Vocals: Les Claypool
Original Artist: Jim Stafford
Original Album: Jim Stafford (1974)
Albums: Vegas 96
Historian: Chris Bertolet (bertoletdown)
Jim Stafford, who may well be the Elvis Presley of redneck comedy, conceived this thinly veiled counter-culture nugget about a man who stumbles upon a special weed. He and his brother, the story goes, discover that they can use this weed to “take a trip without leaving the farm.” Upon learning of the their find, however, a Federal agent descends upon their land and decimates their crop. But the narrator and his brother are a step ahead. They bid the G-man a fond adieu, while perched on a bumper crop’s worth of seeds. Les Claypool has recited “Wildwood Weed” with various projects, from Primus to Caca (see 1992’s First Caca Show). And so, as the Elvis Presley of his own demented musical universe, it was only fitting that he chose to recite it during the theatrical “Harpua” encore at The Aladdin in Las Vegas on 12/6/96. As performed by Claypool, “Wildwood Weed” is more a rap than a song, and as such is never quite delivered the same way twice. Fans lucky enough to experience the “unadulterated audio sodomy” of Oysterhead at New Orleans’ Saenger Theatre on 5/4/00 or at the Roseland on 11/13/01 could hear Les recite “Wildwood Weed” atop the power trio’s jackhammer grooves.