|Single by Weezer|
|Album||Weezer (The Green Album)|
|Released||May 15, 2001|
|Recorded||December 2000, Cello Studios, Los Angeles, California|
|Rivers Cuomo song chronology|
|Weezer singles chronology|
|Weezer (The Green Album) track listing|
- Weezer (The Green Album)
- Hash Pipe (Radio Only Promo)
- Hash Pipe (US Retail CD/US Retail 7" (Black Vinyl))
- Hash Pipe (UK Retail CD)
- Hash Pipe (EU Retail CD)
- Hash Pipe (UK Promo CD) (Jimmy Pop Remix)
- Hash Pipe (UK Retail 7" (Green Vinyl))
- Hash Pipe (US Promo Remix 12" (Black Vinyl)) (Jimmy Pop Remix, Chris Vrenna's Kick Me Remix and Chris Vrenna's Under Glass Remix)
- Several Official Bootlegs (Live Version)
Source is www.LastFM.com unless otherwise stated
"Hash Pipe" was the first single released from the band's long-awaited third album, Weezer, and the only SS2K song to make it onto the album (although "Dope Nose" and "Slob" were later released on Maladroit). According to an interview with Rivers Cuomo, the song was written on the same night as "Dope Nose", although according to the COR Dope Nose was written two nights before Hash Pipe. The story is that he took "a bunch of Ritalin and had like three shots of tequila", paced around for a while, then wrote both songs. It was inspired by a male transvestite prostitute known for rambling to people in Santa Monica.
The label was very reluctant to release a song like "Hash Pipe" as the album's lead single. They wanted to release "Don't Let Go" instead, but Rivers was adamant that "Hash Pipe" be the single. He would be vindicated when the song became one of the band's biggest hits, and it is perhaps best known for its driving guitar riff, offbeat lyrical content, Cuomo's falsetto vocals and the gang backup vocals of "whoa-oh-oh."
The guitar riff was at least partially inspired by the "Theme From Peter Gunn", the theme music for an old, cops-and-robbers style tv show, and composed by Henry Mancini. The theme has proven to be much more endurable than the show, and has appeared in many TV shows and films, both in its original recording as well as cover versions. Rivers has stated in several interviews at the time of the single's release that he stole the riff from Spy Hunter, a popular arcade video game from the 80s which featured a digitized version of the Peter Gunn theme.
It's also been said that the riff may have been "borrowed" from The Shod's song "He Shot Himself Up". Cuomo is friends with Shods member Kevin Stevenson, and was said to be listening heavily to The Shods and this song in particular in 1998, two years before "Hash Pipe" was written.
There is some dispute among fans over the song's correct lyrics, and as no official lyric sheet has been released, they remain up for debate. Examples of disputed lyrics are "eyes wide"/"ass wipe" and "big cheese"/"big G's" (as in 'money').
Rivers told Terry Gross in an interview on WHYY's Fresh Air of his process for writing at the time:
"For a couple of years there, well - I've always been an analytical person, but for a couple of years, I just got really analytical in keeping track of every detail of the process of writing a song and intentionally varying individual elements to see what the result would be. But sometimes these experiments were indistinguishable from how any other rock person would write a song. For example, in mid-2000, I - somehow my experiments evolved to a point where step one was take a pill of Ritalin. Step two was take three shots of tequila. Step three was go out in the backyard, sit down on a chair. Step four was close your eyes and imagine the song. And thats how I wrote 'Hash Pipe'."
There are several incarnations of the song.
The original live version from 2000 featured slightly different drums, lacked backing vocals, "uhs", and instead of "kick me","kiss me" was sung during second line of the chorus. Also, since late 2001, Cuomo has often played the song live with a reworked guitar solo that doesn't follow the verse melody.
One demo version has surfaced among fans, which is more similar to the early live versions. It is unknown if this demo is by Weezer or if it is a Cuomo solo demo.
The original, full-length Green Album studio version is no longer in use, and was replaced by a shorter edit on reprints. This edit cuts the first chorus in half (ending after "eyes wide"), and both ascending bridge sections were removed from the end of the second and third choruses. This edit summarily replaced the original studio versions on repressings of the album, and is heard on the edited "Hash Pipe" video on the DVD Video Capture Device.
Also, an edit of the song, which changes the lyrics to "Half Pipe", was serviced to radio stations that objected to the drug reference in the song's title.
Three official remixes of the song were released in 2001. Chris Vrenna's "Kick Me" and "Under Glass" remixes were released on the "Hash Pipe" 12" remix single - which was Weezer's first 12" single. The record also featured Jimmy Pop's remix of the song - a version that was also released on multiple international releases singles, as well as a one-track CD-R promo in the UK. The two Vrenna mixes were released on the official site in 2001 as 128K-quality mp3s with no record noise. It has been speculated that either webmaster Karl Koch removed the record noise himself or, more likely, ripped the tracks from a test-pressing CD of some sort. A fourth, apparently professional, remix of "Hash Pipe" is labeled the "Ravin vs. Flood remix", and is of indeterminant origin. It is possible this otherwise unreleased remix was distributed through weezer.com at some point.
"Hash Pipe" was banned from UK airplay due to bigwigs at Radio One taking a stance against the drug reference in the title (hashish). The title is sometimes displayed as "H*** Pipe" on some television channels, notably MTV; however, there has been inconsistency of the censored song title. Geffen Records anticipated these censors, and originally didn't want "Hash Pipe" to be a single, citing the song's title and lurid content as inappropriate. And the aforementioned "Half Pipe" version was occasional broadcast by radio stations that felt more comfortable with a skateboarding reference as opposed to drugs.
Drummer Patrick Wilson is featured on the cover holding a pack of Natural American Spirit cigarettes. The retail and promo version of this cover has the brand's logo blurred out due to copyright issues. On the European retail single CD the blurred out logo was replaced with the song title and the Weezer logo. An alternate cover of the retail single shows then-bassist Mikey Welsh pushing a skateboard, on which a life-size carboard cutout likeness of Rivers is standing. This photo was taken on the floor of a venue during the Yahoo Outloud tour.
"Hash Pipe" peaked at #2 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart, #24 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and #16 on Billboard's Canadian Singles Chart. The video for the song was nominated for Best Rock Video at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards as well as being nominated for High Times magazine's "Pot Song of the Year" in 2001.
The song has been covered by Phantom Planet in concert and by Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine at one of their live shows.
The video for the song was directed by Marcos Siega, the first of several Weezer videos that he would direct. The premise of the video shows Weezer playing while a group of sumo wrestlers engage in activity. At one humorous point in the video, the wrestlers appear as stand-ins for the band, complete with instruments, miming to the song. In the video, guitarist Brian Bell employs a move in which he bends backwards, taking the guitar with him, then thrusts his legs in the direction he's bending. This is affectionately known among Weezer fans as "The Impossible Bend" and takes place at approximately 2:42 of the video's running time. According to the mini book that accompanies Video Capture Device, Siega was specifically asked to avoid referring to the lyrics of the song in the video.
Formats and tracklists
Retail CD singles
Retail vinyl singles
Retail cassette single
- Rivers Cuomo – lead guitar, lead vocals
- Patrick Wilson – percussion
- Brian Bell – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Mikey Welsh – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Ric Ocasek - producer
I can't help my feelings I go out of my mind
These players come to get me 'cuz they like my behind
I deal out my business if I can't get a trick
Down on Santa Monica where tricks are for kids
Oh, come on and kick me
Oh, come on and kick me
You got your problems
I got my eyes wide
You got your big G's
I got my hash pipe
I can't help my boogies they get out of control
I know that you don't care, but I want you to know
The knee stocking flavor is a favorite treat
Of men that don't bother with the taste of a teat
I got my hash pipe