Lines of Inspiration
Melodious expressions, Enduring Truisms
America – the band
“Chewing on a piece of grass, walking down the road…”
Song Title: “Ventura Highway”
Songwriter: Dewey Bunnell
1969 -What are the chances that three highly talented American music artists would meet in a London High School as sons of US Air Force personnel, and (in short order) become an internationally recognized band called America? With British-American Dewey Bunnell at the penning helm and the remarkable harmony produced by the founding three, the band soon enjoyed worldwide acclaim as preeminent pop-rock, folk jazz artists which continued well after returning to their American roots.
By 2006, Dewey’s often illusory, seemingly random lyrics, accompanied by the band’s soft rock style, got them inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Six years later, they had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Yet, according to Dewey, there are no random lines; each one has a meaning. “Alligator lizards in the air”, for instance, is a description of cloud formations one might see while “chewing on a piece of grass, walking down the road.” Curiously, the line “Sorry boy, but I’ve been hit by purple rain,” has not been explained by America the band, or the Artist Known As – Prince ;-)
However, when they were asked to play at (then) Gov. Jesse Ventura’s inaugural celebration, two songs were specifically requested: The first (of course) being “Ventura Highway”, and the second, “Horse with no Name”, for Ventura’s wife; who was a ‘horse lady’.
So, how about that line? Does it call to mind a memory? Instill a sense of wonder? Are you familiar with the song or band?
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