If You’re Going to San Francisco, Be Sure to Watch These Videos Filmed There

As a native San Franciscan, I grew up listening to songs, like “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” by Tony Bennett, “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” by Scott McKenzie, “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding, and “Lights” by Journey, to name a few. Radio stations still play “We Built This City” by Starship, despite being voted the “Worst Song of the 1980s” according to a Rolling Stones Magazine poll. Love or hate these songs, they are classics because people love San Francisco!

Just when I thought I’d heard of all the songs that pay homage to San Francisco, I discover the song, “San Francisco” by French singer, Maxime Le Forestier! As a Francophile from San Francisco, I wondered, How have I not heard of this song before? Quel dommage! (What a pity!)

Good thing “Never stop learning” is a motto of mine. I love discovering gems like these!

La maison bleue / The blue house

from Google Maps

I learned that in the 1970s, Maxime Le Forestier lived in a blue house (pictured above) located in The City’s Castro neighborhood. It became the inspiration for the song with lyrics, like:

C’est une maison bleue

Adossée à la colline…

San Francisco s’embrume

San Francisco s’allume

San Francisco, où êtes vous…

Nageant dans le brouillard …”

Translation:

“It’s a blue house

Leaning against the hill …

San Francisco becomes cloudy

San Francisco lights up

San Francisco, where are you …

Swimming in the fog … ”

In 2011, Maxime Le Forestier returned to San Francisco and the blue house to unveil a plaque offered by the Consulate General of France in San Francisco.

from YouTube

If You’re Going to San Francisco, Be Sure to Watch These Videos Filmed There

All of these old school San Francisco songs got me thinking about more recent music inspired by San Francisco. So I’ve compiled this short list of music videos that were filmed in the city by the bay, including my personal stories about two of them!

  • G-Eazy – “Power” ft. Nef the Pharaoh and P-Lo [Explicit] (The Berkeley and Vallejo natives filmed this video on a yacht, offering views of the Bay Area skyline, bridges, and Port of Oakland container cranes. Other filming locations include the former Naval Base in Alameda and Telegraph Avenue)

True story: I’m in this music video (sort of)

In March 1997, the Wallflowers filmed part of their concert at the historic venue, The Fillmore. Band frontman, Jakob Dylan, announced that the next single would be “The Difference” (from the album, Bringing Down the Horse) and that we’d all be on MTV! Here’s the scoop: it wasn’t done in one take! In fact, they played the song a total of five times! Each time, we were instructed to be enthusiastic: jump, dance, and wave our hands in the air. In other words, we had to rock out as cable camera rigs panned overhead. So as you watch the video, don’t blink or you’ll miss me: the split-second blurry spot wearing an orange sweater. That’s me – I promise!

Speaking of promise, the last song on my list is:

Another true story: I went to the movies with Justin Timberlake (sort of)

One weekend in September 2000, *NSYNC was in town to film the music video for “This I Promise You” (a beautiful ballad written and produced by Richard Marx). I was in line to buy movie tickets when I noticed a 19-year-old Justin Timberlake two spots ahead of me. More remarkable to me was that, as famous as he was (and still is), JT was low-key: no disguise, no hat, no dark glasses, no bodyguard, no suit & tie. It wasn’t until he turned his sexy back (when the couple in front of me started to talk to him) that I even realized it was him. I didn’t meet him, though. Quel dommage!

>> The link to my YouTube playlist with all of these songs can be found here. <<

Bonus: Check out this 2005 television commercial featuring hundreds of thousands of colorful balls going down a hill in San Francisco! The ad won a Gold Lion at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in June 2006 in Cannes, France.

I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour of San Francisco via music videos! Tell me which one(s) you liked in the comments below!

6 thoughts on “If You’re Going to San Francisco, Be Sure to Watch These Videos Filmed There

  1. I LOVE Justin Timberlake – that is so cool that you got to be in the same place as him. The only celebrity I ever came so close to meeting was Prince Royce (about five years ago). Thanks for sharing! I hope I get to visit San Francisco someday.

    Gabby

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s cool – unfortunately, I’m not familiar with Frank Zappa’s music, but I know he was Moon and Dweezil’s dad! Wow, you met the former president of France! Thanks for the link – I’m going to read your post now…

      Liked by 1 person

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