Old School Hollywood

Album: Mezmerize (2005)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • 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.

Comments: 15

  • Englishjello from CanadaThe song is about guitarist Daron Malakan experience playing in a celebrity baseball game with TV actor Tony Danza and singer Frankie Avalon. Amongst others. Hollywood agent Jack Gelardi would put these games on (Hence the line "is ten feet tall"). The "don't touch my belt" line came from a celeb touching Daron's belt buckle. Hollywood is well known for it's sexual perversions (Members of System of a Down grew up in the Los Angeles area but never bought into the famous Hollywood scene. The were just regular Armenian boys who wanted to just rock out!)
  • Nate from Australia I was told I think loudwire that Daron Malakian was feeling left out.
  • Liliyjesushaha from Sanjose, Cai thought when he said " hey man don't you touch my belt" he was talking about some guy trying to violate him XD
  • Sissy from Nowhere, IlAnd by the way, he was never a baseball player.
    Its just that oldschool baseball was a big part of hollywood.
  • Sissy from Nowhere, IlOkay for anyone who doesnt know jack gilardi is a producer...Just thought i'd clear that up.
  • Blake from Hamilton, OhObviously, a celebrity baseball game gone wrong(I personally, didn't see it.) I just love the synthisizer at the beggining.
  • Brad from Knoxville, Tnmy look on it id say they were pissed off,because the celebrities were treating system of a down like crap because they were trash to them,im glad tony danza lost his show,if celebrities put down metal-alternative bands then they deserve to be shot.
  • Addam from Norwich, CtSomehow I got Iron Maiden's Phantom Of The Opera instead of System's Old School Hollywood...I feel kinda retarded.
  • Addam from Norwich, CtFor a very long time I thought that Old School Hollywood was a 7:20 song that was mainly just music and no vocals. And the vocals are unclear and I can't tell what they are saying. If anyone has heard of a song mistitled as Old School Hollywood and would fit my description, please tell me.
  • Adam from Barr., Ilyah it sounds like its about famous ppl who think there 10 feet tall and better than everyone else when rilly there just in denial that there washed up, oh and i love system of a down but i think the biggest talent in the band is Tainkain thankyou bye
  • Alex from Irving, Txthe lyric "hey man dont you touch my belt," comes from the old batman t.v. show, i know this because i saw it on t.v. here is an intresting fact, Jack Gelardi (exscuse my spelling) appeard on that episode.
  • Mike from St. Paul, MnDaron, as bob said, played in the 45th annual baseball game in los angeles. however, tony danza was being a jerk and was cutting in line to bat and all that stuff. as far as jack gelardi, i think he ran the game.
  • Isaac from Sd, Cai tthink jack gelardi was an old school basbeall player and 10 feet tall means either something about drugs or his expertise at bball
  • Luke from Delta , CoI interpreted it as something different- as pride is the downfall of man, like these people are too proud for their own good. But that's just me.
  • Jim from Oxnard, Ca"Tony Danza cuts in line" A classic lyric
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket

Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet SprocketSongwriter Interviews

The "All I Want" singer went through a long depression, playing some shows when he didn't want to be alive.

Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles

Timothy B. Schmit of the EaglesSongwriter Interviews

Did this Eagle come up with the term "Parrothead"? And what is it like playing "Hotel California" for the gazillionth time?

Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull

Ian Anderson of Jethro TullSongwriter Interviews

The flautist frontman talks about touring with Led Zeppelin, his contribution to "Hotel California", and how he may have done the first MTV Unplugged.

George Clinton

George ClintonSongwriter Interviews

When you free your mind, your ass may follow, but you have to make sure someone else doesn't program it while it's wide open.

Thomas Dolby

Thomas DolbySongwriter Interviews

He wrote "She Blinded Me With Science" so he could direct a video about a home for deranged scientists.

Mick Jones of Foreigner

Mick Jones of ForeignerSongwriter Interviews

Foreigner's songwriter/guitarist tells the stories behind the songs "Juke Box Hero," "I Want To Know What Love Is," and many more.