THE GREAT LA SONGBOOK
Los Angeles is the music mecca of the United States. Since the birth of the phonograph, Los Angeles has
been the leader in the music recording industry. An amazing body of work from musicians in LA have
come and gone through the years all depicting Los Angeles in multiple ways. Your job is to find a song
that taps into the LA experience.
In this assignment:
1) While working with a partner, research a popular song that depicts LA OR was done by an LA
artist/band etc. The song may not contain vulgar language and must be approved by the
instructor. You may not do a song or an artist that another student has chosen.
2) After selecting a song of the instructor’s approval, find lyrics, and biographical information
about song and artist.
3) Finally, present a speech to the class 3-5 minutes long about the song. Speech must be typed
and turned in(12 font, double spaced). The speech must include lyrics for all of the students.
4) In your speech, provide the following:
a) Biographical info, the 5 w’s
b) What style of music is this? Why might it be popular? What makes this song related to LA?
c) What is the historical context of the song? What was happening in LA, CA or USA at the time?
d) Lyrical interpretation. What are the devices of literature that songwriter is employing? Do the
lyrics tell a story about LA, use LA images/stereotypes and do they have any historical
YOU WILL BE GRADED ON:
a) Are you prepared? Are you rehearsed?
b) Organization of thought
c) Speech delivery
d) Quality of research, quality of speech
SONGS TO CONSIDER:
1) “LA Woman” Doors
2) “LA” Elliot Smith
3) “Where its at” Beck
4) “Hotel California” Eagles
5) “Californication” or “Under the Bridge” Red Hot Chili Peppers
6) “Today was a good day”(radio friendly version) Ice Cube
7) “For What its Worth” Buffalo Springfield
8) “Lowrider” War
9) “April 29, 1992” Sublime
10) “Our Lips are Sealed” Go Gos
11) “Malibu” Hole
12) “Santa Monica” Everclear
13) “Little old Lady from Pasadena” Jan and Dean
14) “Good Vibrations” Beach Boys
15) “Born in East LA” Cheech and Chong
16) “La Bamba” Ritchie Valens
17) “California Dreaming” Mamas and Papas
18) “To Live and Die in LA”(radio friendly version) Tupac
19) “Summertime in the LBC” Dove Shack
20) “I Love LA” Randy Newman
21) “Beverly Hills” or “Buddy Holly” Weezer
22) “Free Falling” or “American Girl” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
23) “California” Phantom Planet
24) “Hollywood Swingin’” Kool and the Gang
25) “Hollywood Nights” Bob Segar and the Silver Bullet Band
26) “Welcome to the Jungle” Guns n Roses
27) “Los Angeles is Burning” Bad Religion
28) “Saints of Los Angeles” Motley Crue