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Queen of California

Interview from All Things Considered
"John Mayer: Restoring An Image, And An Instrument"

[Singing] Goodbye, cold. Goodbye, rain. Goodbye, sorrow and goodbye, shame. I'm headed out West with my headphones on, boarded a flight with a song in the back of my soul.

That was the mission statement for the record, sort of. I think "Queen of California" - you always sort of write a song somewhere in the writing process for an album that becomes the - like the den leader of the rest of the songs. The lyrics: heading out West with my headphones on, makes me so happy to sing it. As a writer, that's what you try and do, try and come up with one line that you could actually think about for, you know, four or five minutes and kind of get deep into it, you know?

There's a lot to it, you know? You don't head out West with your headphones on unless you're searching for something. It's actually about, you know, getting over stuff, just being able to have a hopeful vibe about something again, which I think is why it's the first track on the record, because it's the first - it's a very relieving sort of breath of fresh air.

Interview with My Stupid Mouth forum (2013)
Conducted by founder Richard Young
I’m realizing how much there is to these songs. "Queen of California" I just absolutely love. I’m so glad I have that song to play live. Sometimes repetition will burn a song out. Some songs can’t get burned out, and other songs have a little burn to them.
Twitter Q&A (November 2017)
Twitter Q&A about Born and Raised

What song does the lyric "a song in the back of my soul" refer to?

Great question. The song nobody knows IS Queen of California. 🙌

Radio Intros 2024
LIFE With John Mayer on Sirius XM Radio
There are certain songs that, when I hear them, I don't want to write that song. Because I can't, it already exists. But I want to write one like it. "Midnight Rider" by The Allman Brothers Band is a song that I think probably inspired Queen of California.
Excerpted from Radio Intros 2024 >