The True Origin of 420 – Setting The Record Straight

October 15, 2012 By 25 comments
Brad Bann aka The Bebe 420

Ever since I read an article about a group of guys named the Waldos claiming to be the originators of 420, I had doubts from the start as something didn’t make sense. Why did they choose 4:20 as the time to meet at the statue and who was the one that first coined the term? This never made any sense to me and I knew something wasn’t right. Suspecting there was a true originator, I began sending out energy for them to contact me for this article. Today was that day.

I received an email from a guy named Brad Bann aka “The Bebe”, claiming to be the Father of 420, saying that it all started in 1970 with a group of guys called “The Bebes”. They lived on a golf course, in a neighborhood called “Peacock Gap” in San Rafael, California.

Bebe says, “The Bebes and the Waldos are still good friends to this day, however it’s time the truth be told.” He goes on to say, “The Waldos were a group of guys I ordained”, referring to Steven Capper as the “Original Waldo”. He went on to explain how the Waldos were a small group of guys he dubbed “Waldos”, because they were goofy. “During the summer of 1970 at San Rafael High School, there were two groups of people involved in bringing forth the term 420, the Bebes and the Waldos. The Bebes beat the Waldos to the punch on nearly every phrase. The Waldos put a story on the Web in 1998, but not the real story. They never mentioned the Bebes because they would have some explaining to do.”

The Bebe and one of the other Bebes named, “Bone Boy”, sent their claim to High Times in 2003, after someone sent them the article they did on 420 and the Waldos. They waited for months, yet never received a reply.

420 Letter From Bone Boy

The Bebe Is The Thomas Edison Of 420

With over 420 million Google results, the morphing of the number 420 into an international phenomenon is fairly baffling to me, an early ’70s graduate of San Rafael High School in Marin County, California.

I’ve been sent numerous stories over the years regarding tracing the beginning of 420. I’ve listened to syndicated radio talk show hosts devote nearly entire shows to 420 on April 20th, heard radio shows celebrate each weekday with a Reggae tune at 4:20, and have seen 420 features on TV. How about the number being a police code, or penal code, or The Who’s 1965 album cover of “My Generation” in front of Big Ben at 4:20, clocks in the film, “Pulp Fiction” set to 4:20, etc… Anyway, I can tell you, as one who has firsthand knowledge of its true origin, that nearly everybody has been had…

It is amazing to me that even sociologists have weighed in with their “expert” 420 viewpoint (and they get paid for this!?) of what it means. “420 creates an intense sense of group belonging among friends, strangers, and crowds” or “a kind of mystical, spiritual, or extraordinary sense of belonging, where the group exists as a reality greater than itself”… What? Way too stoned in Madagascar I’m afraid.

True, the term initiated its international acronymic ascent in the early 1970’s- actually 1970 at San Rafael High School (SRHS). And the notions SRHS alumni left Marin County, taking 420 to the collegiate level, mostly along the West Coast, the I-5 and 101 corridors, and in fact, all the way past Seattle and up to Prudhoe Bay are true as well. I know, I took it to the Arctic Sea with an Arctic 4-twone standing on frozen water. The number also surfaced and spread throughout the Grateful Dead concert community, thanks in large part to the Waldos I’m certain, taking the term east, promoting the newly fabled number on a national scale. Deadheads are a great promotional vehicle, however this is about where the myths end and the truth takes off…

I’m sorry, but the real story is rather short, unimpressive and unimaginative. It is spontaneous though, just like the character who first coined the term, completely by accident, like most things from his youth. Brad Bann aka The Bebe (Beeb – a nickname) about seventeen at the time, is the Father of 420 and many other terms that caught on around the campus of SRHS in the Fall of 1970. Take for instance “Waldos”, used in the current “420 Smokelore”, denoting a group of guys. It was a word originally made up to describe an odd, awkward, out of place person. Its predecessor was “Gome” or “Gomer”, after the TV character, Gomer Pyle and our neighborhood Gomer, Gary “Gomo” Schweitzer. When Bebe didn’t know you, he would call out, “Hey Waldo” or “Hey Gome”. Bebe also had specific nicknames for everyone and everything in our neighborhood: The Blue Boys, Puff, Du, Hello Andy, Turkey, Bone Boy, Thorgy, The Mead, Pig Newton, the Incredible Walking Man, and Bonfiglio (Or Bonfig), a tag he would use to address bearded hippies of the era. There was Dune (pot, taken from the title of a sci-fi novel) and “Alfred”, a term meaning, “To borrow, but never return”. He spawned Jimmy Bardoni, a fictitious name he would use whenever he got into hot water. Bebe not only concocted 420, he labeled the guys who claim to have created it. “The Waldos” (Though they were not the Waldo Father’s of 420) were perhaps the greatest promoters of the number back then. I mention all of this in an attempt to lay a foundation, I suppose, of a history of “Mindless Term Invention” by the Bebe.

Quite simply, the birth of 420 occurred at precisely 4:20 in the afternoon to begin a bedroom bong session at the house of Du and Puff on a Saturday in October of 1970. The Bebe along with the brothers began preparing to “bong out”, when Bebe glanced at the clock on the nightstand and said, “It’s 4:20, time for bong loads”. After getting high, they proceeded to do some audio recording with Bebe, as we did frequently, using his assortment of voices, including his impression of Abraham Lincoln, and said as tape was rolling: “4 score and 20 years ago…” As it turned out, 420 became an instant code in our neighborhood. We gravitated to any and all Bebe terminology he conjured up. 420 seemed to just roll off the tongue better than any other number, 4:19, 2:37, 3:58 etc, and gosh knows we needed a code to use in front of non-stoners, especially for the parental establishment. I remember once Bebe saying, “It’s 420” in front of Hello Andy’s mother, and she responded by saying in a minor panic, “My goodness, it can’t be that late yet, I have to go pick up your sister!” As knucklehead teenagers, I guess we never realized parents were on such prompt time schedules. 420 developed its own lexicon, “Do you have any 4-twone?”, “Who’s got the 4-twone?”, “This is excellent 4-twone” or “420″, and “I’m too 4-twentyed”. Sign language and lip reading also evolved, as well as a hesitation code of sorts, where a person would say 4, then moments later, 2, followed shortly thereafter by a 0. There was the countdown as well 4-2- Zero. Way too stoned: “4-twoned”. It was also used to define certain kinds of weed, “420 Colombo” and “Thai 420” for Thai sticks.

I submit the story just shared is the truth and nothing but the whole 420 truth. 420 was only designated as an actual time at the moment of its inception. It was never intended as a time of day to get high, but evolved into that as well as the coronation of April 20th into the stoner holiday all over the world. It was and will always be, first and foremost, just a simple code, period. 420 is an accidental anomaly. There is no deep meaning. A guy looked at a clock as he was about to “smoke out” with some buddies, blurted out the time, and it became local stoner lore. If Bebe would have said, “It’s twenty minutes after four”, the term probably would have never gotten legs to get out of the bedroom that day. 420 just sounded “Stoner Poetic”.

The Waldos were a real group of guys, ordained by Bebe. One of them, Bebe referred to as the “Original Waldo” I believe. But now it’s time to examine the story. Of the Waldos in 1970, I believe one was a junior, one or two were sophomores and the others freshmen. Two of them I believe lived in the same neighborhood, and the others in different parts of town. One dude’s dad was a DEA agent as I recall.

School finished at about 3pm, for some earlier. Some may have had sports after school, some didn’t. Now, let me get this straight: Guys are going to return an hour and a half after school was dismissed to meet at a statue, get high and go look for pot plants a lengthy drive away? If this is believable, you must be in possession of some excellent 420. Have you ever driven from San Rafael to Pt. Reyes? It’s about an hour each way (without commute traffic). So at 4:20, guys get together at the Louis Pasteur statue in the middle of campus, away from sports fields or gymnasiums, pile into a car and cruise out to Pt. Reyes looking for pot plants based on some map, then return? 4:20 seems kind of late to be driving an hour or so to look for pot plants. Might the sunset have interfered with their ability to find anything? What time did they get home, especially if they indulged in herb and did a bit of wandering out at Point Reyes? Which, by the way is highly likely. Of course they didn’t have any homework.

If they played sports, how could one be sure practice was going to end close to 4:20? It is a reasonable assumption that practice for any sport lasts close to two hours, but wouldn’t the coach be the only one with that information? A meaningful question that should be asked of “The Waldos” is, “Why did you choose 4:20 as the time to meet at the statue as opposed to 4:15 or 4:30?” Seems so implausibly random. And, which of the Waldo’s was the one who first coined the term? One might suggest they chose the time because they gravitated to the Bebe’s new code and turned 420 into their time of day to partake in herb. But even that would be flawed, because they chose 4:20 as a time of day to meet and drive somewhere, not get stoned.

Postmarks on letters is an interesting tool in tracing the beginnings of 420, but I’m sure that if Bebe saved any of his reel to reel tapes of prank phone calls, 420 would no doubt be heard.

I was in Las Vegas with a friend during NCAA March Madness this year. As we were going down the elevator from our hotel room to the lobby, we stopped at several floors acquiring passengers along the way. Most were sporting shirts from their favorite teams. When I asked one young man what time his team played, he replied, “Game starts at 4:20”. Most of the eight other people in the elevator began to chuckle. People from various parts of the country knew exactly what the number represented.

420 is now a brightly colored number in the fabric of Pop Culture. When something enters, then becomes part of Pop Culture, the truth of where that “something” originated demands to be uncovered. That moment for 420 has been “now” for quite some time. How did it come to be? How was it intended to be used? Who first conceived and uttered the term? Who is responsible for creating this iconic three digit number?

It’s a simple truth, really. Brad Bann aka The Bebe is the Thomas Edison of 420.”

 

The moment of truth. I finally had the answer I’d been seeking and it was time to set the record straight, once and for all.

420 Interviews

To verify credibility, I began contacting all of The Bebes, gathering information on the story. I confirmed all of their full names and identities, some of which asked to keep secret for personal and/or professional reasons. After interviewing 10 Bebes and hearing all of their stories, it was easy to conclude that there was definitely a hidden truth, that needed to be revealed. Everyone told the exact same story!

Meet Dave Dixon aka Wild Du, one of the Dixon brothers who was there when Bebe coined the term 420. Bebe describes Wild Du as, “a “Core Bebe”, who I sold knife sets to businesses up and down the California Coast with, just out of high school. Him and I started “The 420 Band” in 1972, and still play to this day.” Wild Du says, “I first met Bebe at the neighborhood gathering when we were 15. We went to the brick yard to play and Bebe started throwing bricks and poking holes in the mortar with his fingers, causing a ruckus, which ended up in getting us both arrested.” He went on to say that the Waldos have admitted that the Bebes coined the term 420 to him, just not to the public.

Dave is now 58 years old, still lives in San Rafael, California grinding knives and playing guitar with Bebe.

Then there’s Wild Du’s brother Dan Dixon aka Puff, the other Dixon brother who was there when Bebe coined the term 420. Bebe describes Puff as another “Core Bebe”, saying, “Puff was popular with the Bebes and the Waldos, this is how all the words the Bebes made up, became language that the Waldos ended up using, like 420. Puff and I were in the Army in Germany together and were always seen together during high school.” Puff says, “The Waldos admit that the Bebes coined the term 420, there is no question. They even tried to recruit me, to make their story more credible.”

Dan is now 57 years old and lives in Oklahoma, where he is a retired caregiver for his mother in law. He spent his career as a Basketball Coach, later to become a Pharmacy Tech, providing health care to those in need. He loves football, basketball, golf and 420.

When brothers Wild Du & Puff were asked to recall the exact Saturday in October, 1970, they both remembered puffing in the house with Bebe on those particular weekends and confirm being there when Bebe coined the term, however were unable to pin down the exact day. Wild Du thinks it happened on the first (10/03/70) or second (10/10/70) Saturday of October, because it was the beginning of school.

Tom Thorgersen aka Thorgy was the neighborhood Norwegian weed dealer, who handled all of the Bebe’s 420 needs. Bebe recalls, “Thorgy was the big 420 weed dealer in the 70s & 80s and the Bebes spent a lot of time at Thorgy’s.” Thorgy started smoking at 12 years of age, to calm his hyperactivity. His mom even offered to help him grow it. He shared stories about calling in to radio shows with the Bebe and doing 420 pranks on the air, and listening to the reel to reel audio recordings of Bebe’s version of Abraham Lincoln’s address, “4 Score and 20 Years”. Thorgy says, “Steve Capper is an opportunist who wasn’t even close to making up 420. We made fun of the Waldos, aka “Wallies”, they were the weaker link, the ones who didn’t fit in. It will be nice to finally have the truth be told.”

Tom is now 55 years old and still lives in San Rafael, California. He is a Carpenter with a passion for rebuilding old cars.

Dave Anderson aka Hello Andy was, “The main spokesman for the Bebes, who tried desperately to organize and explain Bebe behavior”, says Bebe. Hello Andy recalls, “Everything Bone Boy said is true. Bebe was always making up nicknames for everyone and spent a lot of time in his bedroom making prank recordings. He was always making weird sounds and was great with voices. One time we made this recording of police calls where Bebe would say stuff like, “One Adam Twelve. We have a 420 on 4th Street. Send 2 units. Over”. He would do things like aiming rocks at a target, looking long and hard at it, then saying something like, “Estimating angle 420″, then throw it. Hello Andy goes on to say, “I lived in between Bebe and Du & Puff, and took part in plenty of bong outs at their house. It’s highly likely that I could have been there at the time he first said it, however there is no question that Bebe certainly coined the term 420, which later became our special code. To be honest with you, I never even considered Steve Capper a Waldo.

Dave is now 57 years old, lives in Sacramento, California and is an Engineer. He likes Golf, sports, music, movies and a little 420 from time to time at a concert or special occasion like the Bebe’s 420 reunion.

Bone Boy was the designated driver, chauffeuring The Bebes around in his Blue 66′ Barracuda, blasting 8-Tracks of Hendrix, Zeppelin, The Who, Santana, Doobie Brothers & more. Bone Boy says, “I never allowed toking out in my car, so we would drive around Marin County looking for scenic places to take the car and get high. Some of our favorite spots were, “The Wall”, “Windless”, Sequoia” and “360″.” Bebe says, “Bone Boy always had transportation and planned events. He was very good in sports, loved music and always had new albums. All the Bebes were good in sports and had very good communication skills. We all used Sonics, a loud piercing noise that Bebes could identify and locate each other, saved our asses more than once.” Bone Boy says, “We would go to Baskin Robbins and Bebe would make this high pitch sonic noise. People would just look around and wonder where it came from. He was always screwing with people, in an odd, fun way.” He goes on to say, “We lived on a golf course surrounded by houses and Bebe was always doing something crazy. One day, he showed up with a golf cart. When we asked where he got it, he said, “Don’t worry, nobody pays attention.” Bone Boy says, “I asked a teacher from San Rafael High School if they remembered The Bebe and he said they used to have staff meetings about Bebe and his pranks, all of the time”.

Bone Boy is now 57 years old, lives in Huntington Beach, CA and is a music industry veteran. He loves film, music, writing, teaching and the great outdoors.

Turkey was from Georgia and spoke differently with a southern twang. Bebe recalls, “He always had to go home early and would say, “my ass is grass”, then run home. He had a mini bike that would go 42.0 mph, some of our first transportation.”

Then there was The Worm, who Bebe says had a prosthetic arm and used to play tackle football with them. “I love that guy, so full of life. He was a real game person, many stories about and with him. He would love to be part of this.”

Blue and The Mead were two anti-social brothers called Blue Boys, who were a few years younger. Bebe says, “Blue Boy” was a term we gave to the younger guys who hung out with us.” Hello Andy recalls, “One time I watched Blue Boys, Blue and Scraun play a prank on the coach. They watched their watches and when the time came, they asked, “Hey coach, what time is it?” He replied, “4:20″ and they all started giggling.”

And finally we come to Brad Bann aka The Bebe. He was known as a prankster back in high school. He loves music, sports, and scientific facts. He still lives in San Rafael, California where he plays guitar and is the lead singer in a band, doing Frank Sinatra covers. When Bebe isn’t playing live gigs, you can still find him in his studio making funny songs and recordings. Today is actually his 58th Birthday. What a perfect time to reveal his hidden truth to the world. Hempy Birthday, Brother Bebe!

When asked if anyone possibly had any of the reel to reel prank calls and/or random audio recordings of The Bebe with 420; Bebe lost all of his, Wild Du’s were stolen and Bone Boy’s mysteriously disappeared. Unfortunately, nobody else had any recollection of having any of these recordings, however with the release of this new truth, hopefully some of them will manifest in the days to come.

420 Conclusion

The Bebes were a group of athletes from San Rafael, CA, who went to San Rafael High School in 1970. They lived in the same neighborhood called Peacock Gap, which was a golf course, surrounded by houses. They were well known for their prank phone calls and recordings. Brad Bann aka The Bebe was the leader of the group and was joined by all of his friends, whom he ordained and named as well. There was Dave Dixon aka Wild Du, his brother Dan Dixon aka Puff, Dave Anderson aka Hello Andy, Tom Thorgersen aka Thorgy, Bone Boy, Blue, The Mead, Turkey & The Worm.

The Waldos were a group of guys from San Rafael, CA, who went to San Rafael High School in 1970. They were known for being goofy, which is why The Bebe nicknamed them all Waldos. There was Steve Capper and David Reddix who have gone public with their names, Patrick, Larry, Jeff, John and Mark, who have not gone public as of yet. While these guys may have been responsible for promoting 420 across country, there is no question that they did not coin the term and have been dishonest with the world from day one. True credit goes to The Bebe and his brotherhood of Bebes.

420 Closing

One thing is certain to me, Brad Bann aka the Bebe coined the term 420 and the Waldos carried the term across the U.S. on tour with the Grateful Dead. I took the torch in 1993 and promoted 420 to the world via my website/s, reaching over 20 million people a year, totaling over 420 million people worldwide. Now there are billions of us.

People have asked me the same question, 420 million times, “What is 420?” The most common reply was usually an hour long explanation of 420 different things that it is and can be. After 20 years of promoting this magical number, I’ve come to summarize it down to, “It’s anything you want it to be.”

It’s been 42.0 years since Bebe first coined the term 420 and I am very honored and truly grateful for being chosen to send his message to the world, setting the record straight once and for all.

It all makes sense now.

Rob Griffin
Editor-in-Chief

420 Magazine
PO Box 3420
Hollywood, CA 90078
1-888-420-MAGG
http://www.420magazine.com
http://www.twitter.com/420magazine
http://www.facebook.com/420magazine

Contact: editor@420magazine.com

Photo Gallery of Bebes

All content copyright © 1993-2013 420 Magazine ® All Rights Reserved

 

  • Blue420

    This is finally the true story for the origin of 420. Blue

  • SwedishCloset

    It’s shurley A good number they picked!
    /
    Greetings from Sweden!

  • Woosh

    My name John Wullschleger. I do have a nickname as well. My friends couldn’t ever pronounce my last correctly. The most obvious but wrong attempts were like, “WushLegger” or “Wooshlegger. So the nickname just got shortened down to just “WUSH”..pronounced “WOOSH”. I am a SRHS graduate, class of 1984. I lived in San Rafael from 1967 to 2000. I lived in the adjacent neighborhood, Glenwood, to the nearby neighborhood, Peacock Gap. I lived right down the street from Tom Thorgersen, aka “Thorgy”. Although, I’m younger than The Bebe, Wild Du, Thorgy, Puff, Blue Boy, Capper, Reddix, They all know me. I’m here to reenforce that the origin of 420 is indeed established in 1970…sumthin. And was indeed from San Rafael High.
    I am a 420 enthusiast, and somewhat of a musician. Ive’ played the drums, on and off sometimes, since the 7th grade. Although, I had smoked marijuana as a young adolescent, not hearing the term 420 yet. I recall hanging out with some friend after going up to Thorgy’s house to score some smoke, and then going down to the elementry (Glenwood Elementry) and sitting near the kindergarten classroom, at two lunch benches push together, and carved and burned into the middle of the table was a Big Carved Out…..”420″. I actually think Thorgy carved it. But it became known as The 420 Bench. By the time I was in high school, i knew the term. It then spawned down into my years at SRHS. Wherever you were, before school, middle of school, after school, if you had some weed on you, you had some 4 Twone. Pronounced either 4-twone(Tw1) or 4-Twon, or just Twon. Especially after school, if you had some Twon, you would always try to get high at precisely 4:20pm. If you couldn’t make the time cut off, you would do your best either to smoke as closest you could to either before 4:20 or as close after 4:20.
    The seniors of each graduating class, would pick a random day, either in late April or in May sometime, and all the seniors would cut the whole day of school to go do something fun together, with or without alcohol or 420. This became what was known as Senior Cut Day. By the time I became a senior in high school, the senior cut day got designated to April 20th. So it then became EPIC to actually get high at 4:20pm on April 20th.
    After graduating SRHS, I went on to college up at Chico, Ca. Everybody knew the term up there, whether we brought it up there, but I believe Northern Cali heard the term before my group of friends or classmates reached Chico.
    It wasn’t until after returning home from college, did I come into contact with Brad Bann and Dave Dixon, and where they and “420″ entered and became awesome and enjoyable and hilarious parts or episodes in my life.
    I lived on a corner house in Glenwood, and my bedroom, was the corner bedroom. I would always be playing my drums with my stereo cranked up to “11″, so I could play along with the music. Thorgy would always either be leaving his house or coming home from work, and would hear me playing as he drove by.
    I had ran into the Bebe years before in high school, playing basketball down at San Rafael High, on the weekends, with my friend Natu. And Brad (Bann)(Bebe) was one of the guys that would play hoops in these pick up games.
    One day as I was coming up Knight Drive, in Glenwood, I found myself driving behind Thorgy, in his convertible MG. We came to the stop sign, and I pulled up along side him to ask him if I could come up to the house for a “spell”? He then re introduced me to Bebe and said to Brad, ” This is the guy I’m talking about, who is always playing his drums in his room at that corner house.” Thorgy and Brad suggested that I, along with Brad and Dave, should get together and play some rock n roll. Although Brad and Dave had written and play music in the past, I’m not sure they ever had a drummer involved until we got together.
    From that day on, we would haul my set down to their apartment in “The Canal”, near the Bahia Vista area near Pickleweed Park. We then started rehearsing and piecing together some of their earlier songs, some written by Brad Bann, some written by Dave Dixon and Brad Bann, but most of the songs were written by Dave Dixon. the were all incorporated into the Maestro Garret song book. Owned by Brad and Dave. We then recruited their next door neighbor, Richard Herron, as a bass player, and this is where the original incarnation of The 420 Band began. I am proud to say that I am, and was the original drummer of The 420 Band.
    Richard Herron eventually moved to Sourthern Cal, pursued work opportunity, and got married. The 420 attended. We then needed another bass player. Auditioned a string of replacements, until coming across another SRHS alumni, Jeff Rowley, aka Wyle E Coyote. Jeff became an instant fixture in the band.
    The four of us then practiced our asses off until we came with about 20 to 30 songs that were, in my opinion, almost ready to take public to play for the local San Rafael nightlife establishments. But we needed a demo, not to mention, an Ace in Hole, kick ass, shredding lead guitar player. Mr Rowley knew just the man we needed. We brought Dave Gerbic, a Marin County known veteran, to come into the studio, and lay some tracks down over the bands music. Dave was our answer that we were waiting for. His playing technique and ability surpassed ours and frankly, brought our music, up to the professional level we needed. We were ready to make that demo or CD to give to the local clubs.
    We put out a CD in 1996, the first CD put out by the original band. Simply just called….. The 420 Band. Was a great time making that CD. Although Gerbic heightened the band sound and outlook, he wasnt ready to start gigging every weekend, to promote the CD. Dave elected to bow out at the time. We were set back a step, and we needed another lead guitar player.
    By suggestion, from another colleague of another Marin Co. based band(flanelhed), Murf suggested we use Steve Michels. Another SRHS alumni, and Chico Alum, and who Murf and I had played with, in the early incarnation years of flanelhed. I had known Steve from high school, from his playing in a local band up at Chico State, and from a circle or friends through flanelhed. Steve was a great choice to replace Dave Gerbic. We then decided to follow up the debut CD, with a sophomore effort, but money was tight. So we made a cassette. A what? Yes, a cassette. You remember those. Technically, the second release by the band.
    Then it was my turn, I got married in ’96, but still played with the band. I moved to Santa Cruz, Ca, but still commuted back to the bay area, but still played with The 420 Band. But then, the wife and I had our first child, so by the end of a fast moving 9 month, my drum playing time n practicing got down sized, along with not be able to come up to San Rafael on the weekends all the time. I kept trying to allocate time, but it wasn’t enough to show improvement, and the band was suffering due to it. They needed to replace me now. A replacement drummer, Bob Wolfe was used in live performances. It took them two years to find someone, and I continued to play and practiced with them, when I could, but they finally enlisted a superior drummer, Buddy(Michael) Cass. A veteran drummer from a well known Bay Area band called DJ Burns. Buddy had no problem dialing it down a bit to play with The 420 Band. He was quite an addition to the band, not just playing either. Eric Werner eventually emerged as the next bass player. And even Bob Wolfe and Dave Gerbic helped out with Dixon’s Logic(Dave Dixon’s solo project). Although The 420 Bands’ members have come and gone, they have always put out good original rock and roll. But Brad Bann and Dave Dixon are still they founding members of the band and have been always a permanent fixture of the band’s progression.
    THIS IS QUITE ENOUGH TALK ABOUT the band …… The 420 Band
    I just thought that you might like some background on Brad and Dave’s 420 musical attributes.
    WHAT I’M HERE TO SAY, IS THAT I’M LIVING PROOF AND CAN SAY THAT I HAVE HEARD ALL THESE OLD STORIES FROM MY DAYS WITH THE BAND. AND I KNOW THAT BRAD BANN MADE UP THE TERM 420. AND THAT BRAD BANN AND DAVE DIXON ARE WHAT MAKE THE “420″ IN THE 420 BAND.

    BEBE IS THE THOMAS EDISON OF 420 AND HE AND DAVE DIXON ARE THE FOUNDING MEMBERS OF THE 420 BAND.

    To the editor of 420 Magazine, feel free to contact Brad Bann, to obtain my cell number and e-mail address, if you feel the need to obtain additional info or to clarify and verify any facts you might need again.

    Also…in the future, the 420 Band to release yet another batch of 420 induced and influenced rock and roll. We’ll keep ya posted……..
    Thanks for your time Wush

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-Lucas/100001994637935 Jeff Lucas

    when i went to San Rafael high School and Madrone (90-94) 420 was permanent grafitti all over the school, and Irene was always watching around Louis Pasteur statue. Most of us would go over to Montecito plaza to smoke, we had an open campus at lunch. But inbetween classes and at brunch, we’d be on the rocks behind the gym, on the bleachers, behind the science building and Madrone. But there was always people watching around the statue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-Lucas/100001994637935 Jeff Lucas

    I think Tom Truchan, history teacher at San Rafael High School, will have the most accurate answer as to the source of 420. In fact, I’ll bet he’s the one that started it.

  • Glenn

    John is speaking the absolute truth. I’m a bit older than John and younger than the Beebes and Waldos although I know them all and hung-out at Thorgy’s with them many a time. I remember using the phrase 4-20 when I started smoking twone at 13 years of age back in ’74. At that time even kids from another school in San Rafael did not know what 4-20 meant at the time. (Terra Linda High School) It then spread virally over the world very soon thereafter.

    By the way, there was two 4-20 benches, John. There was one at Glenwood School, by the kindergarten and one up at Victor Jones Park. My group of friends carved these. I will not mention there full names because they may not appreciate this. Danny, “Nut”and Steve were their names. I know you know them, my friend. :-)

    I know Beebe and Thorgy well. I remember listening to Beebe’s comedy tapes with prank calls and they were totally funny. Beebe had a knack for these calls and they were so funny that most of the time people on the other end were laughing, too. He was years ahead of “The Jerky Boys” for this as well.

    There was also another original member named “Danimal”. Danimal is not the same Dan as those mentioned previously but he was also around in those days with The Beebe and Wild Du.

    One thing never mentioned in all of the folklore ever and I would love to be the first person to share this with the rest of the world.

    Although, I am quite positive Beebe invented the term 4-20. I am not quite clear who originated the suffix we would often append to 4-20.

    Here it is: “EYOT”.

    4-20 at some point changed into a longer code at some point: “4-20 EYOT”.

    Sounds like I just made this up, huh? :-) Wait until others confirm this little known fact. Although the term 4-20 became a global phenomena, the suffix: “EYOT” was never made famous.

    Us folk from way back in the early 4-20 days remember this, though. :-)

    Here’s what it stands for and I don’t know what significance it has to tell you the truth. Perhaps my buddy The Beebe or one of the other early 4-20 people can help to elaborate? EYOT stand for “Every young own thing”. Even back then, though, some of us thought this may have stood for “Every young old thing”…

    As I said, I am not really sure what this means but it was actually used by us original 4-20 people almost as frequently as the term 4-20 alone.

    I would like to just leave my first name. Those of you who were there know me and brother, too.

    It is absolutely true > Beebe is the founder of 4-20! If anyone knows Beebe they also know that Beebe made up names and I would bet money that Beebe coined the Waldos, too.

    Glenn

  • Glenn

    Hi Jeff,

    When we went to school at SRHS in the early “70s we had a soccer field in front of the school and fourth street went all the way up to the front steps of the High School. We also had a parking lot in the front where the greasers would bake tires and so forth. This was back before we had periods breaking the day up and we all had this weird thing called modular scheduling. Students would have certain mods free at varying times from one another and as a result a teacher could not tell if anyone belonged in class at a given time.

    We had a school “narc” named: Daryll who was obviously not a teenager and we all knew what his job was. Daryll was the coolest and we would actually twone with Daryll a few times. :-)

    Let’s get back to the soccer field. It was in plain sight of all and every day it would be populated with groups of 2-6 people all 4-20′ing and not hiding. In fact, we were all protected from being harassed since there was so many of us doing this at once. Usually lunchtime was the main period where we all aggregated to the soccer field, but we went there whenever. The funny thing is even when the police rolled up from time to time for various things n one hid. The cops would just go into to the school to conduct whatever business they were there for.

    When we didn’t want to or could not share we found other places like the rocks by the gym and the stairs at the left front of the Ad building under the tree. We went across the street to Montecito Plaza and would sneak into the room where they stored the letters for the theatre marquee. We never vandalized the place and this was a secret secure spot to party for a long time. We were even able to lock the door :-)

    Those were some pretty awesome days!

    The truth is that people back then could get away with smoking right in front of the school.

    Although, Beebe invented 4-20 for sure and not The Waldos.

    Glenn

  • Eman

    eyot the bebe is the true inventor , they called me blue boy. blue boy is a phrase coined young, dumb , and full of jizz monte. What a creative bunch of heshland athletes,. the true 420 boys ! These guys would rip me off time and time again but would make up for it by teaching the important craft of making a bong , yeh we would make these bongs out bamboo and the parents in the neighborhoods of the surrounding area could not figure out why the biggest timber of the stock was disappearing all over there gardens.One parent caught wind of this and told all the parents there making baks.The neighborhood stoners got wind of this and we all laughed like were peaking acid.Of course thats after we took bong hits. I will update this story from time to time. But to get the record straight about Tom Thorgenson he was never ever a pot dealer ,Just someone who glued parsley & basil to a chop stick and called it a thai stick . I never once ever received the real twon from aka thorgy just a bunch of fake garbage.

  • pass out pat

    being from california myself i might know that the police used “420″ as a radio referance to the fact that they have located a person smoking pot!

  • Lance

    That was an awesome read! It would be fun to party with The Bebes!

  • http://twitter.com/revraygreen revraygreen

    finally …….

  • Pingback: 420 Magazine Celebrates 20 Years of Cannabis Awareness : 420 MAGAZINE ®

  • greatness52

    Im too stoned to read all of this. Get to the point bro

  • Pingback: Happy 4/20 Everyone - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

  • Gerbster

    This is David Gerbic, former lead guitarist with 420 Band. I verify that I did in fact lay down some tracks with Woosh and the boys, and we did a couple gigs, too. It was a good mix between my style, which was pretty shredding at the time, and the 420 Band style and song repoirtiore. Woosh is a great drummer and the band was fun and had good tunes. I enjoyed playing with them. Steve Michels was an excellent upgrade in my opinion, cause I was going back to college then, and couldn’t commit to the project or gigging and such. Anyway, I also Tate that all this stuff is true. I witnessed a lot of this culture and creative expression of the Bebes and their 420 legacy. They weren’t trying to prove anything. Just fun creative guys enjoying life. There’s worse in the world. Anyway, I remember meeting all of these people and hearing a lot of this culture while I was jamming with them. Peace.

  • Gerbster

    I meant to write, I state, not, I Tate. iPhone. But yeah, the story of the Bebe is true.

  • Maggie’s daughter

    Hi Dave, this is actually about Dan Dixon. I was wondering if its the same man my mother used to date back in the mid-late 70′s, poss.early 80′s. We lived in San Rafael, on Maywood Way when I was 2 or 3 and my mother had a mini forest of large “plants” in our backyard that was sectioned off. (She had the perfect ‘Susie Tupperware’ persona going on, no one would have suspected, I now realize what the labeled glass baby food jars were for in her closet) Here’s what I remember: He was younger then my mom, was really tall with short light brown hair (small curls?) light color eyes, blue?, vertical laugh lines down both cheeks, loud distinctive laugh, coached or played basketball (San Rafael HS?) drove a red convertible car w white seats, not sure of the make, possibly mustang or charger. (I almost fell off the back as I started crawling out onto the trunk…) – so I’d love to reconnect with him if you know where I could find him.

  • Pretty

    I feel like someone should make all this into a movie!

  • Trisha Uptown

    Great and interesting read!!!!

  • Green Eyes

    Interesting I must say ! You went in depth to find the true story behind it ! Kudos to your efforts !

  • Dianne Schuch

    Quite a long explaination about a short definition.

    But thanks. I loved it.

    I am writing an essay for a lobbyist on MJ and trying to do my part to get the laws changed. It is strange that I had been a toker from 1969 till recently and never even heard the term. Now it is all over the place so this should add some fun character to my piece.

  • Michael Lee

    This is something I just finished typing up. It is the only ‘true’ known existence of where the term ’420′ comes from, that has scientific backing evidence! Enjoy!

    This document is not under any circumstances to be used, in any harmful or illegal way, or pretence. It is illegal for police officials to use, and if you are a parent or anyone with a desire to test this out, please, listen to all instructions before beginning. This is the printing and finding of the experiment only. The technology itself is in every device. I deem it evidence of legal right to possess marijuana, to the sons of man.

    The study found that 420 is from an deeper origin than what we think. I only find about 50 years worth of history dated of information to the origin of 420, but I have talked to people older than 50 that say it was definitely created much longer ago.

    Marijuana is directly linked to the digital composition of “0.420” by this experiment, AND to the Millesimal Fineness system. Millesimal fineness, however, only grades platinum, gold and silver. Not anything else such as marijuana or pine woods, which we will experiment with instead of marijuana. But they both respond well to the 420 hertz frequency. This is not directly listed anywhere in history under this system or any other scale but, this is all of my findings connecting to, and discovering the true origins and originator and creator of the term and catch key phrase, 420, in relations to smoking marijuana, pot, dope, etc.

    The signal comes from in electronics. Your screens give off emissions, such as when you dial a number. For this experiment, you will dial 420 into your phone or calculator, or, any device that can hold at least 3 numbers on the screen for at least 4 minutes. Even a calculator with 420 typed into the screen, gives off a signal, of 420 hertz. And we are going to use that to find marijuana/pinetrees by bouncing a digital signal of 420 hertz and receiving back a leveled echo from the target. Then, we will use a very old method to find out where literally, X marks the spot. And if you get good, V will mark your spot!

    This documentation has a lot to do with the unexplored portion of Millesimal fineness. It seems to be very much lacking data. I cannot find the date of origin for the millesimal system, or much information online. Mostly, a few pages saying information is incomplete on the matter of the subject.

    With this experiment, I have proven to myself, and I hope the world, that 420 as a term dated back to the beginning of time and creation itself, as anyone who could emit a sound could use copper or metal rods, and do this experiment 7000 years ago, and have the same results we have today. That is not doubtable!

    I now prove it by showing you how you can prove this experiment to yourself, with less than $2.

    There is no history I found of who used this first, but indeed, the Millesimal Fineness of gold, silver and platinum is connected very much also to marijuana’s digital composition being 420 hertz. This definite connection I speak of in this experiment to the Millesimal system is not experimented! In fact, I have no platinum to test this, or silver. So tests have been done few times, and believed in theory, but, I have not done enough experimenting to prove this 100% conclusive, linking to the Millesimal system and hertz frequencies. The only historically dated event that I can link to 420 as a keyed term being older than 100 years, is in fact, the Millesimal Fineness System creation, whenever that was, and only because it is the oldest piece of technology and knowledge pertaining to the study of the fineness of the materials of anything (silver, gold, and platinum).

    The idea pertained is that, God created all things. In this study under frequencies, I found that 420 was never created by kids in college who smoked at 4:20 each day, or any man. Rather, this is something that has been set by God since the beginning of time, and also, this experiment would work today like it would 7000 years ago. In the first chapter of the first book of God’s word, it is written that herb was given to man for his belly, and all herbs. So I deem it evidence under pretence as well of God’s creation of the term “420” relating to what it would relate to.

    The experiment can be done with a $0.99 calculator, your able body, and 2 wire coat hangers. The wire coat hangers you will have to fashion and cut, to make into a capital L shape, 12 inches tall and 5 inches for the base of the capital “L” shape. You will need two L’s, one for each hand, holding each by the 5 inch shorter end. You also may need assistance cutting and bending your wire coat hangers, and be careful of sharp ends!

    With a calculator and your hanger L’s, you can now find anything in the world. Within the strength of God’s hands, something’s aren’t meant to be found. There is hidden frequencies in the world that are put out from things like underground power lines, other electronic devices, and even flowing water gives off a vibration. The experiment is conducted similar to when contractors or well diggers use metal rods to find underground water or pipes. And this method can be used to find things underground as well!

    Keep in mind that when you use this experiment, you may have other interferences such as underground water pipes, power lines, or anything else that gives off electrical interference. Every device gives off frequencies. Not just one, but as many as you can imagine!

    If you have a phone, instead of a $0.99 calculator, we will use the phone. The experiment works on a radius of perfection. Unimaginable layers below your feet and above you, to the lengths of gravity! That’s right!

    The receiving works as flat plains level with the ground and works perfectly parallel in each layer, up, down, and, North, South, East, and West. You do not have to be perfectly South of your target, but, you do have to have it first setup directly N/S/E or W to begin your testing initially, because in the real world, frequencies are given off go in all directions, but frequencies being picked up by you, come in only 1 direction at a time. Fast! But still you can only pick up one directional relay, for every instant of reality, with your copper rods.

    We are testing for marijuana. Another problem / interference we are going to have in this experiment is pine trees, and is also a surprising solution, because you do not have to get in any trouble for this science experiment, or spend more than another $1 hopefully for a piece of pine wood, or pine needles may work. Pine also is picked up on with the emitted 420 signal. Basically the signal goes out from your phone and bounces back that digital signal signifying the echo of your target. By bouncing back to your copper rods, and pulling you, directing you where it is! In this case it is pine wood. You can circle a tree in the woods looking for marijuana, up and down…but you may not find it if the tree is bouncing off a signal.

    It works N/S/E/W. Take the pine you have. Place it say directly North. Then take your signal which is your phone with 420 on the screen as if you were going to call someone but do not hit send, and place the phone directly South. You will also pick up the phone signal with your rods, so if you like after 4 minutes, take the “420” off your phone by clearing or pressing end, and you will not have the signal interference from your phone. You do not have to initiate the process of NSEW every time but, you will want to when you begin experimenting until you feel like you are learning anything more complex. Again, this works for underground detection as well. Keep this in mind if you are looking above or underground, you may run across interferences during your experimenting. Do not dig up anything you shouldn’t. Do this all at your own risk. In fact putting numbers into your phone and leaving them there for a long time, could be dangerous to the environment, your experiments, and weather conditions. So process everything with caution.

    The rods are the biggest thing I think, because you have to hold them without holding them too tight, and let them move freely, without directing them towards the target completely, and while not letting them fall out of your hand. If you can swing them gently a little side to side, then you should be able to soon feel the pull of the echo of your target. Any direction you stand, these rods would use the signal from the phone, bounce the signal off your pine target, and bring the signal back to the copper rods so that it would pinpoint it. Whether it were in front of you, to the left or right of you, or even underground beneath your feet! It will pull the two rods together to a point like 2 needles, and pinpoint where the object is that you are looking for, with of course different styled techniques, measurements and experiments.

    It works if you hold them parallel with the ground. Level of course, and as if your view was completely over you looking down at the two rods like two compass direction needles. It is a level of perfection that you must keep constant in this experiment. The example of this is, if you are looking for something you have to do it level to the ground:

    Say you are looking for pot in your son Jeffrey’s dresser. Each ‘test’ you do to check each of his drawers, you will have to do one drawer at a time, perfectly parallel level to the ground each time, to get a perfect V point to your target. And after you can do this really fast, you can do all detection within just a few seconds, because you know the feel of each process or layer. And the aspect is the same underground, once you find something using this level method to X or V pinpoint it underground somewhere, you can use it at an angle, pointing downward at the ground, and take 2 estimated angle measurements to guess how deep you need to dig to recover. But for now THIS experiment is done on a parallel level to the ground basis, because, that will help you “feel” the pull of how it pulls you downward or upward in some cases, to point “V” at a target or “X” to mark a spot. And it will help you get much better by limiting yourself at first, and feeling how this pulls you not only towards your target and towards the phone which is giving off a signal, but towards everything and in every direction somehow at the same time! Only some each pulls are stronger than others!

    So when you type in 420 into your phone, I leave this on my screen and I set my phone on the ground to give off the signal into the ground, so that it can travel quicker into other objects. Or, you can leave it in your pocket, but I like the signal going into the ground instead of down my pants leg.

    “420” was made up with when the world was created. And there is the evidence of that, even if this experiment cannot be used for anything else. There are different, more complicated signals for different things. I have one for paper money. I have 6 for different types for gold. But the experiment and study incased of pine/marijuana is one I see fit for the public. It not only teaches you how experimental the world is, but that it has a digital composition for everything. And also, the true origin of 420 was created when time began, but it was found and printed out in as much explanation as could be deemed by man, on December, Tuesday, the 10th day, the year 2013.

  • Theoneres

    and I thought it was because of the Distant Drummer @420 South street in Phila.Pa. and the old article I showed Jack H.,while working on Prop.19. in 1972.

  • born2bleedred

    Don’t know if I should say this but 420 use to be code and address in of central coast of ca where a certain biker organization would meet half way to for the humble county grower. I shouldn’t say much more.

  • marin local

    definitely takes less than an hour to get from san rafael to point reyes…