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Neil Young’s Recipe for “Honey Slides”

Neil Young’s 1974 album On the Beach is seen in the eyes of many, myself included, as one of his best albums. Part of the reason why people love this album so much has to do with the mellow groove that permeates throughout the majority of the record.

It’s been said that the reason why the album had this laid-back effect has a lot to do with the consumption of drugs in the studio. Specifically, the consumption of a concoction known as a “honey slide.”

In the Neil Young biography Shakey, published in 2003, Neil Young’s manager Elliott Roberts mentions them:

The high was debilitating. People passed out. This stuff was, like, way worse than heroin. Much heavier. Rusty [Kershaw] would pour it down your throat and within ten minutes you were catatonic.

Elliott Roberts discusses Honey Slides in Shakey.

Reading that, one might think a honey slide is going to be some serious hard drug. However, Neil Young himself revealed his recipe for the concoction during a concert at the Bottom Line Club in New York City’s Greenwich Village, May 16, 1974.

This he explains while introducing the song “Motion Pictures” (track 9 on the recording below, around 2:25).

I initially heard about this on Thrasher’s Wheat, an old Neil Young fan site. The article there mentions the recording, but not being able to find the tape. In the modern era, that tape is available on the Internet Archive!

Neil Young – Live in NYC 5/14/74

Neil Young Explains How to Make Honey Slides

Here is the quote from Neil, which you are free to try with today’s high grade marijuana, if you so please. I highly doubt that it’s actually stronger than heroin, so the quotes from Shakey are likely exaggerations, or missing an ingredient that Neil didn’t mention on stage.

Anyway, we’re in this hotel room, and we were trying some honey slides. You know what a honey slide is? Honey slide, mmm. That’s just, real poor grade marijuana, the worst you can get on the street. You take it and get your old lady, if you got one. Get her to cook up on the stove, put that grass in the grinder, get it real fine. Put it in the frying pan, put it on the stove. Turn the heat up a little, wait until that grass starts to smoke. Just a little bit, then take it off the heat. You don’t want to burn it too much.

Then you take the honey, get half a glass of honey about this big, I hope you ladies are listening tonight, it’s very important. Just heat that honey right up until it’s slippery, you know. Then mix that grass with it, take that fine grass that you cooked up until it started to smoke and then you took it off. Mix those together with a spoon.

I think you should eat it after that. Just eat it after that, maybe a spoonful or two. You’d be surprised, it just makes you feel fine. That cheap grass is great. You know, in these times you have to think about things like that.

Neil Young Explains How to Make Honey Slides, 1974

Honey Slides Recipe

Here it is again, in an easier-to-follow format.

Ingredients

  • Low-grade marijuana, as poor as you can find
  • Honey, half a glass or as needed
  • A willingness to experiment

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Marijuana:
    • Grind the marijuana until it’s very fine.
    • Place it in a frying pan without oil, and put it on a stove.
    • Heat it slightly until the marijuana just starts to smoke, then remove it from the heat immediately to prevent burning.
  2. Heat the Honey:
    • In a separate saucepan, heat the honey over low heat until it becomes runny and easy to stir.
  3. Combine the Ingredients:
    • Mix the warmed honey with the slightly smoked marijuana.
    • Stir with a spoon until both ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  4. Serving:
    • Serve the mixture warm, a spoonful or two should suffice.
    • Enjoy the effects, which should leave you feeling surprisingly fine.

Serving Size: A spoonful or two, as per Young’s recommendation.


Enjoy your honey slides! Note that marijuana is not legal in every jurisdiction, so please indulge at your own risk. Also be aware of the possible negative effects of consuming too much marijuana, if you are not well-versed in the substance already.