California Dreaming
by Turtle Jones

This is something I had to do. It was tugging at me. Something that had been churning inside me like a shot of vodka on an empty stomach. It had to come out. Most of you readers know by now how many places I have lived but there was always one thing that they all had in common. If I was driving back or flying back, the second I crossed its border, I knew I was home.

California. california_sunset.jpg

I love it and always have. This is my home. This will always be my home. Soon I will be a New Yorker, but I really won't be. I will never be. Michele understands that. Her family knows that. I will just be a Californian living in New York. No matter how much she tells me it will be like California, it won't be. It will never be. This is where it all comes together. Everyone comes together. We have earthquakes and forest fires and riots and all the other shit most places have.

But here we have Disneyland. You can't fuck with that.

So this a short post asking you to think of the song that best represents your state. Which ones made you ask yourself why didn't you write this song? I have an advantage cause I have lived everywhere around this place. But what song does your state have? Who sang a song that so perfectly described your state that you think about it every time you get on an airplane?

So this is it. Everyday I look around and wonder if I need to buy a bonsai tree or write a dictionary about the way I talk. New Yorkers won't understand me. Michele does barely, but what am I going to do?

All I can do is give a short send off to my state. The one that brought me up and kicked me down and kept asking me if I wanted more. California.

Thank you California for being my best friend and most hated enemy at the same time.

You rule.

This is the song I have.

Vandals - Rico

I live in the land of the freeways

Home of the smog and traffic
The sun and the air
The mountains and seaCalifornia 080.jpg
Streams and palm trees

The valleys..
The canyons...
The mountains...
The beaches...

Hollywood, downtown, the valley
Are all places you should see
The city at night, the city so bright
a short time away a campfire sight

The missions...
The mansions...
The farmlands...
Punk rock bands...

People come from all over
to work and live in the sun
It's always so nice
my own paradise

The desert , the snow
So many places to go

The people...
The places...
The weather...
The faces...

That's for me

If you live in California, you know what this song is about. An hour away from the bottom of the earth and an hour away from the snow. An hour away from an ocean and an hour away from a ghetto. Ten minutes late for the subway and two hours fast for the bus. We have it all. I had it all.

See dudes. This place is for me.

But, I am giving it all up for my best friend.

But, I'll be back one day.

And I'll have a cool girl by my side.

California is not gonna lose me that fast.

So what songs best describe your state or hometown?

Vandals - Rico


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I called Turtle about 3am this morning when I woke from a pretty bad dream. We talked a bit and he told me he wrote his farewell to California. I understand why he's sad to be leaving. I know what... [Read More]


i just know ill get shit from kali on this one


This one's easy. Although I'm from the state that gave the world Chuck Berry, the song that reminds me most of Missouri -- or the Ozarks part of Missouri, anyway -- is by a '70s country rock band, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, and is called "It'll Shine When It Shines." It doesn't describe the state so much as an attitude of many of the people of the Ozarks, including me:

The old cat on the roof
he could stand a little push
'cause he's got nine good lives to live

but like my momma said
you only live till you're dead
and you got to give and give and give

there's a pebble in the pond
goin' on and on,
makin' waves and tides and ripples and rings

there's a leaf in the wind
that don't know where to end
chasin' days and ways and wishes and dreams

seems like ev'ry one
is out lookin' for the sun
singin' rain and pain on he who hesitates

but it'll shine when it shines
you might think I'm wastin' time
but I'm just a good old boy that's learned to wait

whippoorwill's in the dawn
pretty soon, he'll be gone
and he's got one good song to sing

but like my daddy said,
it's in your heart, not your head
and you got to sing and sing and sing

there's a window in the wall
lookin' out on it all
leavin' fears and tears and troubles alone

there's a fire in the stove
keepin' out the cold,
warmin' wine and winters and babies and homes

seems like ev'ry one
is out lookin' for the sun
singin' rain and pain on he who hesitates

but it'll shine when it shines
you might think I'm wastin' time
but I'm just a good old boy that's learned to wait

yes, I'm just a good old boy that's learned to wait



The one that comes to mind for me is Thousands Are Sailing by The Pogues. I had to leave my Island and family to find work, like a lot of my friends and like a lot of the Irish back then. Some of my friends spend all their time wishing they could go home while others just soldier on and make their way. I'm happy myself, the Descendents never went to Newfoundland, Canada anyway.

"Did the old songs taunt or cheer you
And did they still make you cry
Did you count the months and the years
Or did your teardrops quickly dry........

Thousands are sailing
Across the western ocean
To a land of opportunity
That some of them will never see
Fortune prevailing
Across the western ocean
Their bellies full
Their spirits free
They'll break the chains of poverty
And they'll dance"


What a nice tribute to California.

All i can do is promise you won't hate it here. It's not CA, but it's a pretty cool place to live.

And yea, you'll be back in a few years. San Diego?


dude, california is the only state with an ego big enough to have a million songs to chose from as the "one that reminds me of my home state."

what a rip. no self-respecting state has a song written in homage...

its all about state of mind. you west coasters are ridiculous.

(yes i'm trying to bait you but it's all true)

signed --
an east coast elitist


san diego is cool place to be. i didn't put in anything about how cool the balboa park is


hahahahahah i hadn't even seen your comment yet.....


well kali, we must agree to disagree about california, cause I think it's neato.

but just from reading your comments on your site, I have a small feeling, just a small one, really tiny feeling, that you might not like this state.

so i had to say something before you totally bagged me

But we have disneyland

so nah nah nah!


We were just talking about Balboa Park yesterday. That looks like a very cool place.


Who could leave out "California Uber Alles" by The Dead Kennedys?


Who could leave out "California Uber Alles" by The Dead Kennedys?

someone who wanted to say something about how beautiful the state was instead of the political situation?


ya but this coast has disneyWORLD and we share over here.

and you can actually go swimming in our water.


and you can actually go swimming in our water.

Sometimes. I haven't gone swimming at Jones Beach since that year the needles washed up with the tide.

As for sharing, speak for yourself. New Yorkers don't share anything except their opinions.

Wait. I'm supposed to be saying good things about NY....


i swam all the time in CA. I lived for the water. The ocean in Oregon is malevalent, wetsuit cold even in the summer. Nothing compares to a killer ride on the boogie board, to turn around when you hit the sand and see seals or a dolphin back out in the surf, having fun on their own. I lived in CA for 22 years and left it in a fit of "I can't stand it here anymore" for Nashville. Came back from Nashville the day after the King Riots ended. 364 days later i was headed east again to the unholy hell of Phoenix AZ. Then to Oregon a few years later. And i still miss CA. I miss my weird, fucked up, self-absorbed, plastic-ridden Los Angeles with all its traffic and winos and grafiti, two-hour commutes. Still.

"Tape from California" by Squirrel Bait and "History Lesson pt 1" by the Minutemen.

I feel your pain turtle. I keep a piece of LA with me though. From growing up in the basin in the 70s, i have traces of lead in my bones from the smog. Hells yah!


I am here to tell you that I survived the move from Venice to NYC, and have escaped relatively unscathed. I did it for love, too.

No bones about it, it's a tough thing to move from one center of the universe to another, but after 10 years out here, I'm feeling fairly acclimated. (Has Michelle clued you in to "Winter" yet? Yech.)


(Has Michelle clued you in to "Winter" yet? Yech.)

I've been pretty subtle about it. I don't want to scare him off.

Haven't mentioned that we had blizzards the last two years.


yay! blizzards!


My wife's a SoCal transplant to Philadelphia.... And it's taken her a couple of years, but she's really starting to like this disguting little shithole we call a town.... The East coast grows on you after a while....

Like mold.

I came to this town a long time ago, after bouncing around the world for a while and finally settling here.... While I was here, I continued to bounce around the world for work and whatnot... I've seen some beautiful places but nothing felt like home to me like Philthy did.... Everytime I'd see the stinking morass we call the Delaware as I made the approach to PHL, I knew I was home and that everything would be okay.....

"The Sick Bed Of Cuchulain" - by The Pogues always makes me think of the people I've spent time with and the places I've had a drink in this town....

I wouldn't trade this place for the world......


So many songs -- especially punk songs -- about New Jersey. But CORPORATE DISNEYLAND by Adrenalin O.D. was one of the first ones I ever heard. Not a very flattering portrayal, but a truthful one nonetheless.

Right here in New Jersey
The Corporate Disneyland
Many opportunities
For an educated man
Go to school, get married
Move right down the block
Lead this sheltered shut in life
And suck the bosses cock

Big man knows a lot
Sitting at his desk
But no one asked a question
So give your mouth a rest
Company owns your house
Company owns your town
Company owns your mind and soul
Company owns your mind and soul


thefinn, that is one of the best songs about drinking ever. Not drinking songs but songs about drinking.

And IMHO, blizzards kick a million asses. Shovelling the driveway is the best excuse in the world for spending an hour or two alone.


I love blizzards. Everything looks so pretty and it's just a good feeling to sit in the warm house and look outside while your neighbor makes his kid do your sidewalk with the snow blower.


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