Friday, September 21, 2007

When I was thirteen.

I was thirteen when I fell in love with Grace Slick. Can you fall in love with a rock star at thirteen? She was black-haired and sexy and a Scorpio. She sang songs with words like "mother fucker" and "bullshit" in the lyrics.

Jefferson Airplane was at the forefront of the "revolution." It never happened, but it was god-damned exciting at the time. My Mom wouldn't let me grow my hair long, but there was nowhere in the universe I wanted to be more than the corner of Haight & Ashbury in San Francisco.

Thirty-one years later, I went to San Francisco for a business trip. Wandering around looking for a local hobby store, I crossed Haight on foot and stopped in the middle of the street for a few seconds. Somehow I was connected to the night in 1967 when I saw Jefferson Airplane at the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis. Complete with their bizarre, organic light show, the Airplane was at the height of their powers.

Check out these YouTube links to see the band I fell in love with. The Airplane on the Smothers Brothers. I particularly like Grace in the fringed leather jacket and bell bottoms on Dick Cavett. An amazing rooftop concert in NYC, laced with language inappropriate for televsion... even now, almost forty years later.

7 comments:

Bpaul said...

There is a pretty legendary story about when my parents saw the Airplane opening for Dizzy Gillespie in San Fran right before the album hit. Grace was flirting with a friend of the family and it got talked about for... 30 years. Still gets mentioned when his name comes up.

Anonymous said...

Remember when they built this city on Rock n Roll?

Shocho said...

The Jefferson Starship (not the Airplane) made special versions of that song for several different cities. I was in St. Louis then, and we had our own version.

Shocho said...

Grace never flirted with me. Sadly.

goodrev said...

Are you familiar with Blows Against the Empire? A must hear for any Dead/Airplane fan.

goodrev said...

p.s. - nice picture of Grace!

Shocho said...

Wow! I've been chasing down old Airplane songs (carefully avoiding most of the Starship stuff) but I forgot about Blows Against the Empire! That was awesome.