When I lived in West Los Angeles many El Niño’s ago (or were they La Niña’s?), there were two songs that always sort of inspired me to move there: Sheryl Crow’s All I Wanna Do and Everclear’s Santa Monica. Even though I didn’t live in the exact city of Santa Monica, I lived as close as those two songs were actually about the city (more on that in a moment). It was their sound that encapsulated the vibe I was seeking, and they hit the gauge in the earlobe.
Anymalibu, it was a recent song I’ve heard that made me realize that there’s been A Handful Of Songs About Santa Monica, and here they are:
- Jay Malinowski’s Santa Monica
This is the song that launched this post, and if you listen to its words… you’ll have no idea what it’s about, either. He’s talking about someone being tied up and screaming and the British army gets a shout out. He sings of Santa Monica throughout, but it could be a person rather than a place. Malinowski’s Canadian and in a reggae band, so… that’s no help. But I like the song, anyway.
- Savage Garden’s Santa Monica
This one specifically talks about Third Street Promenade, which was one of my favorite places to visit, but it’s more about getting lost, or feeling lost, or losing yourself in a popular public place. I never heard this song before writing this post, but man, is it depressing…
- Theory of a Deadman’s Santa Monica
Do all these artists want me to slit my wrists with a long board, or what? This one’s about a break-up that begins with a bed full of gasoline. Whether it’s figurative or literal is beside the point.
- Everclear’s Santa Monica
Finally, an upbeat song! Wait, what? It’s really about attempted suicide?! Plus, it was also temporarily banned from airplay after the attacks on 9/11? Good
- Sheryl Crow’s All I Wanna Do
Man, I forgot how big of a crush I had on Sheryl Crow back in the day. This song may not be about the city, but at least it’s a happy tune about urban ennui. In other words, a rallying cry for day drunks on Santa Monica Boulevard.