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Hash Pipe

“Hash Pipe” is the lead single and third track from Weezer’s eponymous 2001 album, The Green Album.

Contents

  • 1 Appearances
  • 2 Overview
  • 3 Alternate Versions
    • 3.1 Live (SS2K)
    • 3.2 Edits
    • 3.3 Remix
  • 4 Censorship
  • 5 Single artwork
  • 6 Covers
  • 7 Music video
  • 8 Formats and tracklists
    • 8.1 Retail CD singles
    • 8.2 Retail vinyl singles
    • 8.3 Retail cassette single
    • 8.4 Promotional CD singles
  • 9 Personnel
  • 10 Audio
    • 10.1 Album release
    • 10.2 Demo
    • 10.3 Alternate mixes
    • 10.4 Official remixes
  • 11 Lyrics
  • 12 External Links

Appearances

  • 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)

Overview

“Hash Pipe” was the first single released from the band’s long-awaited third album, Weezer, and the only SS2K-era 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 Catalog O’ Riffs, 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. Cuomo described the process of writing the song during a 2009 interview with Terry Gross:

“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’.”

The lyrics for the song are about a “homosexual transvestite prostitute”, according to an Entertainment Weekly interview with Cuomo from 2001. According to Cuomo, the label was very reluctant to release a song like “Hash Pipe” as the album’s lead single. Said Cuomo, “They wanted something more straight-up. Man, it was a huge fight. I got up in a meeting with all the executives and I was screaming.” The label wanted to release “Don’t Let Go” instead, but Cuomo was adamant that “Hash Pipe” be the single. Cuomo would, ultimately, be vindicated when the song became one of the band’s biggest hits. “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 guitar riff was at least partially inspired by the song “Peter Gunn”, the theme song from the TV series of the same name, composed by Henry Mancini. The theme has proven to be much more enduring than the show, and has appeared in many TV shows and films, both in its original recording as well as cover versions. Cuomo 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 song “He Shot Himself Up” by The Shods. Cuomo is a friend of Shods frontman Kevin Stevenson, who had previously accompanied Cuomo during Homie shows in 1997, more than two years before “Hash Pipe” was written.

The opening lyric “I can’t help my feelings, I go out of my mind” appears to be a direct quote of the Beatles song “You Can’t Do That” from 1964.

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 wide”/”eye swipe”/”ass wipe” and “big cheese”/”big G’s” (as in ‘money’).

Alternate Versions

There are several incarnations of the song.

Live (SS2K)

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.

Edits

The original, full-length Green Album studio version is no longer in print, and was subsequently replaced by a shorter edit. 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.

Another edit of the song, which changes the lyrics to “Half Pipe”, was released to radio stations that objected to the drug reference in the song’s title.

Remix

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 (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.

Censorship

“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.

Single artwork

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.

Covers

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. Following Weezer’s cover of “Africa” by Toto in 2018, Toto responded by releasing their own cover of “Hash Pipe”. [1]

Music video

Impressed by how the bands looked in his other videos, Siega was sought out and asked to avoid referring to the lyrics in his treatment. Sumos were brought up, and immediately approved. Rock!

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 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 maneuver 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”. 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.

Hash Pipe “Hash Pipe” is the lead single and third track from Weezer’s eponymous 2001 album, The Green Album . Contents 1 Appearances 2 Overview 3 Alternate Versions

Toto Has Covered Weezer’s ‘Hash Pipe’

Only two days after a pair of Los Angeles DJs speculated on the idea of Toto covering a Weezer song as payback for the alternative band’s version of “Africa,” the men have gotten their wish. Toto members Steve Lukather and Steve Porcaro stopped by the station to discuss their take on Weezer’s 2001 hit “Hash Pipe,” which they expect to release in the next few weeks.

As Porcaro explained on Stryker and Klein’s afternoon show on KROQ, it had been in the works long before the duo discussed it the other day. “We had just gotten back from the road,” he began. “But I was here, home, in my studio, where I’m happiest, and I saw all this action going on with ‘Africa’ — they had released ‘Rosanna,’ they did ‘Africa.’ I sent Luke an e-mail one the road — he was in Europe — I said, “Come on. We gotta return the favor. Let’s pick out a tune and send it right back to ’em.”

From there, it took a bit of debate to figure out which song they wanted to record. “You know, we listened to ‘Beverly Hills,'” he continued. “I wanted to maybe even do a real ‘Africa’-type version of that, I was thinking about for a minute. But you know what? We wanted to make it different, but we wanted to do something rock n’ roll. I wanted to show everyone what a good rock n’ roll band we can be. I love the band. I love their music. [Lead singer] Joseph [Williams] and I were listening to different ones trying to figure out which ones he’d like to sing and we settled on ‘Hash Pipe.'”

“I thought ‘Hash Pipe’ had a better melody,” Lukather added. “I love the message, you know what I mean? . And we wanted to do it justice. We wanted to do our thing to it, but still pay respect to it. And we added a couple of our kitschy little things to it, which I hope that they laugh [at]. We wish we could be in the room when they hear it.”

Weezer’s cover, which happened as a result of a teenage fan’s social media campaign, has led to a mutual admiration society between the two bands, with Porcaro sitting in with Weezer on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Lukather is hoping that it extends down to their respective fanbases.

“We love the thought of maybe some Weezer fans checking out Toto a little deeper,” he said, “and, you know what? At the same time, I love the thought of maybe some snooty Toto fans checking out Weezer, loosening their wigs a little bit and enjoying some good rock and roll.”

Inside the studio of #TOTO @toto99com 🙌🏻 Thank you Steve Porcaro and @stevelukather for the interview and hang! We’re blasting their @Weezer cover at 5pm on @kroq . its so good‼️ pic.twitter.com/8a124Ttulu

Listen to Steve Lukather and Steve Porcaro Discuss Weezer

Toto has paid back Weezer for covering Africa by putting their own spin on the alternative band's 2001 hit. ]]>