♫ Ventura Highway ♫

Released in 1972 by the band America, this was written by band member Dewey Bunnell, who says of the inspiration for the song …

“It was 1963 when I was in seventh grade, we got a flat tire and we’re standing on the side of the road and I was staring at this highway sign. It said ‘Ventura’ on it and it just stuck with me. It was a sunny day and the ocean there, all of it.”

The song has some rather strange lyrics, such as “Seasons crying no despair, alligator lizards in the air,” of which Bunnell says …

“The clouds. It’s my brother and I standing there on the side of the road looking at the shapes of clouds while my dad changed the tire.”

Another line … “Sorry boy, but I’ve been hit by purple rain” … would later become the inspiration for the title of the famous song by Prince, Purple Rain.  

Though the songwriting credit went to Bunnell, other of the bands songwriters had some input, as per Gerry Beckley …

“The guitar lick on ‘Ventura Highway’ is something that Dan [Peek] and I put together that really wasn’t a part of the song. The song is of course, super strong on its own. We had a friend back in England, when he heard it with the guitar lick, he said, ‘Oh, you’ve ruined it!'”

The song won many fans, including the pro wrestler-turned-politician, Jesse Ventura. Bunnell recalled …

“We went and played at Governor Jesse Ventura’s inaugural out in Minneapolis. He asked us to — his wife is a horse lady, and she’d always loved ‘A Horse with No Name’, and he had adopted this name Ventura. So when he put together his cast of characters for his big inaugural celebration, he wanted us to come and play two songs, which we did.”

Ventura Highway
America

Chewing on a piece of grass
Walking down the road
Tell me, how long you gonna stay here Joe?
Some people say this town don’t look
Good in snow
You don’t care, I know

Ventura Highway in the sunshine
Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger
Than moonshine
You’re gonna go I know

‘Cause the free wind is blowin’ through
Your hair
And the days surround your daylight
There
Seasons crying no despair
Alligator lizards in the air

Wishin’ on a falling star
Watchin’ for the early train
Sorry boy, but I’ve been hit by
Purple rain
Aw, come on Joe, you can always
Change your name
Thanks a lot son, just the same

Ventura Highway
In the sunshine
Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger
Than moonshine
You’re gonna go I know

‘Cause the free wind is blowin’ through
Your hair
And the days surround you daylight
There
Seasons crying no despair
Alligator lizards in the air

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Dewey Bunnell
Ventura Highway lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

15 thoughts on “♫ Ventura Highway ♫

  1. I always thought this was written on acid, like The First Edition’s Just Dropped In, or The Beatle’s Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, whether John admitted it or not. But I have seen alligator-looking clouds, so maybe…

    Liked by 1 person

      • True enough. But it sounds like he was in his early teens, or maybe even a bopper. That is a time when young people are naturally high, and it is what turns some to seek other highs. I know it made me recognize the possibilities in LSD. I was not disappointed.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: ♫ Ventura Highway ♫ | The Inglorius Padre Steve's World

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