Apr 292024
heart going to california

Covering the range and power of Robert Plant’s high tenor voice is a challenge for all in Led Zeppelin tribute bands, but many of those who have successfully done so have been women. Ann and Nancy Wilson were in a Zeppelin tribute before they committed their band Heart, and have retained the songs in their repertoire since. Recently on the Howard Stern show they talked about their iconic version of “Stairway to Heaven,” performed for the surviving members of the band and other luminaries at the Kennedy Center in 2012, before moving on to their version of “Going to California.”

Over the course of 70 years of being siblings, and 50 years in a band together, there have been moments when each of the sisters could have been the distressed protagonist of the song, running to California after being wronged by the other. In their case the state is their childhood home, rather than a new frontier.

Although Nancy is an accomplished mandolin player, regular Heart (and Ann Wilson Band) member Paul Moak takes the lead part on his eight-string. John Paul Jones created the famous line and is sometimes reprised by him if he likes the collaborators. That mandolin part is prominent throughout the track. The rest of the band plays sensitively, with Sean Lane using brushes on his drum, and the electric bass way down in the mix. Nancy and the other guitarists weave sensitive, Celtic-tinged, rhythm and lead pieces. This creates a space for Ann’s vocals to shine. She pours all of her emotional history and huge vocal ability into something that means alot to her and her sister.

Cover Me is now on Patreon! If you love cover songs, we hope you will consider supporting us there with a small monthly subscription. There are a bunch of exclusive perks only for patrons: playlists, newsletters, downloads, discussions, polls - hell, tell us what song you would like to hear covered and we will make it happen. Learn more at Patreon.

  One Response to “Heart Cover Zeppelin (Again) with “Going to California” on Howard Stern”

Comments (1)
  1. Love Ann and Nancy Wilson in general, and their Zep versions in particular. This was fantastic!

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>