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Friday, December 04, 2009

National Lampoon's "Southern California Brings Me Down"



This YouTube clip of National Lampoon's 1975 parody "Southern California Brings Me Down" is a classic mash up of some of Neil Young's well known songs.

We actually heard this broadcast 30+ years ago and thought it was pretty funny. Never heard it again and forgot about until sometime in the 90's when we traded for it on good old audio cassette. Then it faded away again.

It resurfaced on YouTube last year and we were kind of hesitant about posting. We're into parodies but it just seems that for some Neil is a parody of a parody.

But after the huge reaction to Jimmy Fallon's impression of Neil Young and the video going viral on the internet, we reconsidered posting the National Lampoon parody.

This was all the more amusing after hearing from those who have a problem with Neil Young tribute bands.

So was Fallon doing a parody? An impression? A tribute? And what does that make National Lampoon's parody? A goof? A tribute?

Southern California Brings Me Down

I need someone to live with me
To keep my bed warm
And keep my shorts clean
I need a maid to give for free
And sew patches on my jeans

I dreamed I saw my cowgirl housewife
I was drivin' in my pickup through L.A.
I wanna love you while I can, babe
Before I become an old man

Southern California brings me down
Southern California brings me down
Southern California brings me down

Ooh, I need some place to go
Oh, north Ontario
It's safer than Alabama
It's safer than Ohio, ohh...

Gonna go home now
Where I can grow old
With the cowgirl of my dreams
I'm gonna stay stay stoned now
Just stare out my basement window and scream
Ahhhh.....

Southern California brings me down
Southern California brings me down
Southern California brings me down

Oooh, ooh, gotta get away now
Southern California brings me down
Ooh, ooh, babe
Ooh, gotta get away...

Topanga Canyon freaks, you won't see around no more


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16 Comments:

At 12/04/2009 07:31:00 AM, Blogger doc said...

Lynyrd Skynyrd.... eat ya Alabamy heart out!!

Eat a Peach!

 
At 12/04/2009 09:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"for some Neil is a parody of a parody"--I do think it was kinda ludicrous for Bob to put down HEART OF GOLD all those years ago...maybe Neil was doing his Dylan impression the way Dylan was doing his Woody Guthrie impression...as for the Lampoon bit, I think they very nearly nailed it shut...asg

 
At 12/04/2009 09:51:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GREAT ! AH ah.

 
At 12/04/2009 10:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy shit!That's actually not bad.I've never seen our heard that before.Me thinks it blows Jimmy Fallon's bit away.

Rancho Relaxo

 
At 12/04/2009 10:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know Thrasher, I'm not sure these parodies really are in Neil's favor.

For the die hard fan, yeah they're amusing. But for the gen public I think it only confirms in their mind that Neil's just a hippie goof.

 
At 12/04/2009 11:06:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, I had no idea that Jimmy fallon thing had gone so viral?

It seems like its a total revelation to folks. Like where's Neil been all these years?

Oh well, maybe a few folks got it.

just sayin'

 
At 12/04/2009 01:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is funny. Wonder how much this is a reaction to TFA's L.A.?

Even funnier, hadn't Neil already moved to his ranch in northern CA by then?

Or maybe that's the joke of the song??

Actually, both N. & S. CA bring me down

 
At 12/04/2009 04:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ya know anon 11:56 may have a point...the first time I heard the Lampoon thing (when it first came out) I thought it might be a put-down, not that it matters...IS it Christopher Guest?
asg

 
At 12/04/2009 08:50:00 PM, Blogger Richard, Glasgow. UK said...

I know that when news is thin there must be a temptation to fill this site with anything at all but I don't think tribute and parody acts should have any place here.
I've been a major Neil Young fan since I was 17 which is fast approaching forty years ago. I've been here long enough to know that there are ups and downs to appreciating Neil. I'm smart enough to know that "Fork in The Road" is a piece of crap and that Archives 1 are not all that we might have hoped for. However I have, as always, travelled to the USA and all over my native UK during the last couple of years to see Neil in concert. These recent shows, while superb, were "greatest hits" performances and left me a little disappointed that I was not being challenged the way I have been many times down the years since I first saw Neil at Green's Playhouse in Glasgow in 1973 when he hit us with "Tonights the Night"
That said I remain a devoted fan who would prefer the discussion on on this site to be about Neil and to be extended into worthwhile comment on people who respect and are influenced by his work.
For example, I went to see Kathleen Edwards recently.There were about 100 people in the club. She was superb. She has released 3 wonderful albums. She's a Neil fan - you can hear it in her music. She sang "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" as her encore. I spoke with her afterwards. She is in awe of Neil, yet her career is fizzling out because she can't get enough exposure. Perhaps this site should be mentioning people like her rather than highlighting some dumb pastiche by Jimmy Fallon.
Also for example, earlier this year I saw Wilco in Malaga, Spain. They were wonderful. Of course they have supported Neil and played The Bridge concerts. Jeff Tweedy is a big Neil fan and has more to offer to those of us interested in Neil than National Lampoon.
As I finished this off my lady friend tells me that Nora Jones, who doesn't interest me much, has a new CD out which is evidently a bit more lively than her previous. She's also giving interviews in which she's talking about how much she is enjoying listening to Zuma at the moment.
Ryan Adams is also on her CD which reminds me of Stephen King's comment "I'm not sure if Ryan Adams is the finest North American singer/songwriter since Neil Young but I'm not sure he isn't either"
Come on Thrasher we don't need joke acts and Pearl Jam to keep discussion and interest in Neil going, there are lots of seriously gifted artists out there we could be talking about.

 
At 12/04/2009 09:38:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

Thats fine what you say Richard..
but, it IS a NEIL YOUNG blog site
and, anything related to Neil, be it a bit of Parody humour, light banter or serious discussion is always welcome in my eyes (MHO only).It just breaks up, what could be a very anal blog site..

Diversity IS the spice of life..
and I'm sure if Neil was a regular reader to this site, he would enjoy the banter, and tongue in cheek that makes coming to the wheat so enjoyable..lighten up!

Keep on rockin in the T world!!

luv Doc

 
At 12/04/2009 10:54:00 PM, Blogger Bart Donow said...

I saw this live at the Village Gate in NYC in the early seventies. The song was part of the National lampoon show "Lemmings" celebrating the Woodchuck festival of sex, drugs and death. Chevy Chase and John Belushi were in the cast. It was funny then and it is funny now. Thanks for posting the clip.
Bart Donow

 
At 12/05/2009 10:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I`m with doc here - I don`t see anything wrong with showing these paradies on this site. They are a bit of fun during a pause in Neil news and surely are worth looking at.

If they confirm to some members of the general public that Neil`s a hippie goof (anon 11:56)then so what? That`s not exactly going to dent Neil`s reputation amongst genuine music lovers.

Thanks Thrasher!

Jill (keep on bloggin...)

 
At 12/05/2009 06:30:00 PM, Anonymous BIGCHIEF said...

I purchased this album when it first came out and actually used to include the song in my Neil compilations I would make on cassette tapes for people just to get their reactions .. no suprise to me, some of them didn't notice it was a parady. I, myself, was amused by it and as a fan thought it was pretty clever and well done. It obviously wasn't just thrown together by someone who had no knowledge of Neil. I assume that although it is a parody, it had to be created by someone who had a fondness for Neil as it is just loaded with not only lyrical references of the era, but the music itself as well as the instrumentations were so spot on that it could had been produced by David Briggs as a personal yet intimate joke on Neil.Also, I feel that there's plenty of space available on this site to expose people to paradies as well as new artists. Whether or not you care to participate is just a click away. I enjoy seeing these things that have been buried in time resurfacing.

 
At 12/07/2009 11:14:00 AM, Anonymous drsinc said...

I hardly ever do a comment on these blogs. But Neil must be laughing this one out. Just like we all are.
Great!

 
At 12/07/2009 08:59:00 PM, Anonymous set list thief said...

I'm with BigChief. I used to put this on my Neil compilations as well. You know for a goof, its really nicely done. The guitar solo rocks, and except for the silly lyrics, it's a pretty cool song. I also remember reading (hearing) somewhere that Chevy Chase played drums on it.

At any rate, this is your blog, Thrasher, throw anything you want up here. Somehow you always make me think, smile, or even, yes, cry.

 
At 12/07/2009 09:09:00 PM, Anonymous set list thief said...

Just gotta double up here...just saw Bart's comment about Chevy. Glad it's not just me spreading rumors.

This is a tribute in the same way that Belushi's Joe Cocker was a tribute.

"stare out my basement window and scream, ahhhhhhhhh!"

Fucking perfect. Neil oughta be proud someone would take the time to put something like this together.

 

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