San Ber'dino

Album: One Size Fits All (1975)
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  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Portions of this song refer to a character named Bobby who spends time in Tank C in San Bernardino jail. In the early 1960s Zappa spent 10 days in San Bernardino county jail on a trumped up obscenity charge. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Matthew - Amherst, NY
  • This is included on Zappa's compilation album Strictly Commercial.
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Comments: 20

  • Thomas from Wellington, New ZealandYou're simply wrong about that, Stevarino from Quincy, Ca. I'm actually from San Bernardino - I lived there from 1965 to 1971, not to mention other places around the high desert and the L.A. Basin. "San Berdoo" was used by pretty much everybody, from college profs to suburban housewives to blue collar workers to grade school kids. I actually knew a few bikers in Southern California and I cannot recall a single one of them saying "San Berdoo." Maybe your experience differs, but mine tells me that the nickname was pretty common back in the day.
  • Steve from Detroit Mi, UsaThis song is about Robert Hopper. He worked at the Rodeo and lived with his girlfriend in a winnibago in Mojave. He wanted to be a Car Mechanic and in fact did end up as one. He hated this song. He died in a house fire in Detroit in 2002.
  • Stevarino from Quincy, CaThe song is on the album "one size fits all" from 1975.
    "San Berdoo" is actually biker slang, more urban legend than local.
    The 1970's San Bernadino Co. jail actually had a moat around it.
    I lived in a former cabin resort where Frank or his cohorts drew caveman cartoons on the walls;
    and there were some characters in his Mothers songs inspired by the Russian emigres who owned the place.
    He was at (the old) Chaffey Jr. college back then and had a 'studio' in Cucamonga where the SB sheriff's "busted" him.
    he writes about his early life in a book that I can read at my local coffee house...
    && there was a guy named 'Andy' living there but he was a deadhead and emigrated to "Humboldt".
  • Bob from Colorado Springs, CoListen to "Three Hours Past Midnight" by Johnny "Guitar" Watson and you can plainly hear where Frank picked up his early guitar riffs. Alex, to get into Zappa's music get his first 4 or 5 five albums and listen in chronological order. Then pick up the next ones and you can hear the music evolve plus lyrical references from the past albums are evoked.
  • Thegripester from Wellington, New ZealandThe local nickname is actually "San Berdoo," but I still like the song.
  • Mike from Matawan, NjHey Alex. All good suggestions by Chuck and Erik. I'll throw in with "Joe's Garage" some GREAT tunes on that. Also, "Zappa in New York". The guitar work on 'Sofa #2' from that disk will make your ball hair tingle. If you're feelin' frisky, give "Uncle Meat" a listen as well. Kinda out there, but....what of Zappa's wasn't?
  • Joe from Bellingham, Wazappa is a saint. easily my 3rd favorite song by the guy.
  • Frank from Cambridge, MaCorrection: That's 'One Size Fits All' (1975), "Inca roads" is the first song on that and probably my favorite cut.
  • Frank from Cambridge, MaHey Steve - you got that right. His music is over most people's heads. I will say that I haven't met one musician that has listened to him a lot that doesn't recognize his genious. It's tough to pick out the best recordings from everything he did. A lot of it comes down to taste. I guess some of my favorites that give you some diversity would be "Inca Roads", "Live at the Roxy", "Broadway the Hardway", "Just another band from LA (the one with Billy the Mountain)", "You can't do that on stage vol. 4". It think it's hard to go wrong with those. Hope that helps.
  • Erik from Bloomfield Hills, MiIn response to Alex:

    His early albums with the Mothers are probably the funniest, and the best imo. Apostrophe, Hot Rats and Sheik Yerbouti also tend to be favorites among fans.
  • Chuck from C-ville, VaThe album this comes from, 'One Size Fits All' (1975), is one of his best, imo.

    Hot Rats (1969), Overnight Sensation (1973), Apostrophe (1974) are also good starting places.
  • Mischa from Winnipegalex, i like the mothermania album, hot rats is good mostly instrumental, sheik yerbouti is good, and the grand wazoo also try some of those out
  • Alex from Fort Mill, ScYeah, Zappa fans I need serious help. I really want to get into Zappa but I have no idea where to start, this guy has over 60 albums! Can someone please recommend Zappa's magnus opus, his Dark Side of the Moon or Sgt. Pepper so to speak, please?!
  • Mike from Warwick, Ri"Zulch, is the auto works" actually exists and is "that's where they take all the cars that they hurt.." - its a junk yard . "He got slobbering drunk at the Palomino...gave him 30 days in San Ber'dino.".... "I want to spend the rest of my life in San Ber'dino." Awesome song!
  • Phil from Borrego Springs, CaLove Zappa. Try the Hot Rats CD. Great guitar work.
  • Rain from Glen Rock, PaThe bluesy singing at the end of this song was done by the blues guitarist/singer, Johnny "Guitar" Watson. He was a great influence of Frank Zappa.
  • Mark from Falls Church, VaNot talking 'bout REDLANDS - where I used to live...
  • Mark from Falls Church, VaThat's actually SAN BERNARDINO...
  • Steve from Ashland, KyFrank Zappa is the most intelligent and most talented musician ever,and the best guitarest! Way underrated. His music is over most peoples heads!
  • Eddie from Lachine, MiZappa grew up in the San Berdino, California area.
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