The 4th of July is a big day in Huntington Beach, California. It starts early with a 5K race and pancake breakfast, followed by the main event, a parade. Parades bore me to death, but I usually end up there anyway. The highlight of my countless year’s attendance was seeing Norman Fell, who played Mr. Roper on 80s sitcom Three’s Company. After the last float passes by, everyone heads to the beach. On their bikes, since the streets are still closed to traffic.
Nights downtown can get rowdy. In 1993 there was a riot a block away from our house. Until the past couple years, fireworks were prohibited, which meant everyone had the illegal ones. With M-80s going off at random intervals through the night, it’s tough to get any decent sleep.
This song is about the morning after, when spirits are low, fuses are short, and patriotism has returned to baseline levels. The streets are covered in black powder and shredded paper, and the smell of sulphur lingers in the air. Listen closely and you’ll hear fireworks burst on every fourth hit of the snare drum.