The first time I heard it, I thought he was addressing this to a girl he met and fell in love with years ago. I thought, “What a douchebag” because of the part that goes, “I don’t remember you looking any better/But then again I don’t remember you.” It sounds as if he’s pretending that he never had any love for this girl at all. This part was repeated many times and by the end of the song, you realize that something’s not right. It’s not a girl he’s singing to. He’s actually talking to himself. This song is a “Dear Diary” type of song. Actually, Dear Young John 10 years ago. Dear Young John 10 years ago, it’s been a long time ago when I was you. Everybody, just let me do what I want to do.
I thought maybe the line “Who says I can’t get stoned” had something more to it. Something about his image as this young, genius, hip singer/songwriter/guitarist chiseled in stone and him wanting to be able to be free to change his image. But later in the day, I changed my mind. It’s just exactly as it reads because if stoned means that his image is etched in stone, then it wouldn’t make sense. The first line says he WANTS to be stoned. So if we fill “stoned” in with “my image is etched in stone” it wouldn’t make sense because he doesn’t want his image to be etched in stone. He doesn’t want to be judged by one image. He actually wants to be free of any image.