Californication by RHCP is a very famous song and the accompanying video is full of subliminal messages. Here are the 5 things you don’t know about the Californication video!
It’s 1999 and guitarist John Frusciante has just returned to the Red Hot Chili Peppers group. The genesis of “Californication” is troubled but thanks to John Frusciante the song is ready just a few days before entering the studio. The album that is born takes the same name as the song.
The complaint against the Hollywood world in Californication by RHCP
The lyrics wants to be a complaint about the falsity and superficiality of the world of California and Hollywood.
The vision that Hollywood proposes is not real. Movie stars are icons of success and a good life but in reality they are artificial.
With this song the singer Anthony Kiedis wants to shed light on the dark sides of Hollywood, the decline of Western society, the sex industry, the plastic surgery business. It means that Hollywood is a virtual reality created inside film studios and nobody really lives like this.
The video Californication by RHCP
The Californication music video was made on computer graphics and was at the forefront for the time: computers only took off after 2000.
The directors are Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, a couple of American directors, who in 1998 founded the production company “Bob Industries”. They have also worked for other artists such as Beastie Boys, REM, Smashing Pumpkins, Oasis.
In the Californication video, Red Hot Chili Peppers are the characters of a video game focused on California. The game seems to be inspired by the famous videogames of the time, such as Resident Evil, Tomb Raider (video game of 1996 with Lara Croft), Grand Theft Auto (1997), the first series of Crazy Taxi (1999), Tekken (1994), in addition to the numerous snowboard videogames born in the 1990s.
But let’s discover the 5 things you don’t know about the video Californication by RHCP.
1. How the Californication videogame works
The video starts with a “now loading” and eight images in sequence: the first four are the members of the RHCP while the others depict the protagonists in some locations of the game. The speed with which the images follow one another take our attention away from the objective of the game. Players must overcome a series of obstacles (for example, policemen, killer woodsmen, sharks) and find red asterisks, which are the symbol of RHCP.
2. The winged horse, symbol of Warner Bros
A winged horse then appears: it’s the symbol of TriStar Pictures, part of the Columbia Pictures group, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros. Warner Bros has been the record label of RHCP since 1990. The winged horse reappears at the end of the video in Hollywood sky, along with planes, balloons, alien spaceships.
3. Is there really a September 11 prophecy?
Towards the end of the video Anthony Kiedis and Chad Smith straddle a giant dragonfly. Airplanes, air balloons, alien spacecrafts, Leonardesque contraptions and the winged horse of TrisTar Pictures fly in the Hollywood sky.
Many consider the planes (which fly very low and seem to touch the buildings) as a prophecy about September 11 attacks, which will take place two years later. In our opinion this is only a coincidence.
Close to Los Angeles and Hollywood is the Hollywood Burbank Airport. Also in Los Angeles there is a much larger airplane, the Los Angeles International Airport. So it’s normal to see airplanes fly low over Hollywood skies. Los Angeles was not touched by the attacks of September 11. The airplanes of the terrorist attacks fell in New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania. Practically from the other side of the United States.
4. Quotations to cinema icons and more
The video shows a series of quotes to movie characters and movies.
At the beginning the guitarist John Frusciante passes near a sign with Ollio and Stanlio depicted. Another sign reads “Personality”.You see also the sign of a “Casting Agency – Loo ing for hot talent”, where the K is missing (the word would be “looking”). But why is the K missing? Perhaps because “loo” means “toilet”, so it’s a clear critique of artist recruitment agencies.
After overcoming various obstacles, John Frusciante enters the television studios. He goes through the set of the movie Star Wars, then the set of a porn movie and finally he comes across the set of a historical film of the 15th century. Here an actor dressed as Leonardo Da Vinci is painting the picture of the Mona Lisa.
Towards the end, a gyroscope appears at the bottom left. It is a rotating contraption invented in 1852 by the famous physicist Jean Bernard Léon Foucault. It appears at this point because the protagonists are flying. The gyroscope in fact indicates the structure of a flying vehicle with respect to its longitudinal and transverse axes.
The car, that Anthony Kiedis is driving, has a number plate with the inscription “Germs”. Some argue that Kiedis represents that group of people who understood Hollywood’s deception and therefore live like despicable beings within the city, like “germs”. Others see a quote from the Germs, a band formed in 1977 in Los Angeles and considered one of the first hardcore punk rock bands.
At 3:00 minute, the car flies into a big donut with the words “Andy’s Donuts”. This is a quote from the Simpsons, very famous at the time. Their donut featured the “Lard Lad Donuts” sign.
5. Two locations that are not in Hollywood in the video Californication by RHCP
Let’s finish this post on the 5 things you don’t know about the video Californication by RHCP, with the latest curiosity. In addition to the city of Hollywood, you see other settings.
Bass player Flea Balzary runs into a forest, which is Muir Woods in California. There, bears and assassin woodsmen chase him. Chad Smith makes snowborads in the mountains but in a later scene he continues to snowboard on a bridge. The bridge is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.