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Boomer Hymns Revisited: California Dreamin’

I’d be safe and warm (I’d be safe and warm)
If I was in L.A. (If I was in L.A.)
California dreamin’ (California dreamin’)
On such a winter’s day

Caravans of burglars overwhelmed Oakland’s cannabis businesses in 2020:     Early in the morning on Nov. 4, Lavell Russell received a phone call from a friend who told him that his cannabis shop, Only Good Weed, had been “trashed and robbed.” Russell drove to the store, a small commercial building on the corner of High Street and Fairfax Avenue in East Oakland, and found the area had become a crime scene. Someone had rammed an SUV into the front of the building, destroying a metal security gate and smashing a hole in the entranceway.

A witness reported to OPD that 10 people broke in. Russell said products, electronics, and cash were stolen from his business, which he co-owns with 14 others.

“It’s sickening,” he said in a recent interview. “You work so hard to get to a place where you can open the doors. And overnight it’s taken from you.”

Earlier on the same night, security guard Mathew Tippetts was sitting in his vehicle in the parking lot of Harborside, a cannabis dispensary located on Embarcadero at 16th Avenue, when suddenly, dozens of people, some wearing ski masks and carrying bags, jumped out of cars parked nearby. As the crowd rushed the building and attempted to break in, all Tippetts could do was block the front entrance with his vehicle and call 911.

“It was just overwhelming numbers and vehicles,” Tippetts said. “I wasn’t going to try to be Superman and stop everything. You don’t know how many of them are armed.”

Time for a remake of “California Dreamin’.” Since one can no longer be “safe and warm in L.A.,” maybe something like this would be more accurate…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Stargazer January 23, 2021, 8:42 AM

    Now its California screamin’. To get out!

  • John Venlet January 23, 2021, 9:00 AM

    Well, as long as each thief took less than $950.00 bucks worth of dope/cash/what have you, it’s all cool under California law, right?

  • Anonymous January 23, 2021, 9:23 AM

    One thing about that song that still troubles me: why does no one else cringe at that godforsaken 1/3 tone flat out of tune flute solo? Was every last person in the production high on weed and losing half their brain cells?

  • Christopher L Hunt January 23, 2021, 9:23 AM

    With the possible exception of Cass Elliot, the Mamas and the Papas were reprehensible people.

  • gwbnyc January 23, 2021, 9:30 AM

    phillips hung around the neighborhood c.1980.

    skeevy …*shudder*

  • ghostsniper January 23, 2021, 11:20 AM

    The flute was actually subliminally clever as it was meant to sound “gray”, like the sky, and the mood.
    A “bright” properly tuned flute wouldn’t have sounded right. Proper, but not right.

  • EX-Californian Pete January 23, 2021, 2:11 PM


    As I site here looking out the back bedroom window at my quiet, peaceful acreage covered in a blanket of soft snow, a of couple burning logs crackling in the fireplace, reflecting on the pile of items I just scored at the Gun Show today, and sipping on a mug of hot tea, I can’t help but think of how much I miss California…….

    That whole damn state is a putrid, festering, 3rd world country dumpster fire- what’s to miss?

  • Ed January 23, 2021, 3:51 PM

    The store was on HIGH Street?!

  • Kevin in PA January 23, 2021, 3:59 PM

    I’m an East-coast kid, but I must sadly concur with Ex-Cal Pete.
    It is a pity. California had it all on so many levels, but between crooked pols, unchecked illegal immigration and growth of the welfare state, the place is doomed. It was once the epitome of the “American Dream” and the parasite class killed it. Tragic…and what’s worse? The old saying – As California goes, so goes the nation. There is a lot of truth in that.

  • Boat Guy January 23, 2021, 4:17 PM

    Pete and Kevin,
    True all of that, I remember it as it was and shudder for friends and family still trapped there -BiL is eking out the year-some to qualify for CalPers. I keep telling him it’s more of a ponzi than ponzi was. The other “reasons” I hear are even less valid.
    I will make it a point to tell every new arrival that they are refugees and most decidedly NOT missionaries, we’ve already already had far too many of those. I was beside myself with joy and wonder when my Dad’s job moved us “out here” and left CA behind with nary a thought. Now I see the “Californication” brought here to the point I’d like to flee.

  • Jack January 23, 2021, 4:47 PM

    A great old song for a different people and a different time and I still love hearing Michelle’s higher harmony. For anyone not of the 60’s generation, the song is still cool, but the listener has no way of knowing or understanding the depth of what we were going through, as young people, at that time. I’m not exactly sure I remember all of it either but as Elmer Keith was quoted as saying: “Hell, I was there”.

    Over the last 3-4 decades California has become a fuggin’ nightmare of unimaginable proportions and I keep sorta, kinda hopin’ that the thing will fall in to the sea. Mine isn’t a sweet wish and I haven’t given up on it but maybe instead the assholes who have turned California into what it is will just stay there instead. God knows the rest of the nation doesn’t need or want anything they have to offer.

  • DeNihilist January 23, 2021, 7:40 PM

    Richard Rose once said that there only 3 realities in life, Love, Hate and Nostalgia.
    When I hear songs from my youth I fully understand him.

  • Jewel January 23, 2021, 9:38 PM

    The post millennials have better ballads than us boomers…

  • Sid V January 24, 2021, 5:28 AM

    I’m not a boomer, having been born the day Sergeant Pepper’s was released, but dear God I love the that song. Top 10 all time R&R song. And Michelle was a little hottie for sure 😉

  • jwm January 24, 2021, 7:45 AM

    This song is on the top ten in my earworm archive of 8-track tunes. I can hear every note without a radio. Like a fat line of nostalgia it clouds up my head, and pulls me back to high school.
    And right now the California sky is, indeed, rainy, cold, and gray, and the leaves are appropriately brown as is everyone’s overall mood here in the Southland. So, just like in the song, I went for a walk.
    The streets are too empty. No one’s out at all. I don’t even have to look both ways before crossing.
    Down at the tracks on the corner at First avenue, I can see the boarded up remains of my favorite pizza joint. Last year they went out of business, and then caught fire.
    The railroad easement isn’t too muddy to walk just yet, but I don’t go down there now, because of the homeless camp at the little trestle. This part of the easement is a broad wedge of naked dirt, chunks of concrete, brown, dry tumbleweeds, and hard, sharp stone. The north side is lined with the cinder block walls separating the back yards from the weed and trash.
    And I see something new in the world spray painted in blood red on that block wall. You learn a little about graffiti over the years. I can tell the difference between a tagging crew, a gang, a “graffiti artist”, and some clown with a spray can. The text was not artfully drawn. It was done quickly in thick blocky, uneven letters. “WAKE UP AMERICA!”
    But the signature came from practiced tagger. I’m guessing the kid is either based, or on the way.


  • DeNihilist January 24, 2021, 9:13 AM

    Thanks Jewel, you had me going deep down the rabbit hole last night, 3 hrs. of delightful discovery.
    I found this 3 hour loop, playing now as I wright this.
    Happy 2021!

  • Norskeguy January 24, 2021, 10:13 AM

    I like the Beach Boys version better. Roger McGuinn’s 12 string intro and a great sax solo.

  • Roy Lofquist January 24, 2021, 10:27 AM

    Yet another cover:


    This by a 12 year old girl.

  • gwbnyc January 24, 2021, 1:38 PM

    “The store was on HIGH Street?!”

    -that was the joke back in c.’65-

    High Street, Haight Hashbury.

  • EX-Californian Pete January 24, 2021, 1:44 PM

    Kevin- I also have a couple relatives and a lot of friends still trapped in Commiefornia, and will always be concerned for them as long as they’re trapped in that state. However, I also have a dozen or so friends that wised up & moved back into the USA. CA was great for the first 3 decades I lived there, but after that, went downhill FAST. We are so fortunate to live where we do, and PA is every bit as beautiful, green, and livable as my state. Enjoy, brother.

    Boat Guy- I agree, and hope you get to be a “Cal-Exit-er” soon- especially before they pass that “Exit Tax” they’ve been pushing- that bill looks like a combination of kidnapping and extortion rolled into one. Just how the f*** could that be legal?

    Jack- you nailed it- about 3 or 4 decades ago it was still livable and enjoyable. Now it’s a rotting corpse.