KING OF THE HILL - chords and comments

A cooperation between Roger McGuinn and Tom Petty, both writing and performing as a duet (the voices are oddly enough quite hard to decide), the song was written somewhere in 1987. An early take didn't catch much interest, but in -91 they recorded it over again, released it as a video and single (yup; those were the days) and it fronted McGuinn's LP "Back from Rio". I picked up this immediately, and used to play it with an old friend of mine. Then something strange happened: I find it in my obsolete DOCfiles, and walking down the memory lane also in a 25 year old release candidate of Khawaga Album. After that it has been omitted and forgotten ... stupid; now it's back where it belongs.
The lyrics have been an object for interpretations, but both authors have stated that they wrote it with John Phillips in mind, after both had been reading his autobiography "Papa John", Petty the first one. John was the leader of the vocal group "the Mamas and the Papas", and gradually became a heavy drug addict, as well as his elder daughter Laura Mackenzie. This makes it all clear: "the green gucci bag" contains his needles and dope, the "she" who follows him down is Mackenzie and the "white blinding light" is the drug vision. Reflected that he mingled with the high society in his prime time, the lyrics are no longer a mystery.
And, as a matter of form: both father and daughter recovered from their addiction. John maintained his musical career until he died from a heart attack in 2001, and Mackenzie is - at the time of writing, October 2022 - still an actress and singer.
A                 C#M
LA's asleep  you roll up your window
     D            Bm         D          E
the night air is cold  the freeway is clear
       A                  C#m
in a green gucci bag are your prized possessions
     D              Bm      D             E
the jewels of your mind to hold back the fear
and when Monday comes around
there's a high lonesome sound
         Bm          D           F#m
and she follows you down for the kill
and a white blinding light
makes it all seem so right
         Bm          D          F#m 
and you feel like a king of the hill
A major
D major
E major
F sharp minor
B minor
C sharp minor
Roger McGuinn
Tom Petty