Songs About Los Angeles: “Los Angeles” by X

x-los-angeles-logoTo this day the only words I know in the song are “Los Angeles.” Seriously.
I grew up pretty square. Had I lived in DC with Travis, I would have wished I could be cool like her and would have been no where near as “in” as the preppies. Just square.
I moved to Los Angeles in 1985 to go to college. I left my very small town (with two AM top 40 stations and one FM Rock station that faded in and out) to come to this very big city. Los Angeles – the place where they make movies and that’s what I wanted to do. College was the easiest way to transition to a new place with it’s built in structure and roommates, but still I was nervous. The city was huge to me and I had no idea how to get around or what was where. Even living in it, I was still separate from it because I was in the safe college bubble. I knew I wanted to love it here, but I had no clue what that meant or what it would look like or taste like or feel like or smell like, or even that in the future, for a while, I would hate it before I would truly fall in love with it.
LA 1985:  smog and traffic and freeways and tall buildings and billboards and city for miles and miles and miles. It was overwhelming. And the radio played music I had never heard of and one song stuck out – this punk woman plaintively yelling “Los Angeles!” I didn’t know the words or what the song was about or even who the hell this Exene woman was. But somehow that plaintive wail seemed to sum up how I was feeling at the time — scared, excited, unsure, stoked, anxious. I think that song, that wailing, unconsciously prepared me for the truth that LA is not easy, that I would have to work my ass off to earn her trust, to get to know her streets and neighborhoods, her many moods. It took years past college to get here.  Now, whenever I hear that song, I shout joyfully and mournfully along with Exene — LOS ANGELES!
For the full lyrics, click through the jump.
(For a full list of the Songs About Los Angeles Series, click here.)

Today (as I write this it is March 31, 2009) is the first time I’ve read the lyrics. Funny how the lyrics are about leaving, having to get out of LA — something I would do in 1992 for a year before wanting, no, needing, to come back and live in my city of angels.

Los Angeles by X

She had to leave
Los angeles
All her toys wore out in black
And her boys had too
She started to hate every nigger and jew
Every mexican that gave her lotta shit
Every homosexual and the idle rich

She had to get out
To get out
To get out
To get out
To get out

She gets confused
Flying over the dateline
Her hands turn red
Cause the days change at night
Change in an instant
The days change at night
Change in an instant

She had to leave
Los angeles
She found it hard to say goodbye to her own best friend
She bought a clock on hollywood blvd the day she left
It felt sad
It felt sad
It felt sad

She had to get out
To get out
To get out
To get out
To get out

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