The band "America" has continuously existed for nearly 50 years. The band was started in London by three Americans living abroad with Air Force parents. Learning that fact immediately reminded me of Chip Ahoy.
I'm not quite sure what to make of the lyrics. The song's author claims the song was partly a remembrance of a childhood incident along US 101 near Oxnard, California. The "alligator lizards in the air" were clouds that the younger brothers saw in the sky. But I think the song is somehow about leaving home -- or loving home.
We're leaving soon to drive up Ventura Highway to visit our daughter who goes to school at Santa Barbara. That part of California is fast becoming my favorite. There's something about the east-west lay of the land. It reminds me of the Italian Riviera: Liguria as the Italians call it. It's possible that the days are slightly longer there because sunrises and sunsets are unimpeded by land mass.
US 101 is also old El Camino Real. Ventura Freeway was so-named by Angelinos because it led them to Ventura, a once and still important seaport -- just like the San Diego Freeway took them south. And just like the Pasadena Freeway took them to Pasadena. All roads led from L.A.
Like the Appian Way, there isn't much left of the original El Camino Real. Here is a photo of what's left of the unpaved original: