Saturday, March 15, 2014

Streisand Smoked With Sellers, But Not with Seth

UPDATE 11/23: Streisand's new memoir My Name is Barbra contains the revelation that she lost her virginity after smoking marijuana, something she claims she did only "rarely" before and after. The affair didn't end well, but the experience was illuminating. She writes, "At least it gave me some more material to work with....When I sang about wanting someone, for the first time I actually understood it." 

10/15: Streisand is included in the new book  Tokin' Women: A 4000-Year Herstory.

"It's still illegal?"
On Wednesday's Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Seth Rogen was praised for being brave enough to come out of the closet as a pot smoker, and was asked about others he'd smoked with: Snoop (check); James Franco (no); Paul Rudd and Sarah Silverman (yes, "a lot"). Rogen hadn't smoked weed with Willie, he said, but Cohen said that he had.

Perhaps the most surprising answer came when Rogen was asked if he'd smoked with Barbra Streisand, who played his mother in 2012's The Guilt Trip.

"No, but we talked about it a lot," Rogen said, adding, "She smoked weed with Peter Sellers though. That's the craziest shit ever!"

It's rather too bad Rogen and Streisand didn't toke up, on or off screen, in their "for airplanes only" movie, in which Streisand's character drinks when she needs to blow off steam, instead of using something more interesting (and less harmful, according to our President).

La Streisand tells George Segal, "Now I'm going to make you happy" as she lights a joint to share with him in the 1970 film The Owl and the Pussycat

She recounted to Rolling Stone in 1971:
"Since I get nervous in places like Vegas, it occurred to me to do this funny little routine - actually telling the audience about my hangup. The point was, you shouldn't rely on emotional crutches. It was almost a sermon - no crutches, people; crutches are a no-no. Then at the end, I'd take out a joint and light it. First, just faking it. Then I started lighting live joints, passing them around to the band. It was great - it relieved all my tensions. And I ended up with the greatest supply of grass ever. Other acts up and down the Strip heard about what I was doing - Little Anthony and the Imperials, people like that - and started sending me the best dope in the world. I never ran out."

Barbra, The Way She Is by Christopher Anderson (2006) says Streisand's role in The Way We Were was dependent on her appearing at a McGovern rally organized by Warren Beatty on April 15, 1972 at the LA Forum (pictured above). According to David Crosby's book, Stand and Be Counted, after a second standing ovation at the McGovern event, Barbra stopped to talk to the crowd, reprising her Vegas act.

Speaking of her stage fright, she said, "I was even more scared until I spoke to friends of mine, also performers you know, and they were telling me. . . that in order to conquer their fear. . . some of them drink. But I really hate the taste of liquor so I can't do that. Some of them take pills, but I can't even take aspirin." At that moment she took an exaggerated drag of what appeared to be a joint. After huge laugher and applause, she made a confused face and asked, "It's still illegal?" Taking another toke she spoke through clenched teeth (as though holding the smoke in) she said, "We should face our problems head on."

She then sang, "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" (with the trippy lyric, "You'll feel part of every mountain, sea and shore / You can hear, from far and near, a world you've never heard before.") She received a total of six standing ovations. Listen to a recording of her marijuana monologue.

Streisand's current husband, James Brolin, played a pivotal role as an outgoing drug "czar" in the anti–drug war movie Traffic (2000). Her first husband, Elliot Gould, said in 1974, "I have no problem with drugs." Not even marijuana? he was asked. "No one has a problem with marijuana," he replied. The actor told Playboy in 1970 (while married to Streisand), "I'm able to switch into certain inner places with marijuana. I've also taken a couple of trips that have been incredible." Gould puffed pot in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice and appeared in the pot-friendly "Oceans 420" movies.

ADDENDUM 3/20: Streisand has published a HuffPo piece on carbon farming as a solution for climate change.

4/16: Anderson now claims Streisand had an affair with Prince Charles, who's been pretty open to medical marijuana. In December 1998, Charles surprised a Multiple Sclerosis sufferer by suggesting she try medical marijuana. Karen Drake, 36, said: "He said he had heard it was the best thing for relief from MS. In February 2000, Charles visited Trench Town, Jamaica, the neighborhood of late reggae legend Bob Marley, and was greeted by Marley's widow, Rita, and former bandmate Bunny Wailer. Mrs. Marley gave Charles a red, yellow and green Rastafarian knit hat with false dreadlocks, and the prince put it on.

11/15: Streisand has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, along with Congresswoman Barbara Mikulski, who introduced an amendment in June to prohibit the Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration from using money to interfere in state medical marijuana laws.

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