VIP Ray Charles

Ray Charles (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004)

Excerpt from Brother Ray: Ray Charles' Own Story By Ray Charles and David Ritz (1978):

When I first arrived, [in Seattle at the age of 18, "curious about everything"] I didn't even know what grass was. But after playing several gigs around town, I started smelling it. I questioned the other musicians about what they were smoking. During the breaks, I asked if I could follow them outside . . . and I kept pushing, kept pestering, kept poking them till they laid a joint on me. That's how I started smoking weed. It seemed all right to me. I liked the taste, and I liked the mellow effect it had on my body and on my mind. Playing behind grass wasn't bad. I could really feel the groove of the music. And I thought it added to lovemaking. I thought it acted like an aphrodisiac. So like everyone else, I smoked it.

Charles also says, "It's bullshit that pot leads to heroin."

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