All the leaves are brown
And the sky is gray
I’ve been for a walk
On a winter’s day
I’d be safe and warm
If I was in L.A.
On such a winter’s day
And here we are, another long step back in time, as this time I was… maybe 8 years old? 😉
Those were the years of the vinyl records, the glorious 45 or 7” (the numbers refer to the record play speed, called “rpm” , revolutions per minute, and to the record diameter, which was 7”, that is 18 cm), and of the 33 ½ rpm “Long Playing”. A 45 rpm single had a large centre hole and contained only one song.
Well, I simply happened to find one day a “single 45” – I was at my cousins’ – which was damaged, that is, a piece of it was missing. It lay there among other intact “45s”, and I got incredibly curious about it…
(surprised? 😉 )
I doubted at first the record could be played, as to play a vinyl record you had to carefully place the small stylus, also called “pick-up”, on the record. A stylus was a very delicate accessory, and could easily be damaged if you happened to place it wrongly. However, I asked if I could play it and managed to place the stylus with the utmost care just after the missing part. In this way I knew I would lose the beginning of the song, but at least I could listen to the rest of it!
And all of a sudden the vocal harmonies of California dreamin’, the Mamas & the Papas, caught me, and became song #2 in my V.P.S. (Very Personal Soundtrack 😉 ).
It was not until years later that I could listen to the whole song from beginning to end… but for that summer I would visit my cousins very often and play my favourite, broken 45 rpm single…
Here’s a video of the Mamas & the Papas performing the song at Monterey Pop Music Festival in 1967:
The Mamas & the Papas , a vocal group of the 1960s, were John Phillips, his wife Michelle, Denny Doherty and Cass Elliot.
“California Dreaming'” was first released in 1965 and ranks in position 89 in the periodical Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.