Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown finds theme song: ‘Eve of Destruction’

Gov. Jerry Brown arrives at the Four Seasons hotel in Paris to meet with former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunday.
Gov. Jerry Brown arrives at the Four Seasons hotel in Paris to meet with former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunday. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders

On his second day in Paris, Gov. Jerry Brown found music.

Delivering a speech tied to the United Nations climate summit, Brown warned a crowd the world is “on a track of destruction” if it does not move quickly to counteract effects of climate change.

“In fact, I don’t know how many of you people remember the song … Was it ‘Day of Destruction?’” he said. “Barry McGuire. Listen to that song. I’ve always liked that song.”

With its references to “violence flarin’” and “bodies floatin,’” “Eve of Destruction,” was the bleak protest song written in the 1960s by P.F. Sloan, who died last month.

Brown said, “That’s what we’re here to prevent.”

Leaving the auditorium, he recalled listening to the well-known recording by McGuire while driving in Los Angeles during the Watts riots.

Brown is in town lobbying for more aggressive climate change policies, and Nancy McFadden, Brown’s executive secretary, suggested “Eve of Destruction” could make a good “theme song” for the trip.

McFadden pulled a version up on her phone. Brown grinned and sang a line.

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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