The song reached #69 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA, and #16 on the UK charts, and hit #1 on both US Modern Tracks and US Mainstream Rock Tracks. It is notable for its sparse combination of guitar and bass notes in the intro, and its unique music video.

The song is mainly about the dark side of Hollywood. The song opens to the “Psychic spies from China try to steal your mind’s elation.” Kiedis says in his book Scar Tissue that he got the inspiration for the lyric from when he was in New Zealand and he heard a woman on the street ranting about there being psychic spies in China. The track also makes references to the decline in western society, and other topics such as pornography and plastic surgery and even some pop culture references including Star Wars (“Alderaan’s not far away”), Star Trek, (“Space may be the final frontier, but it’s made in a Hollywood basement”), Celebrity Skin magazine (“Celebrity Skin is this your chin”, although this could also be a reference to Hole’s song, “Celebrity Skin”), and Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain (“Cobain can you hear the spheres”). The line “teenage bride with a baby inside” refers to the fictional character Dani California, who is also mentioned in later songs By the Way and the eponymous Dani California. The song’s riff closely resembles the song “Elevation” off of “Marquee Moon” by Television. Guitarist John Frusciante exclusivlely recorded this song and Otherside with a vintage Gretsch White Falcon hollow body electric guitar, he also played these songs live with the White Falcon until 2007 when he retired it for one of his vintage Fender Stratocasters.

In Kiedis’ book, “Scar Tissue”, Kiedis reveals that the band had enormous difficulty in putting the song together, and didn’t think it would even make it on the album, as the lyrics had been written, but they couldn’t figure out how the song should be played, and to what riffs. Kiedis then explains that Frusciante walked into the recording studio one day, and exclaimed that he had “figured it out”. He then played the song as he visualised it, and it went from being a song that could have been an afterthought, to

Lyrics:
Psychic spies from China
Try to steal your mind’s elation
Little girls from Sweden
Dream of silver screen quotations
And if you want these kind of dreams
It’s Californication

It’s the edge of the world
And all of western civilization
The sun may rise in the East
At least it settles in the final location
It’s understood that Hollywood
sells Californication

Pay your surgeon very well
To break the spell of aging
Celebrity skin is this your chin
Or is that war your waging

[Chorus:]
First born unicorn
Hard core soft porn
Dream of Californication
Dream of Californication

Marry me girl be my fairy to the world
Be my very own constellation
A teenage bride with a baby inside
Getting high on information
And buy me a star on the boulevard
It’s Californication

Space may be the final frontier
But it’s made in a Hollywood basement
Cobain can you hear the spheres
Singing songs off station to station
And Alderon’s not far away
It’s Californication

Born and raised by those who praise
Control of population everybody’s been there
and
I don’t mean on vacation

[Chorus]

Destruction leads to a very rough road
But it also breeds creation
And earthquakes are to a girl’s guitar
They’re just another good vibration
And tidal waves couldn’t save the world
From Californication

Pay your surgeon very well
To break the spell of aging
Sicker than the rest
There is no test
But this is what you’re craving

Edited by RainyDays67 on 13 Jul 2010, 23:42

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