L.A. Freeway

posted in: Music | 1

Guy Clark was one of the great songwriters of the last fifty years. His music shaped the Texas singer-songwriter scene alongside other worthies such as Steven Fromholz, Townes Van Zandt, Willis Alan Ramsey and more recent musicians such as Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett. In the late 1960s, Guy and his wife Susanna moved to L.A., but it didn’t work out there. They ultimately settled in Nashville, though Guy maintained strong connections in Texas throughout his career.

Guy passed away this summer after many years of health issues. He leaves a towering legacy among American songwriters. This song is one of my favorites of his.

Pack up all your dishes
Make note of all good wishes
Say goodbye to the landlord for me
That son of a bitch has always bored me
Throw out your L.A. papers
And that moldy box of vanilla wafers
Adios to all this concrete
Gonna get me some dirt road back streets

If I can just get off of this L.A. freeway without getting killed or caught
Down the road in a cloud of smoke to some land that I ain’t bought

Here’s to you old Skinny Dennis
The only one I think I will miss
I can hear that old bass singin’
Sweet and low like the gift you’re bringin’
Play it for me one more time now
Gotta give it all we can now
I believe everything you’re sayin’
Just you keep on keep on playin’

If I can just get off of this L.A. freeway . . .

Put the pink card in the mailbox
Leave the key in that old front door lock
They’ll find it likely as not
I’m sure there’s something we have forgot
Oh Susanna, don’t you cry babe
Love’s a gift and it’s surely handmade
We’ve got something to believe in
Don’t you think it’s time we’re leavin’

If I can just get off of this L.A. freeway . . .

One Response

  1. Pancho and Lefty - David A. Loving

    […] Zandt was one of the great Texas songwriters of the 1960s-1980s, of roughly the same generation as Guy Clark and Willis Alan Ramsey. I picture this song taking place on the Mexican border near the beginning of […]