San Francisco

Scott McKenzie, 1967

Early on the day Scott recorded San Francisco, some friends picked wildflowers and wove a garland, which he wore while he sang, as his friends sat on the floor and meditated in the studio.

In the rest of the world, especially in Eastern Europe, San Francisco became a freedom song. "During the Cold War the secret police threatened residents with imprisonment just for listening to western music. Many of these people adopted San Francisco as their personal anthem of hope and freedom. It is very humbling," says Scott.

It had been intended that the John Phillips song Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon) would be Scott's follow up song to San Francisco but contractual obligations resulted in the Mamas and Papas recording the song and Scott released Like An Old Time Movie, which was a minor hit, and to this day he is known as a 'one hit wonder'. On stage Scott says that if you are going to be a one hit wonder, San Francisco is the hit to have.

There is a theory that Like An Old Time Movie was not a bigger hit, especially in Europe, because at that time Europeans did not really know what an old time movie was - they didn't have late movies on television.

After his hit song and the subsequent album, The Voice of Scott  McKenzie, Scott released an album of his own songs, called Stained Glass Morning.