Supertramp is a British band whose main songwriters were keyboard player Rick Davies and bass player Roger Hodgson. Although they shared songwriting credits, most of their songs were written separately. Hodgson wrote this one when he was in his late teens and still living in England. The song describes an English youth who dreams of going to America and becoming famous, which is exactly what Supertramp did.
When we spoke with Hodgson in 2012
, he told us that he put himself in character for the song, and was in a whimsical mood when he wrote it. Said Roger: "The line 'playing my jokes upon you,' I think that kind of sums up the song. It was just mind chatter. Just writing down ideas as they came - fun thoughts all strung together. And I do remember the Beatles had just gone to America, and I was pretty impressed with that. That definitely stimulated my dream of wanting to go to America. And obviously seeing all those gorgeous California girls on the TV and thinking, Wow. That's the place I want to go."
Roger did go to California - he moved there in 1973 and has lived there ever since.