Songs of Will T. Massey — “Marijuana Memories”

After Will released The Weathering in early 2016, he started to slowly slip back into the fog of schizophrenia he’d been holding off a dozen years. He only played a handful of gigs after the CD release party and stopped performing altogether by June.

I continued to see him, but only on his terms. I could sense his paranoia returning. I had no way to contact him and he only called me when he needed something, usually a ride to the bank. Each time, he seemed to a little less like the Will of the last few years and more like the ghost who showed up on my doorstep back in December 2004. When I had to said no twice in a row when he wanted a ride, he stopped calling.

During this time, Will launched a new Soundcloud account with the 3 last songs he shared publicly before slipping away into silence.

I am somewhat reluctant to post this song for a couple of reasons. But given that Will already made it available 5 years ago, it’s not like I’m breaking any new ground.

For one thing, there’s the subject matter: marijuana.

Posting it raises some concerns about issues surrounding marijuana use and mental health, especially knowing about Will’s struggle with schizophrenia. Many people suffer mental health issues and also experience serious substance abuse problems. Of course, many people without mental health issues likewise experience serious substance abuse problems. For all the overlap, no research provides proof of any causal links.

Also, equating marijuana use with drugs like meth, heroin, or cocaine — or the worst of all, alcohol — is simplistic to the point of simply not being true. Research long ago differentiated the levels of impact in these substances. Our recent history of legal recreational marijuana in many states provides ongoing verification that smoking pot does not drive people crazy.

As to Will smoking pot, given his schizophrenia — Will was not smoking pot when he showed up seeking help for his mental health issues back in 2004. And Will was not smoking pot when the shadows overtook him again at the end of 2016. During the dozen years that he lived a full life as a functioning musician while being treated for his schizophrenia — writing, performing, touring and releasing CDs — he was smoking pot. Come to your own conclusions.

Perhaps more importantly, it’s just not that great of a song. Not like Will usually wrote. When I listen to this song, I hear him still trying to express the music he feels, even if it never quite comes together smoothly. So much of his earlier work seemed to flow so effortlessly that this seems to echo the slow deterioration I witnessed those last months I saw him.

Still, Will chose to share this song — and so will I.
It certainly seems like a perfect selection for today — Happy 4/20!

Mama, my marijuana memories —
You could be anything…
You could be anything…
Saw you walking from the bus
In the early eve —
Sun was lighting up you up…
Sun was lighting up you up…

You were turning down my street
Just the other day
Your light surfing away
You light surfing away
Don’t need you no much more
I’ve seen you , babe
Pretty night sky…
Pretty night sky…

Mama, my marijuana memories —
You could be anything…
You could be anything.

About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
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1 Response to Songs of Will T. Massey — “Marijuana Memories”

  1. leebagshaw1966 says:

    Hi there, I’m after a new copy of The Weathering on CD, please could you help. Lee

    Sent from my iPad


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