Never Leaving California

from Sea Change by Richard Turgeon



This song is written from the perspective of a member of the infamous Family led by Charles Manson.

I've always been interested in cults, late '60s American history and the social and political forces that shaped it, and California's reputation as a destination for dreamers — and drifters with a dark side.

I read "Helter Skelter" a long time ago, but a recent viewing of "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" compelled me to research these tragic events more closely. I needed to explore these events and all the questions surrounding them in the best way I know how, through song.

There may never be clear-cut answers as to what drove Manson's followers to commit such senseless and brutal acts, and even then, they need to be put in the context of this period in America's history, the ultimately failed counterculture movement, and the nature of evil.

This song is my attempt to express the things we can't always say in more literal terms and may never truly understand.


Where I grew up there was no sunshine
I had to leave my tiny town
I hitched a ride from San Francisco
It was the wrong crowd that I found

And I’m never leaving California
Here forever
Don’t say I didn’t warn ya

He introduced himself as Charlie
We thought he might be Jesus Christ
He gave us new names, taught us to let go of ego
He made us creep into the night

And I’m never leaving California
Here forever
Don’t say I didn’t warn ya

The good in me was washed away by surf and sun
I traded my soul for the love of a warm gun
I’ve come too far to turn back and I can’t go home
Dear mother you can’t save me
You’ll find out what he made me

We’ve gone too far to turn around
And you can only wonder how

And I’m never leaving California
Here forever
Don’t say I didn’t warn ya

And I’m never leaving
No I’m never leaving
No we’re never leaving
leaving California

Music & lyrics by Richard Turgeon, (c) 2020, all rights reserved


from Sea Change, track released June 17, 2020
All noises, mix, master by Richard Turgeon


all rights reserved



Richard Turgeon San Francisco, California

I'm a suburban dad who writes, performs, and produces original rock songs. I play most of the instruments myself.

My new EP, 'Campfire Songs,' is available now on all digital outlets and on Kool Kat Records (CD).

Follow me here on Bandcamp and sign up for my email list at for updates.
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