Every day from now until Spring, I will play a song from each year from 1940-2020. I’ll also write a little bit about the song and why I chose it to represent that year.
We got another round of snow last night. Not too much, maybe an inch and a half. It joins the snow we already had on the ground for a while, and the big piles of snow we have in every parking of the city for weeks. I’m not too keen on winter. I totally get why the birds, retired and people of means head south right after Christmas. I would also if I was one of those three. But I’m not, so here I am.
I totally get the song “California dreamin” Although my extent of California is limited to a visit to San Francisco and LA, I can say every time I visited I always got to the beach, (although the ocean water in SF was chilly even in the summertime. I also really liked the harmonies of the Mamas and the Papas and especially the voice of Mama Cass. She died way too young.
Michelle Phillips has an interesting story about the origin of the song. (Who knows if it’s really true but..) She said and then-husband John Phillips was staying in NYC during the winter. Early one morning John woke her up and asked her to sign something, It turned out to be half the songwriting credits of “California Dreamin”. Michelle Phillips joked it was the only time to her knowledge she ever made money in her sleep. (There have also been interviews where she claimed to take a more active role in writing the song so who really knows. Sometimes it’s all about “making good copy”
PS I know John Phillips turned out to be a really creepy guy, but I don’t want to focus on that. I’m not justifying abysmal behavior, but a lot of artists are pretty messed up if you look real closely. I try to remember their work instead.