JUKEBOX | GOING TO CALIFORNIA | LED ZEPPELIN
Posted on September 15, 2015 by Trace
— t u e s d a y t u n e s —
L E D Z E P P E L I N
GOING TO CALIFORNIA
was inspired by Joni Mitchell’s ‘California.’
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were huge fans of hers. When performed live, after the lines “To find the queen without a king they say she plays guitar and cries and sings,” Plant would often say the name “Joni.” This started as a song about earthquakes, but developed into a song about the search for a woman.
When Page, along with Led Zeppelin’s manager and an engineer flew to Los Angeles to mix the track, there was an earthquake near San Diego. This also came from a poem Jimmy Page wrote on a notebook. He found it awhile later and it branched off from there.
It features on Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, which was untitled. The album was often called “ZoSo,” which was Jimmy Page’s sign or “Led Zeppelin 4.” The symbols were put in due to the lack of a title for the album. John Paul Jones played mandolin on this track and Page played acoustic guitar.
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968.
Imagine it is now early 1969, and you are young. You hold in your hands an LP by a band with a strange name. The cover art is a black and white photo of the Hindenburg exploding, cropped and retouched to resemble some phallic, Nazi apocalypse.
You remove the record from the sleeve and place it on your turntable.
The next two minutes and forty-some seconds roll by like an avalanche, intricate webs of guitar and bass, thundering percussion, a 20-year-old vocalist belting lines like “I know what it means to be alone” with a flamboyance that makes it impossible to believe him.
For a band so fundamentally associated with the 1970s, it’s startling to remember that ‘Led Zeppelin’ came out seven months before Woodstock and eight months before “Abbey Road”. Similarly “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols“.
Like the band’s first album, ‘Led Zeppelin II’ was produced by Page. Every sound captured on the album is extraordinary, Plant sounds like he’s in the room with you even when he’s off singing about Middle Earth.
Page is frequently compared to British blues counterparts like Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, but he’s really the descendent of another mainstay of the 1960s British scene — Jimi Hendrix. Only Hendrix had such a similarly effortless grasp of the guitar.
When John Bonham died in 1980 the band called it quits, but the Led Zeppelin idea endured. Source : songfacts.com & main story by Slate
Spent my days with a woman unkind
Smoked my stuff and drank, all my wine
Made up my mind to make a new start
Going to California with an aching, in my heart
Someone told me there’s a girl out there
With love in her eyes and flowers, in her hair
Took my chances on a big jet plane
Never let ’em tell you that they’re all the same
The sea was red and the sky was grey
Wondered how tomorrow, could ever follow today
The mountains and the canyons start to tremble and shake
As the children of the sun began to awake
Seems that the wrath of the gods
Got a punch on the nose, and it started to flow
I think I might be sinking
Throw me a line, if I reach it in time
I’ll meet you up there where the path runs straight and high
To find a queen without a king
They say she plays guitar and cries and sings… la la la
Ride a white mare in the footsteps of dawn
Tryin’ to find a woman who’s never, never, never been born
Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams
Telling myself it’s not as hard, hard, hard as it seems…