- Album name: A Child’s Garden of Grass: A Pre-Legalization Comedy
- Artist name: Jack S. Margolis, with Jere Alan Brian and Ron Jacobs
- Year: 1971
- Number of discs: one
- Label: Elektra Records
- Collection: Brenner / Gessner
- Distinguishing characteristics: “G” written on top left of album, indicating that my father owned it
- Buy it on Amazon: $131.00
Level of familiarity before listening
Ummm. I’m familiar with “grass,” but this record is new to me.
What I expected
I have no idea.
What it was actually like
I guess to begin, despite its name, this record is not suitable for children – and not just on account of its primary subject matter, but also because parts of it would definitely be rated NC-17.
So what is its main subject matter? Let’s just say that in order to get the full experience of listening to “A Child’s Garden of Grass: A Pre-Legalization Comedy,” I first ingested a certain medicinal herb. As a result, it was difficult to keep my mind from wandering at times, until the sound effects returned.
Wait, what sound effects? This was a humor record, and one of the main approaches to humor of Jack S. Margolis (with Jere Alan Brian and Ron Jacobs) seems to have been goofiness, including a more than healthy dose of weird sound effects and silly voices, with lots of accent work, which is how you know it’s classy humor.
Just kidding. It was kind of like an audio recording of some sort of cringe avant-garde “theatre,” in which all aspects of marijuana use are explained to an audience of bourgeois naïfs, except that the real audience is the counter-culture. So to be clear, this was a comically half-assed extended insult of working class people, masquerading as critique of middle class culture and traditional values. They’re so uncool and easily swayed by advertising! Can you believe that?
I don’t understand why my parents’ generation had to be quite so weird, why they felt the need to subject their own parents and children to what is the very definition of cringe. I also don’t understand how Jack S. Margolis, Jere Alan Brian and Ron Jacobs didn’t die of the giggles while recording and editing “A Child’s Garden of Grass: A Pre-Legalization Comedy,” since they seem to have found their navel-gazing so insanely funny (one example: it was as if they had just invented the ability to record something in stereo, and took advantage of every opportunity to share the miracle of stereo recording with the audience).
Warning: don’t make any serious attempt to listen to “A Child’s Garden of Grass: A Pre-Legalization Comedy” without the aid of a certain medicinal herb. Also, beware that it ends with a whimper.
3/5: interesting, but not for me