Ours isn’t the first city people associate with Christmas, but the holiday has inspired many musicians with a local connection.
Maybe it’s the location at the bottom west of the lower 48, but San Diego musicians tend to take an irreverent approach to the holiday. Case in point: blink-182 has recorded two Christmas songs — 1997’s “I Won’t Be Home for Christmas,” a pleasant ditty about a man who snaps and attacks a group of carolers.
Despite (or maybe because of) the subject matter, the song was a No. 1 hit in Canada for six weeks in 2001 and 2002.
Apparently, blink was feeling Christmas cheer in 2001, because the trio also included a holiday ditty on their hit album, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. “Happy Holidays, You Bastard” was recorded in San Diego at Signature Sound studio and is basically a 42-second hilariously obscene rant against an unnamed person.
Hilltop High alum Tom Waits never recorded a Christmas album, but he has written an underground holiday classic with “Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis.”
The song was part of his 1978 Blue Valentine album and concerns a prostitute who is writing a letter to a man named Charlie where she claims she is pregnant and in love with a man who promises to raise the pending child as his own. At the end of the song, she confesses that she has been lying and is actually in prison.
It’s unlikely the tune will inspire a Rankin-Bass TV special with puppets, but “Christmas Card From a Hooker” has been covered by several artists, most notably Neko Case.
Former San Diegan Frank Zappa released 65 albums in a career spanning three decades, but not one of them was a Christmas record.