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Here it is! Leaving LA is the first of a handful of singles to be released ahead of the full album later this year.


I heartily suggest you watch this on a reasonable sized screen with some lovely headphones / speakers and the volume turned up to 9. My producer, Mr Daniel Denholm, has done a beautiful job with the audio, and the wondrous Tee Ken Ng has made a film unlike anything you have seen.
(UPDATE: You can now watch The Making of Leaving LA on YouTube or below).

We really hope you think it doesn’t suck.

Lyrics, and for fun there’s a Glossary, below.

Leaving LA – Music and Lyrics Tim Minchin. Film by Tee Ken Ng

Produced and Engineered by Daniel Denholm
Recorded at Point Blank Sound

Drums – Ben Vanderwal
Bass – James Haselwood
Guitar – Jak Housden
Piano – Tim Minchin
Backing Vocals – Sarah Belkner, Jak Housden

Strings and Brass arranged by Daniel Denholm
Recorded by Brent Clark @ Trackdown Studios
Assisted by Rose MacKenzie

Mixed by Tim Palmer @ ’62 Studios, Austin, Texas.
Mastered By Steve Smart @ Studios 301


Check the locks and leave the keys
Mouldy bath masked with Febreze
Something’s dead behind the refrigerator
Some poor fuck will deal with it later

I’ve spent the last ten weeks
Squeezing out the sponge of friendships plugging leaks
Talked until there’s no more to say
I’m going away. I’m leaving LA

And the tourists say
“Please give me the directions to the Hollywood sign
I always dreamt of coming here to see the Hollywood sign”
But on their way back down we’ll ask did you have a good time
They’ll say “it’s just some fucking letters on a hill”

I wander through the Bronson Caves
One more OK coffee at the Oaks Gourmet
I’ll watch the players at the UCB
Trying to improvise their way out of ennui

Walking trails in the creeping dark
Up to the observatory in Griffith Park
There’s too much light for stars anyway
I’m getting out of this place
I’m leaving LA
I’m leaving LA

And the studio executives who never made a thing
Blaming others for their failures taking credit for their wins
Wiping the blood of dumb artists from their chins singing
“Kid you oughtn’t take it personally”

On Hollywood and Vine a dime-store Spiderman
Shouting at a stoned Emma Stone dressed a la La La Land
And in the distance in both its glorious dimensions
The sign projects its shadow on the hill

Rushing by machine-gunned cops at LAX
Malfunctioning departure board says we’re boarding next
Belt off shoes off jacket off hat
Don’t need the attitude but I quite enjoy the subsequent pat down
And I’m sat down

As the A380 engine roars
Pushed backwards as this tube of monkeys rumbles forwards
Looking forward to
Another twenty hours on a plane
Nothing but shit films and my brain
I’ve been going slowly insane
I’ve seen your sport and I don’t wanna play
I’m getting out of this place
I’m getting out of this place
I’m leaving LA

And the actors at Gratitude drinking undrinkable juice
And the agents taking ten percent in their sneakers and suits
And the writers in their Teslas trying to punch up Act One
Driving home on the 101 in the relentless fucking sun
And the needy and the greedy and the homeless and horny
And the deals done on treadmills at ten to six in the morning
And the Captain’s on the PA saying look for the sign!
But I find it’s just some fucking letters on a hill
Just some really ugly letters on a pretty ugly hill

I’m leaving LA
I’m leaving ‘ell

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Bronson Caves: an old quarry in Griffith Park, the caves were used in the original Batman TV series.

The Oaks Gourmet: a very nice little market opposite the Scientology Celebrity Center in Franklin Village. Order filter coffee, cos Americans know how to do that. Also good for picnic hampers when you’re off to the Hollywood Bowl.

UCB: a long-running comedy / improv troupe, the Upright Citizens Brigade. They rule.

Trails: the Griffith Park trails are hiking paths that lead up to the Griffith Observatory. There’s a cafe at the bottom called “Trails” owned by Mickey Petralia who happens to be a music producer who helped with concert sound in some of my Californication episodes! (He also did a lot of the sound for Flight of the Conchords).

Observatory: The Griffith Observatory, an Art Deco Greek Revivalist observatory that is walking distance from where we lived in Los Feliz. I love it. It’s in heaps of movies, most famously James Dean’s “Rebel Without a Cause”, and Tee Ken Ng’s Leaving LA…

Hollywood and Vine: it’s a reasonably ugly corner on a reasonably ugly road. The places many tourists go in Hollywood are pretty tawdry, and crowded with people dressed in cheap Marvel costumes trying to make a few bucks having pics with tourists. I never saw anyone dressed as Emma Stone, but I couldn’t resist “a la La La”. I actually asked Emma (through a friend) whether she’d be in this music video. She – sensibly – didn’t get back to me.

LAX: is the main LA airport. It’s frickin huge and often absolutely awful (although the new terminal is very nice). We’ve had some frickin dire moments in that airport, being shouted at by tired immigration officers after queuing for 3 hours with two little kids.

A380: is a plane built by Airbus and is the biggest passenger plane in the world. I think they are beautiful. They take so long – and so much energy – to take off, you feel like you’re never going to get off the ground. And then you’re in the air and they are so quiet and smooth, you feel like you’re not moving.

20 hours: about how long it takes to get to Perth (via Sydney) from LA.

Sport: the sport is commerce, if you’re wondering, not filmmaking.

Gratitude: a Vegan restaurant in Larchmont. It’s actually really nice, but it is as free of irony as it is of animal products. The dishes have been given hilarious names like “Glowing”, “Brave”, “Worthy” and “Radiant”. You literally have to say, “I’ll have a Thriving, please”. For this reason, I can’t go there.

Punch-up Act One: film scripts are invariably divided into three acts. It’s sometimes annoying, but it’s the language of the form. Scripts often get handed to other writers for a “punch-up pass”, to try and make them more funny. There are writers in Hollywood who earn hundreds of thousands of dollars but never have their own scripts made. They just get paid to do passes on other people’s scripts. It’s why so many movies are tonally uneven.

101: is a freeway. Or a highway. Depends where you’re from.

UPDATE (20/03)20: The Making of Leaving LA

Directed and Edited by Jess Black
Shot by Cam Campbell
Colour Grade by Paul Komadina

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Marion in Aotearoa on 17th of March 2022

I believe you’ll find, Tim, that the Café Gratitude is part-owned by Jason Mraz, hence the whacked-out food item names. I think that would somewhat put me off too, and I’m vegan.

Paige on 1st of November 2020

I just found this video during a youtube spiral and it’s brilliant. I saw your last show in LA. Thanks for this. After 4 years we are done. I feel all of these things you mention (except I’m not in “The Business” but my husband kind of is). I rescue animals which, as you can probably imagine, is a shit show in Los Angeles. So much here to love, so much here to hate. Peace out, LA. On to (literally) greener pastures.

Barbaradat on 9th of April 2020

Hello to all
In this enigmatical forthwith, I proclivity you all
Esteem your family and friends

Troy DeVolld on 21st of March 2020

Hi, Tim.

I’ve been in Los Angeles for 20 years and felt every word down to my bones. Thank you and Tee Ken Ng for this moving and somewhat painful-to-absorb work of art.

Alice on 20th of March 2020

Great work! I often listen to your songs and admire them. Lots of love

Nathan Stapleton on 19th of March 2020

Think that’s all that needs to be said. 😊

Vanessa Frost on 19th of March 2020

We caught his San Diego performance which my husband and I affectionately call his ‘escaping US tour’ … and we wish we could go with him. We’re so very excited to hear the full album, and this song is a delight.

Eithne on 17th of March 2020

It’s late on the strangest St Patrick’s night ever in Ireland. I thought of you and wondered where the hell you’d gotten to since Groundhog Day. Just saw the Leaving LA video and you know what, it made my day. Thank you.

Nerida Paterson on 16th of March 2020

Just Brilliant -visually and aurally. Sorry Covid 19 has intruded onto your tour.

Karen Aspinall on 14th of March 2020

Brilliant! This song is perfection, it’s my new favourite. After having enough of the city that takes everything and only leaves memories. We (2) left LA…. Coincidentally on an A380. Sadly, I’ve left my son there still slugging it out in the film industry looking for the golden dream in music producing and engineering.

Joanie on 13th of March 2020

Brilliant and beautiful. I laughed, I cried, I’ve sent this to all my friends. Please never stop fitting ennui (one of my favorite words since the age of 7 [I was a precocious reader]) into songs.

Maria on 13th of March 2020

Thank you, Tim Minchin, you truly NEVER disappoint xxx

Carollyne on 13th of March 2020

I’ve put LLA on repeat and did you know it blends seamlessly into the next play? kinda like the turntable spin.

BTW I grew up from age 13 on Nottingham Ave in the Los Feliz hills. Not far from the top of Western Ave which is one of the longest straight streets anywhere. In the 50’s we would drive all the way down into the black neighbourhoods where we could go into their record stores. I think you get the picture.

Your art and discourse have changed inundated my life. I’m very very happy for you in my world. Thank you for everything.

I’ve sent you a book via Lindsey (Minchkins) I hope you get it some day. A lovely little book by two intellectuals from here in BC, Canada. LEARNING TO DIE (Wisdom in the Age of Climate Crisis). You can read it in less than an hour. Hope you get it. Robert Bringhurst and Jan Zwicky.

Love, Carollyne

PS was at the last 3 shows in Southend. Your art satisfies my theatre sensibilities.

Alicia on 13th of March 2020

Sorry for a second comment but, for the nerdy nerds, the street lights are a lovely homage to a piece called Urban Light at the LACMA (and if I’m wrong, may Minchin strike me with the wrath of a dozen super cute puppies).🐾

Alicia on 13th of March 2020

The song and the video are fabulous. Belkner looks SO pretty! She would’ve eclipsed Emma (that’s probably why she didn’t get back to you 😉).

The glossary is as entertaining as it is accurate. Sadly, most sport is commerce. I’m glad you’ve always fought on the side of Art. You put up a hell of a good fight, sir.

You’re such a wonderful writer, and you know it, so get cracking on another book! (If you’re taking requests, I’d like one with considerable girth, please.)

Love, light and a turmeric sunrise with beet, please. (That’s how they say thank you and goodbye in L.A., right?) ❤️

Allison on 13th of March 2020

I recently visited LA, to reunite with my 2 best friends from childhood. We hadn’t seen each other for 25 years. They both ended up writers in Hollywood (one of them was in the UCB, incidentally). We haven’t really spoken since then, guess we drifted too far apart for our bond to reassert itself.
I was envious for a while. They had both gotten what we all wanted, while I….well, let’s just say I didn’t. This song has helped me let some of that go. I know it was just your way of processing your own frustration and heartbreak and rage about what happened to you, but like everything, it has a much wider effect than might be apparent.
Thank you yet again for all you do. Sometimes it feels like it’s specifically for me, and even though I know it isn’t it makes me feel good. You are a net positive in the world, and I hope to someday be able to give back a fraction of the joy you’ve given. 🥰🥰🥰

CodingCat on 13th of March 2020

Thank you. Brilliant. Right up there with Storm. More please. Soon. Thank you.

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