Writer and producer Sharon Letts began her life's work at the age of 24 as a flower gardener in Southern California, under the shingle, The Secret Garden.
Gardening turned to television, producing series, In and Out of the Garden. Sharon went on to executive produce Off the Beaten Path, a California travelogue for PBS with a focus on art, food and wine.
After working as a Field and Segment producer for documentary and magazine shows in Los Angeles for national television, Sharon was brought up to Humboldt County in Northern California to produce a news show. While there, Sharon presented with breast cancer, Lobular Carcinoma. Humboldt County is considered the cannabis capital of the world, and Sharon was given a strong cannabis oil, successfully putting the cancer into remission, while doing away with up to 10 prescription medications and supplements, changing her life and career forever.
Today Sharon is considered one of the most prolific and informative writers in the cannabis space, penning several ongoing series for many publications around the world. Her two written series’ What’s in Your Stash? and Weed Traveler have also been developed as a reality and travel show, respectively.
1. Norman Greenbaum - Spirit in the Sky
Aside from this song's extremely bad ass melody and choral back-up, it's withstood the test of time for a solid hit. This was Greenbaum's one hit wonder, and though I'm moved by its seeming spirituality, he was inspired by Westerns - watching cowboys die with their boots on. True story. Written in 15 minutes, the song has Christian overtones, even though Greenbaum was Jewish. Artistic liberty taken. No matter, for me, it still begs the welcoming mantra, “Beam me up, Scotty!" “When I die and they lay me to rest, gonna go to the place that’s the best, when I lay me down to die, goin’ up to the spirit in the sky.” Definitely do a dab for this one. And, encourage those I love to puff, puff, and pass – as it plays during my memorial when I’m gone and they’ve laid me to rest. For real.
2. David Bowie - Rock n' Roll Suicide
Originally released as the final track on the album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, the song poetically reflects his washed-up alter-ego’s demise. Bowie said the inspiration for the lyrics came from French poet, Baudelaire. Of the many versions recorded of this iconic song, none gives me full-body chills like this particular live version. Bowie was on his game that night. The song is known as “blue-eyed soul,” rhythm & blues performed by a white artist – but, in my mind, Bowie’s got soul overflowing. “Time takes a cigarette, puts it in your mouth... Wall to wall is calling, it lingers, still you forget... No, (cowbell) you're a rock and roll suicide. (Drum beats to the soul) Oh no, love, you’re not alone.” I’d listen to this sipping one of my spiced rum-cannabis-infused cocktails, and a bit of hash in the bowl.
3. The Zombies - Time of the Season
In my mind, The Zombies are one of the most underrated bands of the ‘60s. The song was written by Rod Argent - a musician's musician, who two years later founded the band, Argent. Amazingly, “Time of the Season” was never a hit, but it’s one of those classic melodic tunes that can transport you back to the “love the one your with” era in a heartbeat. It’s seductive, wooing a young woman, wanting to take her to "promised lands.” Hey, it was the ‘60s. "What's your name, who's your daddy? Is he rich like me? Has he taken any time to show you what you need to live? Tell it to me slowly… “ I’d listen to this while pleasuring myself with some cannabis-infused salve – dreaming of being laid down in a mist of patchouli.
4. Led Zeppelin - Going to California
The acoustic guitar by Jimmy Page, with mandolin by John Paul Jones, has to be one of the most beautiful, lamenting ballads in Rock and Roll. Listed as number 11 on Rolling Stone’s 40 Greatest Led Zeppelin songs of all time. I’d put it higher on the list, but I’m a SoCal born and raised girl, and Robert Plant was singing this one right to me. I would have even let him wear my hip huggers. “Spent my days with a woman in kind, Smoked my stuff and drank all my wine. Made up my mind, gonna make a new start. Going to California with an aching in my heart. Someone told me there's a girl out there With love in her eyes and flowers in her hair.” For this one, a big fragrant fatty soaked in oil and dusted with kief, enjoyed on the beach with someone I love. Robert, where are you?
5. Janis Joplin - Mercedes Benz
As the story goes, Janis was inspired to write this song after hearing Beat Poet, Michael McClure, recite his own poem, asking God to buy him a Mercedes Benz. She penned it with McClure and songwriter Bob Neuwirth. It’s a slap in the face to consumerism that still works today. I’ve added it to this list as it’s my favorite sing-a-long, custom made for a tribal circle around a campfire – to which I’ve sung it many times, perfectly off-key, a cappella, as God and Janis intended – and I know all four verses! Laying down my favorite one here. “Oh, Lord, won't you / Buy me a night on the town / I'm counting on you, Lord, Please don't let me down / Prove that you love me / And buy the next round / Oh, Lord, won't you buy me a night on the town.” I’d pass the bottle of my spicy cannabis, habanero-infused Tequila around the campfire for this one (recipes on my website).