"From the Desert to the Sea, to All of Southern California." - Jerry Dunphy

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Night Driving in L.A.

It has been over 2 years since I last drove through the San Fernando Valley and L.A.. I miss grabbing my keys and music to disappear for a few hours into the hills and canyons. I must have spent half of the 1970's just driving and playing music. Sometimes I would drop off my date and drive for an hour or so afterward. Usually I started on Victory Blvd. coming back from the West Valley, through the Sepulveda basin into the hills and sometimes L.A.

I had my music with me so there was no rush to get home. I remember driving through the basin to the sounds of Jeff Beck playing "Diamond Dust" as I watched the lights glitter on the Hollywood Hills. Other times the mood was somber and I would go in search of Springsteen's "Darkness on the Edge of Town". Seger's "Night Moves" was a constant companion as was "Katmandu" which played whenever I wanted to just get out of town. Other times "Free Bird" would propel me faster than I should be going, even at that late hour.

Here in Cleveland there are really no places you can just stretch out on the road unless you go to the countryside. It's an odd thing to miss given the traffic situation in L.A. You'll notice I didn't say I miss day time driving.

This picture is from the LP "Late For the Sky" by Jackson Browne. I have passed many places like this in L.A.. Curiously enough the picture is a composite of 2 pictures. The sky in the picture was taken in Ohio. I can imagine driving around all night in that car blasting tunes and just getting lost.

"I swear I'll drive all night just to buy you some shoes - And to taste your tender charms - And I just wanna sleep tonight again in your arms"- Drive All Night by Bruce Springsteen.

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