ron Jacobs
– Narrated by: Michael Gwynne and Carl Esser

38 Responses to A Child’s Garden of Grass: A Pre-Legalization Comedy (1971)

  • I had this on 8 track tape. When I first heard it, I had tears running down mt cheeks I laughed so hard. I turned many of my friends on to this work. Many fond memories of getting high and laughing my ass off!

  • I still have this album. I would imagine it would be hard to find now. This thing is truely funny. It starts out telling you some guy in Iowa or somewhere invented marijuana in 1856 (I have’nt listened to it in a while). We used to sit around, get high and play this crazy album. It tell ways to acquire pot, from buying to stealing to “Be a woman with large breast”. Think I’ll go have a liston, bring back some “good ol days”…………Later

  • This is a fantastic, one of a kind album that will take you back in time. It’s so funny because it is so true. I had the album (LP) for 20 years and then I loaned it to someone and it was never returned. I’ve looked for it for 13 years. You can buy it on E-Bay but the price goes up to $60 or more before it’s sold. Lots of opportunities on there, though. Also, you can get it factory sealed on CD on E-Bay for around $30. That’s what I did which turned out better since I realized I no longer have a turntable. Hadn’t heard it in 13 years but still remembered almost every word and every sound. It is definitely a trip into the past, a trip well worth taking.

  • This is such a trip. It has been 20 years since I heard this. A friend found it on tape and we spent two years laughing and laughing. On a lark I searched the web for it and came across this (and the link to listen to a few tracks.) This is the best.

    Though I have been sober for 12+ years, I still think back to this tape laughing.

  • Just found a sealed copy of this great album at the local goodwill store for $4.00 today. Finally replaced my old cassette which has seen better days. Have spent many nights listening to this while playing “Feds and Heads”, laughing and falling over, while visiting Country Cowpoke’s Farm, and trying to stay away from Norbert the Narc. Always a fun time to be had by all.

  • The original A Child’s Garden Of Grass is a true classic. My friends and I listened to this so many times in the early 70s my copy sounds like an old 78 record. We all had it memorized, but we still kept listening (after, um, getting in the mood). The book it was based on is still a useful primer for those interested in growing or smoking, and its language is a wonderful throwback to the toker days of the late 60s/early 70s. AND good news (as my cassette copy is wearing out), it is now available on CD. Yup, just found it. Look for it at this site: https://www.rhinohandmade.com/

    Don’t let this classic be forgotten (and don’t get locked in the refrigerator)!

  • It’s been

      YEARS

    since I heard this – 1979 at the latest. And someone found a SEALED copy!! I hope I can get this somewhere as I have fond memories of being “in the mood” and listening to this on a bogartted cassette copy from a friend’s LP. Thanks for the memories.

  • I love it!!! I copy of this genius on tape from a friend of my Mom’s who still tokes his 75 year old brain out every day of the week. I always listen to it stoned out of gourd on various strings of weed, it will always rock!

  • Awesome!!! I heard the Album just once 24 years ago and I still have the same Mantra. Oh does it every bring back memories. Great job on the review. ooun-yella-mann…ooun-yella-mann.

  • I am a conservative and a JUST SAY NO MOM…But, I loved this album when I was in high school and was definately not saying no! Like old Cheech and Chong movies it is reminicent of a phase in my life an era gone by. It’s amazing how little it takes to humor you when you’re stoned. This would still be funny without the drugs and is even funnier if you are straight and play it for a bunch of drunk 40 somethings.

  • They sell CDs of this at laughdome.com. I have never heard the CD so I don’t know what the quality is like. But it’s the only place i’ve seen that sells it on CD.

  • I fisrt heard this LP back in 1974 when it was on 8-Track. We would take a break from shop class, pile into this old Chevy van one of the guys had (who’s last name is Henderson AND he was the football quarterback) lite up 3 or 4 and always play the “Sports” section of the tape.”Sorry Coash…I slipped on some grass”.
    It stll is just as funny as it was 30 yaers ago.
    I need to get a copy somehow…somewhere.

  • Had a copy of a copy back in the early 90’s (15 yrs ago..insane!!), lost it and have not been able to locate one since. Never saw the original cover art or knew anything about it. At the time, we just had a TDK with “A Childs Garden of Grass” written on it that someone gave us. So on behalf of many people who have enjoyed this with me in the past and those that are about to be exposed, thanks to all those who posted info here. I am off to order my copy and laugh my arse off!

  • still have the original album from way back when. and it’s still just as funny as ever!

  • I also have the original album … just have no record player … also have the paperback somewhere …

  • I have this album transfered to cd format.

  • Have been looking for this album for God knows how long. Saw it once on CD but didn’t buy it, for whatever reason. I’m glad someone here supplied a link so I can finally get it!

  • My friend had a cassette recording back when I was in high school in the late 70’s. I’m surprised we didn’t wear it out! It is a really funny piece, and I just happened to see a copy of the album cover in a thrift art collection online. So, here I am critiquing this ode to 420. Get it, listen to it. I’m going to start seeking out a CD version if it’s available. For those of you ïn the know “…I’m locked in the refrigerator! 🙂

  • It really lives! Got it on vinyl, copied it to cass – lost both in the ensueing years…..

    Afraid it had fallen thru the cracks or been confiscated by U-NO-WHO!

    Found it at https://www.cduniverse.com

    “what were we talking about?”

  • This album is available on cd. I found one in denver at twist and shout. I’d like to know where I can get the LP version. mrbukkake@gmail.com

  • I also have many fond memories(I think?) of listening to this on the tape player in my car, while my friend (equally wasted) danced on the inside of the windshield. I had the LP, taped it, lost both, and have since found several copies now available on e-Bay (of course). Just search on “garden of grass”. Happy hunting!

  • A Child’s Garden of Grass: A Pre-Legalization Comedy (1971) was put out on CD format in 2003 by Elektra Entertainment and was copyrighted at that time by Warner Strategic Marketing with a website listed as https://www.rhinohandmade.com. I still listen to the tape recorded version that my cousin made off of Dr. Demento back in the early 1970’s. It is well worth paying the high price that Rhino offers it at.

  • you can find a cd of this on cdnow.com

  • First time I listened to this I was a newbie… laying down staring at the ceiling… I seem to remember one section where it talked about the effects and though I didn’t know it at the time, there was a scratch so it kept repeating over and over and I started laughing so hard thinking they had recorded it that way. After maybe 20 minutes (hard to tell for sure) I finally realized it really WAS a scratch and then I laughed even harder!

  • This has been re-issued by Rhino Records in a limited edition of 5000. You can find it in their “Rhino Handmade” section.

  • I heard this album for the first time when I was 11. I thought it was hilarious! I had the album for awhile and one time after a party it mysteriously disappeared. (DOH!!) I’ve looked around for it in the record stores since then and seen it a few times in second hand stores but never on CD. I had all but forgotten it until someone asked me if I could get it from LimeWire or as a torrent file. Well, by golly, I went looking for it and it was there! I was so excited. I downloaded it and made my own CD. It’s awesome and the quality is really good. I’m not sure if the file was from someone’s vinyl album or a CD but it sounds perfect.

  • Where did you grab the torrent from i have been looking for years..

    Thanks

  • I am and old friend of Jack’s and I haven’t been able to find him on any of the search sites. I was wondering if you might have a way to reach him or suggestions on how I could connect with him. Thank you,
    Ellyne Jo – manuttzo@pacbell.net

  • Dated? Yep. Worth a listen? You bet your roach clip! It’s good while eating food, listening to music and makin’ love… you dig?

  • I found a copy 20 years ago at a yard sale for 25 cents and it still had the plastic wrap on it. Sadly my X wife has it and is quite aware that it has some value. It still has the plastic on it.

  • A dear friend of mine gave me this album when we were in the Navy togeather in 1972. We lived on the North Shore of Oahu right on the bonzaii pipeline. We lived on KeWaena Rd. Before I left the Island in 1973 I took it to a consignment shop in Haliewa. Would whoever bought that please return it to me. Please?

  • My first roomate in college (early 80’s) dealt weed to the football team and had this album. I don’t remember much about that first year, but the Hallelujah chorus on tuba and kazoo really does sound good when you’re stoned…!

    Glad to hear it’s still alive – time to acquire (buy, grow, or steal) a copy so my kids can understand me better, now that they’re grown and wedon’t have to say, “No”!

  • I USED TO P[LAY THIS ON COLLEGE RADIO IN 1971. IT IS A GAS TO SAY THE LEAST. SOMETHING US OLD FOGIES WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER.

  • $9.99 iTunes

  • Just bought this for a buck! Just putting it on and packing the pipe. Sounds like its been a fav for ahwhile.

  • I have an unopened copy of this from when it first came out would anyone like this? I will look in here from time to time to see if anyone wants it.

  • I tried to find Jack when I relocated back to LA in 1997. I was quite disappointed to discover he was killed by a business partnera few years earlier. From time to time I try to find an articale on him.. He would have loved the internet forum. He was always ahead ofhis time.

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