Jan and Dean – The Little Old Lady (from Pasadena)

This music is about Summer, fun, fun…and did I mention fun? Musically I loved the surf drummers and musicians. They were good and very fast.

I first found out about Jan and Dean when I was a kid. There was a TV movie in 1978 about them.

Jan and Dean were William Jan Berry, and Dean Ormsby Torrence, who formed in Los Angeles and 1958. They helped to shape the California Sound and vocal surf music. Jan and Dean had over 20 charting songs and going strong until Jan Berry was in a horrendous car crash that left him brain damaged and severely handicapped for the rest of his life in 1966.

After numerous brain operations, Jan spent six weeks in coma and awoke severely brain damaged, unable to speak, and completely paralyzed on his right side. He fought back and was able…although tremendously handicapped to return to the recording studio the next year to work on material for an unreleased Jan & Dean project that was not to be released until 2010 called Carnival of Sound.  He still could not sing well enough to perform.

Dean would go on to be a graphic artist and make album covers for  Harry Nilsson, Steve Martin, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Dennis Wilson, Bruce Johnston, the Beach Boys, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Linda Ronstadt, Canned Heat and more.

Jan and Dean performed again in 1976…10 years after the accident. Jan and Dean continued to tour through the 80’s to the 2000’s. Jan died in 2004.

This song was released in 1964 and it peaked at #4  in the Billboard 100.

For those who have time…below is the 1978 movie in its entirety. 

It’s the little old lady from Pasadena

It’s the little old lady from Pasadena…

The little old lady from Pasadena
(Go granny, go granny, go granny, go)
Has a pretty little flowerbed of white gardenias
(Go granny, go granny, go granny, go)
But parked in a rickety old garage
Is a brand-new, shiny red, super-stock Dodge

And everybody’s sayin’ that there’s nobody meaner
Than the little old lady from Pasadena
She drives real fast and she drives real hard
She’s the terror of Colorado Boulevard

It’s the little old lady from Pasadena…

If you see her on the street, don’t try to choose her
(Go granny, go granny, go granny, go)
You might drive a goer, but you’ll never lose her
(Go granny, go granny, go granny, go!)
Well, she’s gonna get a ticket now, sooner or later
‘Cause she can’t keep her foot off the accelerator

And everybody’s sayin’ that there’s nobody meaner
Than the little old lady from Pasadena
She drives real fast and she drives real hard
She’s the terror of Colorado Boulevard

It’s the little old lady from Pasadena…

Go granny, go granny, go granny, go
Go granny, go granny, go granny, go

The guys come to race her from miles around
But she’ll give ’em a length, then she’ll shut ’em down

And everybody’s sayin’ that there’s nobody meaner
Than the little old lady from Pasadena
She drives real fast and she drives real hard
She’s the terror of Colorado Boulevard

It’s the little old lady from Pasadena…
Go granny, go granny, go granny, go (repeat until end and fade)

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

21 thoughts on “Jan and Dean – The Little Old Lady (from Pasadena)”

    1. I was just telling someone… as a kid I watched it and was enthralled by it. Of course then I couldn’t look up any more info on them…I then read some kind of book about them.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I haven’t heard Jan and Dean in a while, but when I do, I am instantly back in time cruising and blasting my AM radio. If you weren’t lucky enough to live in California, or near a beach, well they put you there for a few minuets.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. If you were a teenager in school it was a bit of a fairyland. 1968 is when everything started to change. 1969 gave us Manson and more, then the 70s. Jand and Dean, The Beach Boys and others gave us teenagers escape music and happy feet. Everyday life wasn’t perfect, but it was better than today.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Very interesting. You know, if someone had just asked me out of the blue who did that song, my first reaction would’ve been the Beach boys. Didn’t know about Jan’s misfortunes or Dean’s art… I looked it up and he did the album cover for Nilsson Schmillson as well as tons of others plus he kind of oversaw the creation of the “Chicago” logo that appears on all their records. Who knew?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yea… Dean is a good artist. It’s a sad story because they were on top of the world when it happened. I don’t believe they would have stayed there but they were very popular.

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  3. One spring evening in 1964, Jan Berry’s roommate Don Altfeld was cruising in his Corvette down LA’s Colorado Boulevard towards Pasadena when he saw an elderly grandmother tooling down the strip in a yellow 1932 Ford coupe. That was not typical because used car salesmen would then tell buyers that the previous owner was a “little old lady from Pasadena who only drove the car to church on Sundays.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL…that one and Helter Skelter (hint hint Hans draft) I remember those two the best from the 70s as far as TV movies

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      1. I was with the ex (the Zappa fan) at a ComicCon in Raleigh in the middle 90s. Dirk was sitting at a table, selling his two books. He had been battling prostate cancer and went the holistic route. The books were therapeutic to him. We had a nice conversation and were still talking when my ex turned around and walked away. My ex was rude, walking away when Dirk was in mid-sentence. As my ex walked away, Dirk said, rather loudly, “Am I boring you?” He was very nice to me and I told him that the ex was just jonesing for a smoke. He said “Ah” and we continued to chat. I got personal notes in both books and I still have them.

        Actors are people, too. Some believe their own shit and some don’t. I’m always surprised at how most actors are really small and thin, with the exception of Jerry Doyle. He was 6′ 3″ and I literally ran right into him at another ComicCon…nearly knocked myself over. I was at a table and he walked up behind me without me knowing (waiting for me to finish). I spun around to go somewhere else and *smack*. I was so embarrassed and he just grinned at me. “Oh, sorry!” I said. “It’s Ok.” he said and started talking to the same guy I had been talking to at the table. Later, when I went to his table for an autograph, he was such a genuine guy.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That sucks that your Zappa guy didn’t respond. He sounds like a cool guy. I see whatever he did must have worked because he is still with us.
        It always awesome when a star is actually not just nice…but human like….not like those K sisters.

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      3. My ex was a weird dude. He actually told me once that all the action figures and non-sport cards we’d wasted our money on…we could retire on them. *sigh* I still have some of those stupid things up in Ken’s attic and binders of non-sport cards. I’m going to send you Jaime Sommers one day.

        The Kardashians…UGH.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. You can send me Jaime Sommers any day.

        Well…if it would have been Baseball cards…then yea…you could retire on some of them.

        Like

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