ROCK 'N' ROLL
They'll stone ya when you're try'n to go home,
Then they'll stone ya when you're there all alone.
But I would not feel so all alone,
Ev'rybody must get stoned.
A caveman's lament? A paranoid's fantasy? Could be, but then the convoluted verses of Rainy Day Women, like most Bob Dylan songs, are open to a variety of interpretations. In any event, some radio stations have banned the record because, they say, the song is an obvious paean to the joys of smoking pot. In the shifting, multilevel jargon of teenagers, to "get stoned" does not mean to get drunk but to get high on drugs. But what cinched it for the radio men was the title: a "rainy-day woman," as any junkie knows, is a marijuana cigarette.
The controversy whipped up by Rainy Day Women in recent weeks has caused disk jockeys to comb through lyrics like cryptographers. What they have found is a spate of new songs dealing with all kinds of taboo topics, many of which, veiled in hip teen talk or garbled in the din of guitars, are being regularly aired over the radio. POP MUSIC'S 'MORAL CRISIS,' screamed the front-page headline in Variety recently; Dylan discipes countered by adopting a line from his new Ballad of a Thin Man as their nose-thumbing rallying cry: "Something is happening here, and you don't know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?" What is happening is that the folk-rock movement, heady with the success of its big-message-with-a-big-beat songs (TIME, Sept. 17, 1965), has been prompted to try racier, more exciting themes. It is no longer down with the P.T.A. and conformism, butwheelonward with LSD and lechery.
In-Group Game. It is all in the name of kicks. "The adult world," says Marty Balin, 23, lead singer for San Francisco's most popular rock 'n' roll group, the Jefferson Airplane, "pays us all this money to play at their political benefits and society parties, and then we throw out this jargon and watch them be revoked. That's kicks." The Jefferson Air plane flies on weekends at a discotheque in Fillmore Auditorium, where projectors flash quivering, amoeba-like patterns on the walls to induce the dancers "to take a 'trip' [an LSD experience] without drugs." One of the Airplane's "trip songs" is Running Around the World, an abstract number that, says Balin, celebrates the "fantastic experience of making love while under LSD."