In the lead-in to his article "Radio Stations Tune Out Drugs" (Sept. 15), David Crook demonstrates that the most innocuous changes in a text, removed from context, can result in a 180-degree change in meaning.
The quotation, as printed, read, "Living on reds, vitamin C and cocaine / All our friends can say is 'ain't it a shame.' " ("Truckin'," Grateful Dead). Crook uses the lyrics to illustrate the pro-drug stance which he perceives in much of popular music.
Interestingly, the verse provides a strong anti-drug message emphasizing the dangers of drug use--when quoted accurately: "What in the world ever became of sweet Jane? / She lost her sparkle you know she isn't the same / Living on reds, vitamin C and cocaine / All a friend can say is, 'ain't it a shame.' "
I have little doubt that examples of lyrics espousing drug use may be found in popular music. But if the real McCoys were such a cinch, surely Crook's point of view would be more effectively supported by accurately citing a contemporary example rather than by adulterating the content of a song written more than 15 years ago.