What is it about California that it made it the subject of the song ‘California Dreaming’, and so many other songs? It is the weather, the people, the beaches or the culture? Is it the variety that you can expect when traveling from one Californian city to another? Well, each song has its own separate meaning and reason for having been written, and so here we’ll mention a few songs which have been written about California and why.
‘California Dreaming’ was written and performed by the Mamas and Papas, and was first released in 1965. It comes in at number 89 in the Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of all Time. The song was written by John and Michelle Phillips, inspired by their homesickness of California. Michelle was born in Long Beach, California, though John was actually born in South Carolina. Favorite line in the song: “I’d be safe and warm if I was in L.A.”.
‘Going to California’ was the second to last song by Led Zeppelin, released in 1971. It is believed that the song was written about Joni Mitchell, of who both Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (members of the band) were big fans. As an interesting aside, the song starts out talking about earthquakes, and when some members of the group went to L.A. to work on the album, they experienced minor earthquakes. Favorite line in the song: “The mountains and the canyons started to tremble and shake, As the children of the sun began to awake”.
The song ‘Californication’ by the Red Hot Chili Peppers is the fourth single from the album of the same name, which was the bands seventh studio album. It was released in 1999 and spoke about the dark side of Hollywood. The song refers to plastic surgery, Kurt Cobain and the dreams which are created and broken in Hollywood. The track reached number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.A. Favorite line: “Space may be the final frontier, But it’s made in a Hollywood basement”.