City of Ocala

Album: Common Courtesy (2013)

Songfacts®:

  • The opening track of Common Courtesy, this is about A Day To Remember's hometown of Ocala in Florida. Vocalist Jeremy McKinnon commented to Kerrang! magazine: "We've tended to be a little bit negative about Ocala, but as time goes on we've learned to appreciate it more."
  • McKinnon stated in a separate Kerrang! interview that the song is, "about standing in the back garden of my parents' house and looking in the garage where we started, where we'd practice, and where we'd terrorize the neighborhood."
  • Another band to hail from Ocala were the 1960s novelty-pop group, The Royal Guardsmen. They recorded a quartet of songs inspired by Snoopy the Beagle in the "Peanuts" comic strip including the 1966 #2 hit, "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron."
  • McKinnon expanded on the song to Kerrang!: "With city of Ocala, I really wanted to capture that fiery but being a child," he said. "I used to go and learn songs I loved by reading tabs, and then I would go get my mom and she would watch me play it. And if you think about it, that's where it all begins. I started there – we were kids and now were adults and this is our livelihood. The hell knew!"

    "It's crazy that this happened but, at the same time, I'm happy that it happened in the small place, because it makes our story much more special than if we were in New York or Chicago, because there are huge music scenes there," he continued. "It's especially hard for someone to make it in the middle of nowhere, redneck, Florida (laughs)."

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