Diz Knee Land – Dada

Dada is a three piece rock band from California. The band is made up of Michael Gurley (guitar/co-lead vocals), Joie Calio (bass/co-lead vocals) and Phil Leavitt (drums).  The band was formed in 1992.

The band’s songs feature both Michael and Joie sharing the vocals on each song. The group wrote highly melodic, harmony laden tunes, and their constant touring with two and a half to three hour performances won them a wide fanbase.

During several of their tours in the late 1990s, Dada performed with an additional musician, Gig McKell, who played rhythm guitar. However, for the past several years, Dada has returned to a 3 piece for live performances

During much of the band’s tenure, Michael Gurley has struggled with carpal tunnel syndrome. In order to continue playing, Gurley was forced to make some changes – these included using light gauge strings and tuning the instrument down a half step, as well as icing his wrists frequently to help with the pain.

Diz Knee Land

This is what bassist Joie Calio had to say on the Westwood One radio program On The Edge:

The song isn’t about Disneyland  at all. It’s not about Disneyland. It… has nothing to do with Disneyland, actually. It has more to do with the craziness of the juxtaposition of the state of your every day. Just looking around you. You could see a guy’s head being chopped off and, you know, a leg flying away and someone embracing someone in a lovely kiss and then flip the channel and then a chainsaw goes buzzing through, you know, some butter and it accidentally cuts your mom’s head off and then you flip again and they’re making love and then you flip again and it’s Montana going ‘I’m going to Disneyland’. You know, it’s just that whole thing, how insane it is, but you know, it’s just the natural state. I don’t think we’re making a, we’re not pointing our fingers. We’re just… it just is, and we’re just singin’ it

Joie said this about the song in a Chicago Sun-Times interview: “It’s our best-known song, but it’s not our best song. I got the idea for the song in a dream where I saw this word “Disneyland” on a bus. I heard the melody and then I woke up, wrote it all down and called Mike up to finish it up.”


I just ran away from home
Now I’m going to dizz knee land
I just crashed my car again
Now I’m going to dizz knee land
I just robbed a grocery store
I’m going to dizz knee land
I just flipped off President George
I’m going to dizz knee land

I just tossed a fifth of gin
Now I’m going to dizz knee land
I just got cuffed a gin
Now I’m going to dizz knee land
Shot my gun into the night
I’m going to dizz knee land
I just saw a good man die
I’m going to dizz knee land


Kicked my ass out of school
Rolled me out into the street
Hitched a ride on a monkey’s back
Headed west into the black

I’m going to dizz knee land

  • Audio from the 1992 album, Puzzle:


About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

One thought on “Diz Knee Land – Dada

  1. My kids always loved this song….mostly for the “disneyland” refrain.

    Michael Gurley was a really fluid guitar player, he has a real loose style similar to the guitar player from Spin Doctors. Sad to hear about his carpal tunnel, hope it clears up.

Got a comment?