Bixby Canyon Bridge

Album: Narrow Stairs (2008)


  • Frontman Ben Gibbard wrote this in a cabin in woods near the rustic Californian town of Big Sur. His idol, American writer Jack Kerouac, once stayed there 50 years previously. In an article in Paste magazine Gibbard wrote: "The first song, 'Bixby Canyon Bridge,' is about something very specific: The first time I came here to Big Sur, I was waiting, I was sitting here waiting for something to happen, to have this epiphany about my life and how it relates to Kerouac, one of my idols, who I have the utmost respect for and who changed my life."
  • Gibbard expanded on this song in an interview with VH1 News: "When we were going through all the demos for the record it became a front runner pretty quickly [for] a good first song on the album. The song for me is about my trip to a place that I had idealized for so many years, maybe almost fifteen years. I had expected something from it that I just wasn't going to get. It's a meditation and a story about how the anticipation will never actually meet the actual experience."
    Producer and guitarist Chris Walla added: "The way it was working in my head was 'Let's do something really clean, hi-fi, and pastoral,' something that opens the song up, opens the record up in a really succinct way."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

16 Songs With a HeartbeatSong Writing

We've heard of artists putting their hearts into their music, but some take it literally.

Elton JohnFact or Fiction

Does he have beef with Gaga? Is he Sean Lennon's godfather? See if you can tell fact from fiction in the Elton John edition.

Cheerleaders In Music VideosSong Writing

It started with a bouncy MTV classic. Nirvana and MCR made them scary, then Gwen, Avril and Madonna put on the pom poms.

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," KissSong Writing

After cutting his teeth on hardcore punk videos, Paul defined the grunge look with his work on "Hunger Strike" and "Man in the Box."

Dave Alvin - "4th Of July"They're Playing My Song

When Dave recorded the first version of the song with his group the Blasters, producer Nick Lowe gave him some life-changing advice.

Rick SpringfieldSongwriter Interviews

Rick has a surprising dark side, a strong feminine side and, in a certain TV show, a naked backside. But he still hasn't found Jessie's Girl.