Going To California | Led Zeppelin
It started as a song about Californian earthquakes, at this point the song was known as “Guide To California”.
The song was inspired by “California” by Joni Mitchell, with whom Jimmy and Robert were both infatuated, but more directly inspired by her song called “If I had A King” which was about Graham Nash. ”To find a queen without a king, They say she plays guitar and cries and sings.”(Later Graham Nash responded with a song called “I Used To Be A King”.)
In 2007 Robert stated that the song was about him reflecting on the first years of the group, when he was only about 20, and was struggling to find himself in the midst of all the craziness of California and the band and the groupies.
But anyway, Michele Overman was the main inspiration: “Someone told me there’s a girl out there, With love in her eyes and flowers in her hair”, Jimmy Page told Michele. The song was not written for her, but she definitely was one of the influences and represented the “whole California thing” that inspired the song.
Led Zeppelin IV, released November 8, 1971.
"I Used To Be A King" by Graham Nash was on his album Songs For Beginners, released May 28, 1971.
"If I Had A King" about Graham Nash? There was "I Had A King" about Chuck Mitchell.
Yes, to be sure we have this straight: Joni’s “I Had A King” was about Chuck, and Graham’s “I Used To Be A King” was about Joni. A very complicated world these people lived in. :-)
Jenny Lindberg + Emily Kokal, Warpaint. Bill Graham Civic, San Francisco. April 17, 2014.
dj scribbles Do not remove credit.
- Flea talking about John Frusciante - RHCP Documentary (Californication Era)