Californication (5:21)

Cover of Californication

From Californication and 35 other releases

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.

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Albums featuring this track (36)

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