inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #51 of 164: Steve Silberman (digaman) Mon 28 Jul 03 14:36
    
I would love Blows outtakes as well -- rehearsal takes of Have You Seen 
the Stars Tonight would be loverly.

> I have no idea where that alternative "Let's
 Go Together" came from but BMG at the time said that that was supposed
 to be the one that was going to be on the album and that it was on the
 master tape. Nonetheless I think purists would agree that it should be
 a bonus track

Yes, mainly because the one on the original LP is about ten times better!
The "Pooh" stuff gets a little thick on that alternate version <grin>.
I suspect, purely on instinct, that the alternate is an earlier take 
before Paul really nailed the lyric.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #52 of 164: AreWeReally? (arewereally) Mon 28 Jul 03 14:40
    
Hello Jeff... the book sounds fascinating. I heard your interview on
KFOG and want to comment about Grace Slick's excuse for not wanting to
go out on tour with the band. She has claimed over the years that sixty
year old rock stars don't look good on stage dancing around in spandex
which I don't think she ever wore.  My belief is that even if she
didn't wear spandex, many of us would love to see her on stage wearing
anything and singing with the band.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #53 of 164: from DEL HAMRIC (tnf) Mon 28 Jul 03 20:15
    

Del Hamric writes:


> My favorite period of the band is when they had Craig Chaquico and Papa
> John Creach playing with them. I remember a killer White Rabbit from that
> period that I have always longed for. Do they have any taped shows from
> that period that will ever see the light of day?
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #54 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Tue 29 Jul 03 09:57
    
OK, one at a time. I know that the Airplane did rehearse pretty
regularly but some of the band members didn't really like to. if they
sounded more "professional" than the other SF bands onstage that may
have been purely accidental, although their music did call for some
pretty tight arrangements that had to be nailed. I dount it had
anything to do with RCA though. if RCA had told them they need to
rehearse more they probably would have rehearsed less.

Steve--I suspect you're right about the Blows track being an earlier
take. I prefer the one on the album too. if and when BMG gets around to
reissuing that album, if I'm still involved I'll definitely make that
opinion known.

Grace's "old rock stars" quote. Yeah, the quote itself is getting a
little old but that's just Grace. I can understand where she's coming
from although I don't wholly agree with it. This is the first time I
chose not to see the Stones on tour since '72 because I really think
Mick does look a bit silly, and I do think there are some other "older"
bands that need to hang it up. But I think Grace misreads her fans--if
she wanted to make a non-rock album or do something more "mature"
onstage I'd be there. I mean, Jorma came out with an acoustic country
album that's a million miles away from the old Tuna, and I love it. I
think Grace just doesn't want to perform any more, period, and this is
her way of quickly dismissing the question.

Jefferson Starship live tapes--there are some, and supposedly the band
recorded a 1978 show at Nassau Coliseum with the intention of
releasing it as a live album, but I've not heard of anyone knowing
where those tapes might be. I'd rather here a good live album compiled
from the '74-'75 era myself. Certainly there are tapes of live JS that
the traders have been circulating for years.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #55 of 164: Betsy Schwartz (betsys) Tue 29 Jul 03 10:15
    
Moby Grape is still around? 

One of my favorite 60's albums is the Great Society with Grace Slick
(I'm pretty sure mine is a reprint). I'm curious about how this band's
history relates to Jefferson Airplane.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #56 of 164: Life Is Easy When Considered From Another Point Of View (dam) Tue 29 Jul 03 10:57
    
well you missed out on the stones because i thought it was the best stones
show i have seen in 20 years.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #57 of 164: Berliner (captward) Tue 29 Jul 03 11:14
    
The Great Society never put out an album, so what you have is a
reissue. Agree, though, that it's good. Out on CD? 
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #58 of 164: did dat cocaine, mash up de train (davism) Tue 29 Jul 03 13:01
    

yea the stones still kick ass live...and mick has always looked
silly, it's only rock n roll but i love it....

and i for one would also love to see Grace perform again...i think
she'd be great with the current JA/JS in some of the small clubs
they play (e.g. the Ramshead Tavern in Annapolis...)   
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #59 of 164: She's got a wireless card AND coffee! (tinymonster) Tue 29 Jul 03 16:32
    
> mick has always looked silly

My thoughts exactly!  ;D
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #60 of 164: Get your hands dirty or get your ass kicked. (stdale) Tue 29 Jul 03 17:05
    
Just weighing in to say that I loved the book, Jeff.  One of my favorite
bands from several of the favorite times of my life, with lots of stories
I'd never heard and some that rekindled fond memories.

I'll have more to say in a bit, but I note that the terms of Grace's
probation that forbid her to posess firearms will expire next year.  I hope
*she* likes the book....(heh)
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #61 of 164: Jeff Loomis (jal) Tue 29 Jul 03 21:14
    
Somewhat off topic, but there was an interesting segment on Aldous
Huxley and LSD on "Hofmann's Potion", which has been playing on
Sundance lately.

Carry on.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #62 of 164: 'Got To! (freeform) Wed 30 Jul 03 00:59
    
Hi Jeff!  I really enjoyed your book.  I had a chance to listen to the
records being discussed in the book as I read it.  It was a wonderful
experience.

I remember a show from '75 at Winterland.  Marty had joined the band.  There
was a lot of energy in the place.  To start the set, Paul was strumming the
intro to "Ride the Tiger" to the rhythm of a martial arts swordsman's
routine.  I thought it was a really cool effect, and wondered if there was a
story that goes along with it.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #63 of 164: Adam Powell (rocket) Wed 30 Jul 03 07:26
    
Hello Jeff, I too am greatly enjoying the read. 

Did you know that Black Sheep sampleed "Today"? And was that sample 
cleared?

As an aside, everyone: there is a FANTASTIC version of "Today" on the
Montery Pop DVD with Grace on keys.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #64 of 164: David Freiberg (freemountain) Wed 30 Jul 03 07:57
    
Isn't that the one that doesn't even have ONE shot of Marty singing? 
I always thought that was disgraceful (no pun intended).  You certainly
can understand Marty's frustration with the lack of recognition.

,,

As an aside, everyone: there is a FANTASTIC version of "Today" on the
Montery Pop DVD with Grace on keys.
>>
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #65 of 164: Gary Lambert (almanac) Wed 30 Jul 03 08:28
    

I recall seeing an interview with Pennebaker where that was explained --
the camera that was supposed to be shooting Marty either ran out of film
or flat-out broke, and no one was cued to the problem. In the editing
room, they came up with this shot of Grace's lips moving and Marty's
voice coming out on the opening verse (whether she was singing with the
mic turned down or just mouthing the words, I know not). Pennebaker
loved the image, and loved the performance of the song, so it stayed in
the movie that way.

But I can see how Marty might have been unamused!
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #66 of 164: David Gans (tnf) Wed 30 Jul 03 08:58
    

Photos of Jeff's event at the Booksmith in SF last week:

http://www.304hollowayroad.com/jefferson/Tamarkin/Tamarkin.htm
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #67 of 164: OZRO W. CHILDS (oz) Thu 31 Jul 03 00:01
    
This sure is a discussion to bring back memories.  I loved the way the early
JA sang together. And yet, I found myself going more often to Dead or Big
Brother or Quicksilver concerts.  I think in retrospect if the JA had
decided to emulate Steeleye Span and be a vocally-oriented folk rock band, I
would have liked them better than I did.  What the Dead and Big Brother and
Quicksilver had were one or two songs that had huge musical hooks, that
could lift the crowd to their feet and wipe out all thought, other than
perhaps the anticipation that it would get even better, or the fear that
sooner or later the song would have to end.  JA and JS could kind of do
this, but really, it's the songs and the beauty of it all that I remember.

When I first saw Big Brother, they still did one song, "Roadblock" that
didn't even need Janis to get the crowd going, though of course once she
learned "Piece of My Heart" that was what everyone looked forward to.  I
always thought Janis made a huge mistake in leaving her band, no matter how
bad they were as musicians, because they had the right kind of spirit and
energy.

But for now, I'm going to sit back and remember the sound of Marty and
Grace, voices soaring into our hearts.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #68 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Thu 31 Jul 03 05:46
    
Hi Betsy--Moby Grape is sort of still around. Skip Spence passed away
a few years back but the others still occasionally play together and do
gigs in various configurations. Unfortunately their entire career was
short-circuited by their manager, Matthew Katz, who was also the
Airplane's first manager. There's probably another whole book in this
story alone, but I'm not gonna be the one to write it! The main
Grape-JA connection is that Skip joined MG after being booted from the
Airplane. Why he chose to work again with Katz knowing what the man was
capable of is one of the great rock mysteries.

Re Great Society--Any albums ever released on the band would be
posthumous. There are a couple of CDs out there. The "Born to be
Burned" collection on Sundazed is still available (try Amazon).

>>I note that the terms of Grace's
probation that forbid her to posess firearms will expire next year.  I
hope *she* likes the book....(<<

I haven't spoken to her myself about it, but I've heard she likes it.
She gave the San Francisco Chronicle a quote in which she said that I
"know more about her and the band" than she does! Can't buy that kind
of publicity. As for her gun thing, most of the Airplane, and a
surprising number of their friends (i.e., Crosby) were into guns. So
much for peace and love.

Re martial arts swordsman: Yes, the Starship did feature a guy doing
some pretty cool stunts during one of their early tours. I vaguely
remember seeing him at that same '75 tour. Grace and Paul were going
through a big Chinese phase at the time, into kung fu and all that
stuff.

Re Monterey Pop--Correct, Pennebaker told me the same story. The
camera trained on Marty wasn't functioning so they used the Grace
footage. He said "We thought we could get by on psychedelic." Marty is
still hurting from that today. But then Marty is still hurting from a
lot of things today that happened more than 30 years ago. Some for good
reason, some maybe not.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #69 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Thu 31 Jul 03 05:55
    
David asked a while back if I could run down the various musical
influences that came together in the Airplane. So here goes. Paul was
coming out of the folk sene on the Peninsula that also gave us Garcia,
Janis, Jorma and through which passed the likes of David Freiberg, Dino
Valenti, Crosby and many others of note. Very fascinating scene to me.
Paul's main influences were the folk groups of the day, especially the
Weavers. That was crucial in the decision to bring a woman into the
Airplane.

Marty was also coming out of a folk group when he started JA, but had
also been involved in mainstream showbiz, i.e., performing in West Side
Story. But his main musical love was R&B--he was really into the
dynamic black singers of the '60s (Otis Redding would later become his
favorite). 

Jorma was of course a blues purist, particularly into the
fingerpicking of Rev. Gary Davis. He had traveled a lot in his
childhood so he also picked up a bit of what we now call world
music--he lived in Pakistan, the Philippines, etc. But for him it's
mostly the pre-war acoustic blues.

Jack was a jack of all trades, so to speak. He served as a guitarist
and later bassist for hire in the D.C. area before coming out to SF but
he was mostly into the R&B show bands that had horn players. 

Spencer Dryden was from Los Angeles and had played in strip clubs and
was a jazz fanatic. But he'd also taken to Frank Zappa and really liked
that kind of tightly timed, smartly arranged music. He had to learn to
NOT play that way in JA, although he still had some chances to show
his stuff (check out "rejoyce") with the band.

Grace didn't really have one particular musical style she favored. She
had gotten into some jazz, especially Miles Davis's "Sketches of
Spain" album, and she liked Spanish music (flamenco) and orchestrated
music. She wasn't really a big rock fan growing up but she did like the
Stones.

And so from those diverse backgrounds came the mish-mash called
Jefferson Airplane.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #70 of 164: David Gans (tnf) Thu 31 Jul 03 08:20
    
What a glorious mishmash!

Can you tell us about their early history with the record business?  How did
the record companies approach the San Francisco psychedelic bands?  How did
RCA wind up with the Airplane?  How did the bands deal with the
commodification and image-mongering inherent in the process of marketing
records?
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #71 of 164: John Ross (johnross) Thu 31 Jul 03 09:52
    
Watching the whole phenomenon from the other coast, I never understood why
it seemed as if each of the major record labels signed one and only one Bay
Area band --  RCA had the Airplane, Warner Bros had the Grateful Dead,
Capitol had Quicksilver, Vanguard had Country Joe & the Fish, etc etc. It
seemed odd that there wasn't one or two labels' A&R people who moved in and
signed everybody in sight.

Or some label who hired somebody local to act as their guy on the spot, the
way Paul Rothschild signed many of the early-sixties Cambridge folkies for
Prestige.

Can you cast any light on this, Jeff?
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #72 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Thu 31 Jul 03 10:45
    
Actually, Capitol also had the Steve Miller Band too, but I know what
you're saying. It's almost as if there was some tokenism involved--we
need to show we're hip to the San Fran scene so let's get one of those
hippie bands. Not that we have any idea what to do with them. RCA had
no rock credentials at all outside of Elvis, whereas Capitol had the
Beatles and Beach Boys, Columbia had the Byrds and Dylan, etc. So when
the Airplane became the buzz around SF, RCA was very interested because
the label desperately needed some rock on its roster. 

David, a lot of the stuff you're asking about is covered in the book
(cheap plug) but to make a long story short: When JA first started
playing the Matrix, Matthew Katz and Bill Thompson worked on getting
the Chronicle's critics to the club to see them. Thompson worked as a
copy boy at the paper and knew both John Wasserman and Ralph Gleason.
Wasserman came first and wrote a nice piece but when Gleason raved
about the band, literally every label sent its scouts immediately to
check them out. The Airplane actually turned down most labels for one
reason or another (usually money) but finally settled on RCA because
the label offered the best deal, including sufficient production money.
Or I should say that KATZ made the deal because honestly, the band
didn't care who it signed with. Katz worked it out so that he got some
money thrown his way as a "producer," even though he never actually
produced anything. The band even auditioned for Phil Spector, which was
apparently a very bizarre experience.

I think the Airplane found the whole image and marketing thing more
amusing than anything else. But they were a new band and no one had
really set any precedents yet as far as breaking that mold, so they
pretty much played the game until they had enough clout not to have to
play it anymore. And by that time, the Dead, QMS and the others knew
enough about the business so that when their turns came they didn't
have to play it as much.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #73 of 164: David Gans (tnf) Thu 31 Jul 03 10:52
    

> The band even auditioned for Phil Spector, which was apparently a very
> bizarre experience.

That isn't in the book!  What can you tell us?
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #74 of 164: Berliner (captward) Thu 31 Jul 03 12:05
    
I'd also venture that the whole "alternative" rock thing hadn't been
born yet, and nobody wanted to sign too many hippie bands in case it
was some passing fad or something. Record companies back then were
very, very conservative about spending their money, and their whole
idea of rock music *was* the Beach Boys, Byrds, Beatles, et. al, all of
whom were still making 3-minute tracks. Bands like Quicksilver, in
particular, and I guess the Dead, too, must've scared the living shit
out of the average A&R guy back then: "Do they ever stop playing?"
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #75 of 164: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Thu 31 Jul 03 17:28
    
>> The band even auditioned for Phil Spector, which was apparently a very
>> bizarre experience.
 
> That isn't in the book!  What can you tell us?

It actually *is* in the book, a very paranoid episode!
  

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