Jeff Lybarger's Song OF The Day

Subj: Song of the day XV
Date: 96-12-13 06:58:10 EST
From: OUTRIDERJL@AOL.COM (Jeff Lybarger)

Wow, three weeks already, and still going. Well, if you haven't gotten rid of me after the Whitesnake comments I guess we'll keep going. Today we journey back in time to the fourth album, Zoso, if you will, track 7, clocking in at 3:36, "Going To California".

A very beautiful, relaxing guitar from Jimmy begins this little journey down memory lane. A lilting, delicate side of the man who can touch us in the most intense way. Robert sings this so calm and mellow, his voice blending perfectly with the guitar and mandolin.

       "Spend 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 was a girl out there
        With love in her eyes and flowers...
        In her hair"

When Robert gets to the change, right after the "watch out", it never fails to amaze me the way his voice hits those high notes with such ease. And he pulled this off live all the time. As we get back to the main melody Robert gives us some of his best lyrics ever, deep and thought provoking.

       "To find a queen without a king
         they say she plays guitar and cries... and sings
         Ride a white mare in the footsteps of doom
         trying to find a woman who's never never never been born

        Standin' on a hill in my mountain of dreams...
        telling myself it's not as hard, hard, hard as it seems"

That just chills me. "Going..." was inspired by Robert and Jimmy's love of Joni Mitchell and her music. Jimmy was said to be quite smitten with her, having the fantasy of lying in a bed with Joni sitting at the foot and playing and singing to him. Hmmm.

"Going" was introduced on the spring 1971 tour in the UK. Some of these versions are my favourite, they play the song so soft and Robert sings it beautifully. By the time they got to 1977 it had become very popular and their approach had changed, the song lost some of that "innocence". Not that they were bad versions, another song they always played perfectly, just the style of it had changed by then.

Jimmy and Robert added this to their "Unleded" tour set, after the first American leg. Playing this with the orchestra just added another touching element. Robert played it on some of his solo tours as well, and at Knebworth ' 90.

Perhaps a little known fact about the origins of this song. Jimmy has stated that he wrote this while in the Yardbirds. Interesting. It's funny how some of their songs took years before being fully realised and completed. Just shows you can't rush perfection.

So everyone have a nice weekend and I'll see you here Monday am. Thinking of doing a Whitesnake song of the day...

... or not.

Rock on,


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