#82 Camp Pendelton – Echos of New Roman Times.

el camino real front

Camp Pendelton- Camper Van Beethoven.

Last year Camper Van Beethoven released La Costa Perdida  (loosely “the lost coast”) which is a set of songs about Northern California  (see Northern California Girls or Come Down the Coast as examples).    This year Camper Van Beethoven releases the companion piece to this album “El CaminoReal.”   This time the album thematically focuses on Southern California and Baja California.

Whereas  La Costa Perdida  was a look back at the “back to the country” hippy period of  northern California with references to Jack Kerouac, Richard Brautigan, The Grateful Dead and even The Beach Boy’s  “Big Sur”  period this one is firmly planted in the present and further down the coast in Southern California.

The best way to look at the new album is to draw a contrast between the two. On La Costa Perdida  the ocean is calm, benevolent and feminine; on  El Camino Real  the sea is “filled with darkness, secrets and chemicals.”

Camp Pendelton is the 4th track on the new Camper Van Beethoven album El Camino Real.  The song tells the story of a marine in either Iraq or Afghanistan (most likely Afghanistan).   He is manning a remote outpost somewhere and  in his head he is speaking to his wife:

Keep the children safe

dress them the same

cause I have changed

I’ve changed forever”

The idea is that he is fully aware that he is suffering from the effects of his long deployment.  Maybe PTSD although it’s not really clear to me and I wrote the song. You might compare him to the character in The Hurt Locker.  Although the similarity is purely coincidental because this is the one song that we didn’t write FOR this album.   This song has been kicking around  since 2003 in the form of of a half finished demo. This was when Camper Van Beethoven  was working on their alternate history sic-fi rock opera New Roman Times.  In fact it was intended to be a track for that album.  It would have loosely fit in somewhere between White Fluffy Clouds and Might Makes Right.  We didn’t include it because it seemed like we didn’t need this “in between” stage of his character development.    I sort of forgot about the song.

Skip forward 8 years and I was looking for B-sides for La Costa Perdida and I came across the demo for this song.   What a surprise!  How could we leave this unreleased?

Fortunately it’s set in Southern California and considering that Camp Pendelton and Twenty Nine Palms take up 85% of the landmass of Southern California (joking folks) it seemed like it was perfect for the album.

Buy the album at your local record store

or stream here.

 

Camp Pendleton

I have dreamed immortal suns

I gazed upon the fiery surfaces

and I have fought down burning roads

The highways littered with our humanity

I see your face safely at home

Baby keep the home fires burning

Keep the children safe

and dress them the same

Because I have changed I’ve changed forever

Pump up the violence bring the lights on down

Pump up the violence bring the lights on down

Pump up the violence bring the ordnance on down

Pump up the violence bring the lights on down

Pump up the violence bring the lights on down

Pump up the violence bring the ordnance on down

Pump up the violence bring the lights on down

Pump up the violence bring the lights on down

Pump up the violence bring the ordnance on down

I have dreamed immortal sun

I gazed upon the fiery surfaces

always fear but never falter

onward forward Christian Soldiers

Pump up the violence bring the lights on down

Pump up the violence bring the lights on down

Pump up the violence bring the ordnance on down

Pump up the violence bring the lights on down

Pump up the violence bring the lights on down

Pump up the violence bring the ordnance on down

Pump up the violence bring the lights on down

Pump up the violence bring the lights on down

Pump up the violence bring the ordnance on down

Pump up the violence bring the lights on down

Pump up the violence bring the lights on down

Pump up the violence bring the ordnance on down

©2014 Camper Van Beethoven

 

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