California Waiting

Album: Youth And Young Manhood (2003)
Charted: 61

Songfacts®:

  • Kings of Leon originally recorded this song for their debut EP Holy Roller Novocaine. However, they felt it was recorded in a rush to finish the record, so the band recorded a new version for Youth and Young Manhood.

    It appears they prefer the first version. During Kings of Leon's VH1 Storytellers performance, Caleb Followill admitted before playing this song: "We kind of sabotaged it on our album, and tried to play it really punk rock. It was better on the EP I think."
  • In 2002 the Followill brothers got a shot performing for RCA Records' A&R exec Steve Ralbovsky in his office. "Angelo plugged into a little amp, and Caleb and Nathan were headdown, slapping their thighs, singing," Ralbovsky recalled to Rolling Stone.

    He added that after Kings of Leon sang some country tunes, "the real zinger moment was the first chorus of 'California Waiting.'"
  • This raw and rugged track finds a vulnerable Caleb Followill wishing he could "get back my lonely life." He told NME in 2016: "I've never considered [suicide], but I've always written it very well. 'California Waiting' and songs like that, they're all about the moment when someone just gives in and says, 'That's it for me, I'm out.'"

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