No matter which origin story you believe, April 20 is widely revered around the world as marijuana’s holiday. This year’s observance is extra special, since it’s the first time since 1937 that smoking weed just for fun is legal in California.
While there probably won’t be clouds of smoke like you’d have at a private celebration, there will be loads of beloved songs and scenes that pair perfectly with a cannabis buzz at the Lobero Theatre that evening. Santa Barbara’s resident record exec/raconteur Hale Milgrim is hosting one of his Quips and Clips Go to Hale affairs, this one deemed Stoners & Songwriters. As usual, he and his buddy Richard Salzberg scoured their deep collections of rare video recordings to find about 30 clips from such artists as David Bowie, Cat Stevens, Bob Marley, and Airplane, amounting to nearly three hours of audiovisual entertainment.
“If we wanted to put together the show we really wanted, we’d have people sitting there for eight hours,” said Salzberg, to which Milgrim added, “And that would be part one! Dave Asbell [the Lobero’s executive director] would have to be serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner to everybody.”
The first half of the show will be songwriters explaining how they wrote songs before playing them. “Everyone who comes is going to see numerous artists that they love telling stories about their songs,” said Milgrim. “And in some cases, you’ll have no clue that’s what the song was written about originally.” The second half will feature “artists that have gone in the direction of the Grateful Dead or Pink Floyd, with more psychedelic and extended songs that allowed us to be in a different state of mind,” said Milgrim.
“Whether you get high or not, this is going to be a great evening,” said Milgrim, who plans to be on his natural high while running the event but has fond memories of how cannabis tuned him into the music. “Pot let me hear sounds in different ways than I ever would have imagined. But that was most of my life ago. Nowadays, I’m just thrilled that people can smoke pot if they would like and not be busted and put in jail.”
Go to Hale 420 is Friday, April 20, at 6:57 p.m. sharp, at the Lobero Theatre (33 E. Canon Perdido St.). Tickets are $15. See lobero.org.