Since Father’s Day is a day for showing appreciation for our (paternal) mentors, I’ve decided to close it out with what I think of as the greatest “mentor appreciation” song of all time – Green Grass And High Tides by Outlaws:
You might want to crank that thing up!
“Green Grass and High Tides” is a song by the Southern rock band Outlaws. It is the tenth and final track on the band’s debut album, Outlaws. The song is one of their best known, and has received extensive play on album-oriented radio stations, although it was never released as a single. The song is notable for having two extended guitar solos that stretch the song to nearly 10 minutes.
A cover version of the song is playable in the music video game Rock Band, acting as the final song for the guitar’s solo career.
Outlaws founding member Henry Paul told Songfacts that this song is not about marijuana, but about deceased rock and roll luminaries, and the title, he says, was taken from the 1966 “Best Of” collection by the Rolling Stones called Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass):
“From what I gather, there was an album out, the best of The Rolling Stones, called ‘High Tides and Green Grass.’ That was the name of the Rolling Stones’ greatest hits – this is like 1966 – and I think it was a manifestation of that title turned in reverse, ‘Green Grass and High Tides.’ I know that much. And I know that it was a song written for rock and roll illuminaries, from Janis Joplin to Jimi Hendrix, and it had nothing to do with marijuana. But it had to do with, I think, a specific person’s [Thomasson’s] lyrical look at rock and roll legends. ‘As kings and queens bow and play for you.’ It’s about Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. ‘Castles of stone, soul and glory.’ A lot of it is just sort of a collage of words that really don’t have all that much to do with anything, they just fit and sounded right. But I have to say it’s one of my favorite lyrics. My songwriting is more Steinbeck, really rooted in accuracy and reality; this is definitely Alice In Wonderland. It’s the whole ‘White Rabbit.’ It’s sort of like one of those magic lyrical moments that will forever be mysteriously, unclearly conceived.”
“Green Grass and High Tides” was the usual show closer for the Outlaws and the 20 minute+ version can be found on the concert album Bring It Back Alive (1978). The song is mentioned in Molly Hatchet’s song “Gator Country” and was featured on the “Harley Davidson Road Songs” album in 1995.
I want ice water.
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