by Mike Mettler, resident Styxologist

Styx guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw released a stunning acoustic cover version of Led Zeppelin's classic “Going to California” for streaming only on all digital platforms, including Spotify, starting today, May 22, 2020.

While the track was recorded many years ago, Shaw thought now was the perfect time to pull “Going to California” out of the vaults for all fans to enjoy. The original version of the song appears as the third track on Side 2 on Led Zeppelin's untitled fourth album (sometimes referred to as IV or Zoso), which was released on November 8, 1971. “Going to California” was co-written by vocalist Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page, and it was intended as both the band's salute to the creative stylings of Joni Mitchell and as a commentary on the promise of The Golden State itself. In addition to Plant's iconic lead vocals, the track includes Page on acoustic guitar and John Paul Jones on mandolin.

Tommy recounted the reasoning for this digital-only release in the following statement:


Tommy Shaw: After touring behind two Shaw-Blades albums, we discussed a second album of covers and actually recorded a few more, but we never officially set a project into motion. Styx would soon get back together and hit the road with the “Return to Paradise” tour. [Producer and an accompanying guitarist/vocalist on the Shaw-Blades tour] Will Evankovich and I decided to cut “Going to California,” and did it at my home studio in the Hollywood Hills. 

We recently gave it a listen, and when Styx manager Charlie Brusco suggested we release it now to help fill the musical void that the lockdown had created, it suddenly had a new purpose. We had it mastered here in Nashville and created some artwork and got it placed on all the streaming platforms. Robert Plant’s original vocal is stellar, but I tried to make it my own while honoring its essence. I hope you enjoy it!

Love you all,


You can also watch the magical video clip for “Going to California” here on YouTube, which runs for 3:36. Enjoy!