Despite allusions made by music reviewers suggesting otherwise, Minneapolis singer-songwriter Mason Jennings has never been a resident of Lemon Grove. In praising Jennings's 2004 album Use Your Voice, the All Music Guide website notes, "His sense of place and his emotional clarity are startling on cuts like 'Lemon Grove Avenue'..."; Omaha webzine the Old Pulp cited the same song's "hometown nostalgia."
Not unreasonable assumptions with lyrics such as: "If I have my way / I'm never gonna leave Lemon Grove Avenue / Where the summer breeze blows...and there's a boat out on the sea."
In fact, Jennings was born in Honolulu, raised in Pittsburgh, then relocated to Minnesota after high school. His knowledge of the San Diego County town that has boasted the "Best Climate on Earth" for over 100 years is fleeting; yet, he did write a tune namechecking its main thoroughfare.
"[The song 'Lemon Grove Avenue'] came about when I was driving around in San Diego," Jennings told Georgia publication Flagpole last year. "I saw this street sign that said Lemon Grove Ave. and [I] was, like, 'Oh, that's beautiful. What a nice name for your street.' So I wrote the song and the next time I went back there, I ended up finding out that almost everything on that street's boarded up and it's one of the worst spots in the whole city."
In another interview, Jennings elaborated on Lemon Grove Avenue: "It's quite a ways from the ocean -- about 15 miles inland.... Which is so funny too, because you would think that it would be a really mellow place -- right on the ocean, and it turns out to be just this horrible street!"