The lyrics to “Californication” speak to the shallow attitude of Hollywood and celebrity fame and the desire of the entire world to join in on it.

Anthony Kiedis nailed it with so many clever and powerful lyrics. However, one verse of “Californication” has multiple layers that tie the song together as a whole flawlessly.

Space may be the final frontier but it’s made in a Hollywood basement
And Cobain can you hear the spheres singing songs off Station To Station?
And Alderaan’s not far away, it’s Californication

The first line goes deeper than the surface.

People shout conspiracy theories all the time about the moon landing in 1969 as a hoax, so the concept of outer space as a Hollywood creation certainly isn’t unheard of. The thought of Hollywood controlling the perception of the entire world has larger and more accurate implications though.

It also ties into the third line about Alderaan, a reference to a fictional planet in Star Wars. The thought that a distorted reality is getting closer to a farfetched sci-fi/fantasy is downright alarming.

The second line has even more to unpack. 

Kurt Cobain passed away in 1994, and “Californication” came out five years later. The Nirvana lead singer famously covered “The Man Who Sold the World” by David Bowie.

Bowie isn’t an easy act to follow, but Cobain’s cover actually became more recognizable than the original in the minds of the masses.

Station to Station refers to David Bowie’s album/title track from 1976. 

Kiedis sounds like he’s longing for the past by speaking positively about Cobain while also criticizing any Bowie covers since Cobain’s passing as cheap imitations that don’t compare.

“I love all varieties of lyric writing, abstract being one of my favorites, because so much has already been said in songs along the way that I like to find some new way of adding to a song lyrically that isn’t predictable or already been done many, many times,” Kiedis told Apple Music.

He created at least one verse that wasn’t predictable and hadn’t been done many, many times.

Song lyrics can mean whatever listeners want them to mean, and “Californication” certainly gave us some food for thought.


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