Highway 5

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"Highway 5"
California cover
Song by American Music Club from the album California
Released 1988
Format LP / CS / CD
Length 3:49
Label Grifter Records/Frontier Records/Demon Records
Writer(s) Mark Eitzel
Producer(s) Tom Mallon
California track listing
  1. "Firefly"
  2. "Somewhere"
  3. "Laughingstock"
  4. "Lonely"
  5. "Pale Skinny Girl"
  6. "Blue And Grey Shirt"
  7. "Bad Liquor"
  8. "Now You're Defeated"
  9. "Jenny"
  10. "Western Sky"
  11. "Highway 5"
  12. "Last Harbor"

"Highway 5" is the 11th song on American Music Club's second album, 1988’s California.

Eitzel told Unhinged, "The drive from San Francisco to L.A is weird: it's an irrigated desert. The left side is all irrigated, the right side is the real thing: barren dry mountains. So it's this phony Californian situation, which California is wonderful for. I love California for disgusting, wasteful conflicts like that. And then I sang the song around a romance I once had. First time I drove down it, I knew I had to write about it because I'm really into '5', not that I'm a silly numerologist, but five is the martyr's number. I love the number."[1]


Try and try, leave a trace
And all we ever leave is a sour taste
You're half asleep when I crash through
I'm like a drop of water on the dry sand
I'm a scar across your face
I'm an itch that's driving you mad

Highway five

Takes so much to make us feel like we're alive
A weary traveler at a smooth seventy-five
Make pretend the landscape ain't so dry
Do anything to maintain a lie

To the left, a beautiful California landscape
Dead ends in the sky
And to the right, beautiful mountains rise
High and dry
Another futile expression of bitterness
Another overwhelming sensation of uselessness

Make pretend that the landscape ain't so dry
Do anything to maintain a lie
Make pretend that the lover ain't so barren
Though in Los Angeles things like that don't matter

Highway five


American Music Club performing "Highway 5" on September 2, 1989 at The Burro Room in Chico, CA, US.


American Music Club


Also appears on


  1. Drew (Winter 1989). "American Music Club". Unhinged. Retrieved March 27, 2018.