How we made MacArthur Park – Interview by Dave Simpson

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Songwriter Jimmy Webb recalls recording the somewhat infuriating suite with actor Richard Harris, and the real story behind leaving that cake out in the rain

The lyrics to MacArthur Park infuriate some people. "Someone left the cake out in the rain/ I don't think that I can take it/ 'Cause it took so long to bake it/ And I'll never have that recipe again." They think it's a psychedelic trip. But everything in the song is real. There is a MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, near where my girlfriend worked selling life insurance. We'd meet there for lunch, and there would be old men playing checkers by the trees, like in the lyrics.

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