1995 Interview

Page 17: Twenty Minutes

JOHNSON: When John first played you the song, "San Francisco," can you speak about that? When you first heard the song, what were your feelings about it? Do you remember that?

McKENZIE: [Laughs] I don’t remember it as a process. I think John and I talked about the idea of a song for a couple of weeks, at least, and then he just sort of sat down and went into his own position, whatever it was, and wrote the song. In about twenty minutes.

PHILLIPS: About twenty minutes, yeah.

McKENZIE: And I loved it. We just started singing it around his house and everywhere. We’d go into Lou’s office. "Here, listen to this." That’s like the old days. In New York, when we first went there, you’d stop on a street corner and sing for an agent or a producer or anybody. We were just thrilled with it.

PHILLIPS: But the thing was, the first time Lou heard the song, he said, "God, I’ve got to hear this song immediately." And we went in the studio the next day, I think, and recorded it, which was a Tuesday. And by Friday it was on the radio and by Monday it was a hit. [Makes exploding sound] It went all over the world.

JOHNSON: Number one.

PHILLIPS: Very strange.

JOHNSON: I think we’re finished. Thanks, both of you.