Ukiah: The Way We Were 1973



People rushin’ everywhere

If they’d only slow down once they might find something there

Green trees and timber lands, people workin’ with their hands

For sure a different way to live

Gonna keep my cabin at hand, retreat and live off the land

All around Ukiah, whoa

The mountain streams that rush on by

Show the fish are jumpin’ and reflect the open sky

Fresh clean smell of the pines, symbol of unchanging times

All around this sacred land

Strangely, though, I’ve found my way, right here I’m gonna stay

In this land Ukiah, whoa

Ooh, Ukiah
Ooh, Ukiah
Ooh, Ukiah
Ooh, Ukiah
Ooh, Ukiah
Ooh, Ukiah


Ah Yes, the siren song of “Ukiah”. How many of us can trace our life in Ukiah to hearing that song?

As a SoCal boy and an early Doobies fan this song didn’t really mean much more to me when it came out than “China Grove” did. But, when I passed through Ukiah in the summer of 1974 I noted, “so this is Ukiah”. I traveled on. When the D-Bros recorded “Ukiah” it was a very different time and place and the east coast migration was just starting. Mostly, it was a log timber town with beautiful surroundings.

I was back again in ’75 & ’76 and the song started to gain some meaning. By my last visit in ’79 the songs “Mendocino” by SDQ and “Ridgetop” by Jesse Colin Young began to take on real meaning and I was hooked. The rest is history, so to speak.

    I, on the other hand, didn’t even know the song existed until yesterday when someone mentioned a current article in Sunset magazine about visiting Ukiah, with the hyperbole: “Autumn in this throwback burg explodes with foliage that rivals Vermont’s.” Don’t we wish! They mention the song…