Every day so caffeinated
I wish they were Golden Gated
Fillmore couldn't feel more miles away
So wrap me up return to sender
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Fog near the City by the Bay
(thanks, Mila Zinkova)
The Golden Gate, created by the San Francisco and Marin Peninsula headlands, through which the North American strait connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean, is spanned by one of the most photographed bridges in the world. The Golden Gate Bridge, considered one of the modern Wonders of the World, is a magnificent feat of engineering. Completed in 1937, the suspension bridge burns a bright vermilion, visible through chilly summer fogs and mesmerising to the eye. The Golden Gate Bridge is the symbol of San Francisco, a city home to several million people, a city that flourished during the 19th C gold rush and that has since become a cultural Mecca. Since the arrival of the 'beats' in the 1950s, culminating in the 1967 'Summer of Love,' San Francisco has been the go-to place for all manner of eccentrics. Today, in the wake of the Dot-Com boom and the white-collar wealth generated in Silicon Valley, combined with its liberal politics and open mindset allowing public nudity and massive gay pride parades, the city embraces people of all colours, creeds and sexual persuasions. With a city this open to eccentricity and creativity, it's no wonder San Francisco is the birth place of many great musicians, including Jefferson Airplane, Chris Isaak, and Green Day.
The band Train, formed in 1994 in San Francisco, enjoyed pop-rock mega-stardom until 2006 when two of the original three founding members left the band. After a commercially unsuccessful 2006 release, the band went on a three-year hiatus.
Train re-emerged on the music scene in 2009 with their fifth studio album titled Save Me, San Francisco
. This album saw a return to the band's folk-rock roots, the style that had propelled them from obscurity to stardom. On this album, that band pays homage to the great city that birthed them. “When we came back we wanted to just get back to the excitement we had in the very beginning of the band,” says lead guitarist Jimmy Stafford. The titular track and opening track on the album pays direct tribute to San Francisco with unambiguous references to life on the West Coast, while emphasizing the plight of the band during the hiatus and how lost the members felt, with lines like, “I've been up, I've been down, I've been so damn lost since you’re not around.”
Chinatown in San Francisco
“Save Me, San Francisco” is a jaunty number reminiscent of early Rolling Stones with a folksy rock 'n roll groove and catchy chorus. While nothing more than a pleasant pop song, the music video for “Save Me, San Francisco” solidifies the band's attachment to the city, as it features sweeping vistas of the bay and iconic bridge, as well as a car drive along the steep, sloping streets equally iconic of the city.
Buoyed by the success of the single “Hey, Soul Sister,” Save Me, San Francisco
has sold over 500 000 copies in the US alone, regaining the band some of that diminished success. “...For maybe the first time in our careers, we stopped trying to write hit songs and were coming from a place of love,” says front-man Pat Monahan, which is especially true for “Save Me, San Francisco,” a song mediocre by musical standards, but that has profound meaning for the band as they celebrate one of greatest cities in America. ~ Suzanne van Rooyen
Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. Her published novels include
Dragon's Teeth, Obscura Burning, and
The Other Me. When not writing, she teaches dance and music to middle schoolers and eats far too much peanut-butter.
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