System Of A Down guitarist Daron Malakian wrote "Old School Hollywood" after playing in the Hollywood Stars Night celebrity baseball game at Dodger Stadium on August 9, 2003 before the Dodgers took on the Chicago Cubs. Malakian is a huge Dodgers fan, but not so much a fan of celebrities, especially the ones found in Hollywood. At the game, he took the field with Kevin James, Tom Arnold, Jimmy Kimmel, Jonathan Silverman, Norm MacDonald and other celebs - most past their prime - and was disheartened to find many of them were catty, cliquey, and arrogant. Thus the lines:
Standing in the sun I'm wasting my time
Old school Hollywood, washed up Hollywood
Malakian names names in the lyrics, mentioning three people who participated in the celebrity baseball game: actor Tony Danza, singer Frankie Avalon, and agent Jack Gilardi. Apparently, Tony Danza cuts in line. Someone needs to show him who's the boss.
Hollywood is a running theme with System Of A Down; they grew up there and got a good look behind the facade. Their 2001 album Toxicity
has cover art showing the band's name in the form of the Hollywood sign; another track on Mezmerize
is "Lost In Hollywood
," which is about how dreams go to die in the city.
The Mezmerize was created in late 2004 in the studio owned by their label boss and co-producer, Rick Rubin. They recorded their next album, Hypnotize, at the same time but released that one six months later, as they thought 22 System Of A Down songs would be too much to take in one sitting, especially in the iPod era when it was easy to skip tracks. It was a good move: both albums went to #1 in America.