In 1971, Led Zeppelin left their roots and released a single that featured the mandolin and acoustic guitar. It was unplugged before the term was popular. At the time “Going to California” hit the ears of fans, it seemed that half the U.S. residents between the ages of 15 and 25 wanted to move to California or had already done so. However, rather than arriving “on a big jet plane,” the mode of transportation was a van with all worldly possessions in the back.
The three members in the song were Robert Plant (vocals), Jimmy Page (acoustic guitar) and John Paul Jones (mandolin). Rumor is that the hope of finding “a queen without a king” reflected Plant’s attraction for Canadian Joni Mitchell, who had moved to Los Angeles. “Someone told me there's a girl out there with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair.”
“Lyrics of “Going to California” by Led Zeppelin
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 them 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 started 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 la
Side 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.