Friday, September 26, 2008

Stoned

In addition to Tom Waits, I think I'll also get around to re-collecting my Stones albums. Here's a discography of the albums - you need to read from the bottom.

I went off them when I discovered punk in the mid 60s. Probably no coincidence that they actually didn't do anything very original after that time. So I'll collect as far as Some Girls, and call it a day...

It was during a lesson this afternoon, with the students doing a substantial reading exercise, and the mind wandering, that I got this Stones idea. And it led to speculation about the etymology of stoned as in intoxicated by drugs. The OED records it in relation to alcohol intoxication from 1952, with the first drug reference a year later in ANSLINGER & TOMPKINS Traffic in Narcotics. By the 1970s, by the time the Stones were going off the boil, it had shed its association with The Drink.

But there's not much clue as to its origin. This link suggests a relationship between the adjective to describe one who has had stones pelted at him, or a 19th century brandy and beer concoction called "the stone fence".

We must assume that the fact that The Stones became associated with drug use was a cultural and linguistic coincidence. I remember my Old Man saying in the 60s, "Rolling Stones? They should roll right over the edge of a bastard cliff!" I date my interest in them and mind-altering substance use to that childhood moment.