This song is special to me and easily recognizable. The intro is well-known and most people can sing at the least the first few lines. While I’ve always been a fan of the song, and of RHCP, this song is special to me because of a friend. When I was 19 I lived in Las Vegas for a year. The ‘burbs outside Vegas, but close enough. In the time that I lived there, I made one friend that I always felt had my back. My “homie” Van. Homie was his word, not mine. In the chaos that was my life that year, Van picked me up and held me together numerous times, whether he knew it or not. This song was one that he would always crank up when we were riding around, claiming it was his “jam.” He always substituted the word “angels” in the lyrics, for “City of Vegas.” I’ve since lost touch with Van, but this song never fails to make me think of him.
Anthony Kiedis, vocalist for RHCP, wrote the lyrics for this song as a poem at first, expressing his feelings of loneliness as well as reflecting on his use of narcotics and their impact on his life. He didn’t feel as though the song would fit with the current repertoire of the band and did not show it to them until producer Rick Rubin found it in a notebook of his poems and implored him to do so. The band was receptive to the song and pretty much immediately picked up instruments and started writing music to it.
What do you guys think about the song? Any personal connections to it?