Troubadour's Top Los Angeles Songs

Submitted by Brian Smith, booker for the Troubadour, the venerable West Hollywood performance venue that has been open since 1957. This list is part of's Top Los Angeles Songs.

"Moonlight on Vermont"
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band

This song is a play on the old classic, "Moonlight in Vermont." It is rumored to be about Vermont Canyon, which is a road that connects to the Griffith Observatory, The Greek Theater and the L.A. Zoo. The tribal drumbeat was a recreation of the sound of a windshield wiper.

The Gerry Mulligan Quartet

Although the group, which included Chet Baker and Chico Hamilton, lasted only 18 months, I think this is one of the great L.A. bands. This is the group that defined and put L.A. on the jazz map. They played the ode to the L.A. freeways, penned by Chet Baker.

"Sammy Hagar Weekend"
Thelonious Monster

This is a hilarious romp by L.A. native Bob Forrest that ends at the parking lot at Anaheim Stadium.

"Vine Street"
Randy Newman

Randy has written a lot of great songs about, for, and making fun of L.A. This is my favorite. Van Dyke Parks does an inspired reworking on his debut record Song Cycle.


Amoeba Music's Top Los Angeles Songs


USC Trojan Marching Band's Top Los Angeles Songs