Weezer’s ‘Hash Pipe’ Was Almost an Ozzy Osbourne Song Instead
Weezer's 2001 single "Hash Pipe" could have been an Ozzy Osbourne song, Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo has revealed. However, the "Prince of Darkness" and Black Sabbath icon ultimately passed on the track.
That's the story Cuomo recently shared with Guitar World. The Weezer rocker appears on the cover of the magazine's current issue (July 2021) following the May 7 release of Van Weezer, the alt-rock mainstays' 15th studio album that delves into more hard rock territory than some other Weezer releases.
"Once, I think it was in 2000, he [Osbourne] asked if I had any songs for him," Cuomo recalled, "and I just happened to have written 'Hash Pipe.' I sent it to him, but he didn't end up using it. In another reality, it might be interesting to hear him singing that song."
Indeed, it would've been quite interesting to hear Osbourne reel off "Hash Pipe" lyrics such as "These players out to get me / 'Cause they like my behind" and "The knee-stocking flavor is the favorite treat / Of men that don't bother with the taste of a teat." (Cuomo composed the song about a transgender prostitute in a burst of tequila-and-Ritalin-fueled creativity one morning, as he has admitted in the past.)
Alas, an Osbourne-led "Hash Pipe" was not to be, but Weezer and Ozzy get another shot at artistic synergy on Van Weezer's "Blue Dream." The song contains a re-purposed riff from Osbourne's classic "Crazy Train," so Weezer are sharing songwriting credits with Ozzy and co-writers Randy Rhoads and Bob Daisley.
"Blue Dream" initially "existed with another riff," Cuomo explained. "[It] was good, but the riff was… It was okay, but it wasn't the greatest guitar riff of all time, which I felt like it should be. Coincidentally, at the same time, our manager said, 'Hey, you guys should sample the 'Crazy Train' riff in a song.'"
The Weezer bandleader continued, "I know he was thinking: 'What's going to get people talking? What is going to confuse the internet?' He had no idea what I was making, but it just seemed like the perfect suggestion. So we tried it. The tempo fit, and it all just seemed to come together."
"Hash Pipe" served as Weezer's comeback song in 2001 — it was the band's first single in four years, following the 1997 promotional release of "Pink Triangle," the final radio single culled from the band's Pinkerton album. "Hash Pipe" would appear on Weezer (The Green Album), released in May 2001.