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China Grove "Down around San Antone"?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Breeze147, Apr 18, 2020.

  1. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    So, I've been putting together some classic rock playlists, actually this is my main hobby, and I am just curious to know if there is a real China Grove "Down around San Antone"?
     
  2. Frankr163

    Frankr163 High-Roller

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  3. HOUtoLAS

    HOUtoLAS High-Roller

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    There is a ZZ Top documentary on Netflix that gives you some background on the band that was decent. The band members are in it, so it is approved and not just someone else creating cuts and talking about them. I hate those types of documentaries.
     
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  4. topcard

    topcard Re-Open Vegas!

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    In the 70s, I always thought the song was referring to the China Grove Ranch, on the old 288 South highway to Surfside... a bit shocked that I've been wrong about that for 45 years!
     
  5. Valgal

    Valgal VIP Whale

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    LOL yes there is a China Grove. If you blink you've passed through it. There is nothing there that stands out memorable for me. Growing up and hearing this song - the rumor was China Grove was a big biker hang out -- as in the Banditos -- I don't know if that was actually true but that was the rumor.

    It is similar in size to Hye, Texas which we pass through all the time. We say Hye, Bye.
     
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  6. deansrobinson

    deansrobinson VIP Whale

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    So, here's where I get stuck.

    If we're talking about China Grove, where 'every day there's a new thing comin', why would we be talking about the "sheriff and his buddies with their samurai swords"? :confused:
     
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  7. Geogran

    Geogran Whooo. Whooo.

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    I’m obviously not Val, but here is an article from the Tennessean in 2014

    Story Behind the Song: 'China Grove'

    Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction — and sometimes it's not. The latter was the case with the Doobie Brothers' "China Grove." The group's Tom Johnston built the tune out of a piano lick, and made up a story about a "wacky sheriff" in China Grove, Texas. Others who heard it, however, made up their own stories. Johnston set the record straight with Bart Herbison of Nashville Songwriters Association International.

    There are so many urban legends to how that song got written. But what's the real story?

    It's kind of an interesting story around that song, because it was written around a piano lick. The lyrics anyway, not the chords. The chords, I already had. I was pretty much a guy that would walk into the studio with a song but no words, except on a few occasions, and that was one of them. We went in and we cut the track, and when we brought (keyboardist) Billy Payne in from Little Feat — he played on a lot of our stuff — he played a lick (sings), and that just gave me this idea for this wacky sheriff that lived some place down in Texas, and the name of the town he was working in was China Grove.

    Go back a few years, and we were touring in a Winnebago in 1972, driving down that road, and I must have seen a sign, because there is a road sign that says "China Grove." I didn't "see it" see it, but I kind of must have seen it. I think that's where I must have gotten the title from, but I didn't realize that until a cab driver in Houston told me that a few years later. There really is a China Grove. It's basically a nonsensical set of lyrics about a sheriff down in that area, right outside of San Antonio. Actually, China Grove is a feed store. But there's another one in North Carolina, supposedly.
     
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  8. ardee

    ardee It's only money.

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    Maybe the doobies had something to do with it? :poke::thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
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  9. flyguyfl

    flyguyfl VIP Whale

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    You can learn a lot from this forum.
     
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  10. deansrobinson

    deansrobinson VIP Whale

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    Indeed there is, and we (Sun Valley High School) used to wrestle the South Rowan Raiders.
     
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  11. topcard

    topcard Re-Open Vegas!

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  12. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty Doing retirement again and happily so....

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    At one time, the prettiest girls I ever seen were actually from Abilene. But I think she moved. And got married. And had 3 kids.
    But yeah, most songs have a connection somewhere with someone.
    No kiddin’.
     
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    This here table isn’t a 5$ table; Pilgrim ~~
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  13. ken2v

    ken2v 200,000 and counting

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    I love some of the backstories. When Dewey Bunnell wrote "Ventura Highway" he was thinking back to a time when he was kid. He and is brother were watching clouds roll overhead -- "alligator lizards in the air" -- on the side of the road while their dad changed a flat. He was stationed at Vandenberg. It's a tribute to Hwy. 1/PCH, but "Ventura Highway" sounded better and Bunnell remembers seeing "Ventura" on a mileage sign during that trip.
     
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  14. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    When the sun comes up on a sleepy little town
    Down around San Antone
    And the folks are risin for another day
    Round about their homes
    The people of the town are strange
    And they're proud of where they came
    Well, you're talkin bout china grove
    Oh, china grove
    Well, the preacher and the teacher
    Lord, they're a caution
    They are the talk of the town
    When the gossip gets to flyin
    And they ain't lyin
    When the sun goes fallin down
    They say that the father's insane
    And dear missus Perkins a game
    Were talkin bout the china grove
    Oh, china grove
    But every day theres a new thing comin
    The ways of an oriental view
    The sheriff and his buddies
    With their samurai swords
    You can even hear the music at night
    And though it's a part of the lone star state
    People don't seem to care
    They just keep on lookin to the east
    Talkin bout the china grove
    Oh, china grove

    OP notes:

    Strange oriental people.

    A cheating scandal.

    Corrupt law enforcement.

    Screw it all, let's party!
     
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  15. flyguyfl

    flyguyfl VIP Whale

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    Was posting the lyrics but Breeze beat me to it.
     
  16. Johnzimbo

    Johnzimbo VIP Whale

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    Reminds me, had a buddy in high school who thought the song was "Go Go Johnny Go". Cracked me up
     
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  17. topcard

    topcard Re-Open Vegas!

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    I believe that's supposed to be "it's hot in the Lone Star state..."
    :beer:
     
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  18. Kobra2848

    Kobra2848 VIP Whale

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    Your not missing much Breeze. I drive through on the way to my brothers house in La Vernia.

    Mark
     
  19. ken2v

    ken2v 200,000 and counting

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    @Breeze147 ... do you remember this Doobs song? It was a title cut but it never got the air time. It is one of my favorites:

     
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  20. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    Great tune!