Jefferson Airplane

I had a chance to do a lot of driving this holiday season, and ended up listening to most of a double CD set that should have been called “The Best Of The Jefferson Airplane”.   Actually it is called “2400 Fulton Street”. They’ve not been around for decades (although they did evolve into the Jefferson Starship for a while before petering out).

I was amazed at Grace Slick’s vocals.  A few of the songs were riveting.  I kept trying to imagine her singing on stage.  Her voice is so clear, and at times so strident, penetrating.  I’m thinking of “Somebody To Love” and “White Rabbit”.

It also was a trip down memory lane, in the sense that the Airplane started before the Viet Nam War was was a huge political issue, but then things changed.  Towards the end of their tenure, their songs were very political, and it brought me back to that era.  An era where the “volunteers for America” “got to Revolution”.  I’d forgotten the fervor, the passion, the anger, the pain.

And it was interesting listening as their music became more and more complex.  They clearly were unwilling to just do the same thing over and over again.  Bizarre time signatures, complex interwoven vocals.

Try “Lather” and “Crown of Creation” and “Today”.  Or “Triad”.  Or “Eskimo Blue Day”: “the human name doesn’t mean shit to a tree”.  Quite the Green message, from a long time ago.

So, I got more out of my experience than I had bargained for.  If you grew up during that time, you might find listening to them to be surprising.

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