CA keeps it rockin’: Famous Golden State artists, bands

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The music industry is wrought with all sorts of geographic rivalries, from east versus west to north versus south. It seems that artists and genres alike can’t catch a break from the incessant battle to pit people and categories against one another. With a state as large as California, there are even rivalries between its northern and southern parts. At the end of the day, it’s important to put the battles aside and appreciate artists for their true talent. After all, California is abundant with all types of musical prowess. Here are some of California’s greatest and most talented artists and bands that make us Californians proud.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

The American rock band, Red Hot Chili Peppers, was formed in Los Angeles in 1983. Their musical style is what makes them so unique and has been classified as alternative rock and funk metal by many. The band was formed by Anthony Kiedis, Hillel Slovak, Flea and Jack Irons, who all met as classmates at Fairfax High School.

Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead was formed in Palo Alto and is beloved for its fusion of rock, folk, psychedelic rock and country. Although formed in 1965, its devoted fan base, known as “Deadheads,” thrives on. Grateful Dead spawned during a time when the counterculture of the 1960s was on the rise throughout San Francisco.

Guns N’ Roses

Formed in Los Angeles in 1985, Guns N’ Roses seamlessly combined punk and classic rock. Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin were part of a band called Hollywood Rose and teamed up their talents with L.A. Guns’ members Tracii Guns, Rob Gardner and Ole Beich — and thus, Guns N’ Roses was born. The original L.A. Guns members would eventually be replaced by Slash, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler.


One of the greatest rappers to exist, 2Pac wasn’t actually born in California as many might think. He was born in East Harlem. He would eventually move to Marin City in 1988. In 1991, he moved to the San Fernando Valley, and the following year, he moved to Oakland. While he might have been born on the East Coast, it’s evident that his heart will always remain in California.

Kendrick Lamar

Born and raised in Compton, Kendrick Lamar is one of the most influential rappers of the modern generation. It doesn’t come as a surprise that one of his biggest influences is 2Pac. In 1995, he witnessed the filming of 2Pac and Dr. Dre’s music video for “California Love,” which would forever be an inspiring moment for his musical career.

The Doors

The Doors was founded in Los Angeles in 1965 by Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore. The band’s name is a reference to Aldous Huxley’s “The Doors of Perception.” The formation of The Doors first began through a meeting between Morrison and Manzarek, who both attended the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

Snoop Dogg

Born in Long Beach, Snoop Dogg started his musical career in 1992 when he was discovered by Dr. Dre and featured on Dre’s albums. He has since come to be an iconic figure of pop culture, starring in TV shows, movies and collaborating with artists of various genres.

Putting our city and hometown biases aside, each of these musicians and groups exemplify why California is such an amazing state to be in.

Contact Erika Lee at [email protected] .