inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #126 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Tue 5 Aug 03 08:11
    
Oh, Joyce, do you REALLY want to go there? OK, here's my take. Marty
is, at heart, an old-fashioned guy, i.e., monogamous. From what I can
tell from stories others have told me, he really didn't sleep around
much. He was married young and then had a steady girlfriend through
most of the Airplane years, then he had another steady girlfriend
through most of the '70s until whenever. Then he met his second wife
and he's still with her. That doesn't mean he didn't take a dip now and
then, but I think he's basically a shy, withdrawn person with a lot of
stuff on his mind, and he just didn't go for the kind of musical beds
the others did. He was more into hanging out by himself--he didn't
really hang with the other band members outside of work either.

When he tells the story now of not wanting to sleep with Grace, he of
course amplifies it with a lot of macho posturing, all that "I wouldn't
let Grace Slick blow me" and "she came at my door with an axe
screaming 'Why won't you fuck me, Marty!'" stuff. 

Grace's response when I asked her about this was simply, "Maybe he
thinks I'm disgusting." She didn't deny wanting to sleep with him back
then, but I think Marty likes to blow it up to more of a big deal than
it was.

From what I can gather, Grace didn't really sleep around all that much
either, and when she did it was almost always with people from within
the JA organization or other musicians. She wasn't much for doing
strangers or fans or anything like that. And the Jim Morrison story in
her book is, from all indications, completely fabricated. I think she
has now even admitted that she made it up because her publisher wanted
more sex.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #127 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Tue 5 Aug 03 08:14
    
>Its great that you talk about who wrote what and how.
I think I had pictures of Marty's stuff, for example, being pretty but
sometimes sorta wimpy and then you noted that he wrote "If You Feel"
one of my favorites and pretty blang blam. And, Volunteers, AND Crown
of Creation...<

Well, "Crown" is mostly Paul but yeah, Marty did certainly rock out.
"Plastic Fantastic Lover" is him, "3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds," and
several others. He kind of gets the same bad rap that McCartney does
with the Beatles for writing the "silly love songs." But it was Paul
who did songs like "I'm Down" and "Helter Skelter."
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #128 of 164: David Gans (tnf) Tue 5 Aug 03 08:16
    

Speaking of Grace, talk to us about her musicianship -- a quality that seems
to get lost in all the controversies.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #129 of 164: Joyce Richards (joyceincali) Tue 5 Aug 03 09:53
    
Well, Joe is a good guy, so the apple probably doesn't fall far from
the tree.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #130 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Tue 5 Aug 03 11:42
    
>Speaking of Grace, talk to us about her musicianship -- a quality
that seems to get lost in all the controversies.<

It does indeed, in large part due to her own self-deprecation. But she
played piano, guitar, recorder and I think even a bit of drums in
Great Society, and carried some of that over to the Airplane. I think
her piano work is especially noteworthy. She wasn't what you'd call a
schooled musician, although that was encouraged by her mother and Grace
did take lessons--she mostly picked it up naturally. She thinks of her
musicianship as somewhat simplistic but I've always liked what she
played. And to write songs like "rejoyce" and "Eskimo Blue Day" she had
to have some amount of formal training--that's pretty complex stuff.
She still plays the piano on her own and I hope if she ever decides to
come out of retirement she might do something with all of that
experience.

Re: Joyce's statement, for those who don't know who Joe is, that's
Marty's dad, Joe Buchwald, still going strong in his late 80s. Joe was
really Marty's confidante and business adviser throughout his career,
and is a pretty remarkable guy in his own right.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #131 of 164: David Gans (tnf) Tue 5 Aug 03 13:39
    

Grace also palyed that lovely recorder part on "Comin' back to Me," right?
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #132 of 164: AreWeReally? (arewereally) Tue 5 Aug 03 14:45
    
I loved the piano from the early Jefferson Airplane recordings, was
Grace the piano player on those albums?
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #133 of 164: from BART SWINDALL (tnf) Tue 5 Aug 03 22:18
    


Bart Swindall writes:


I stumbled into the Well by accident, but I'm glad I did.  For 1O years I was
the archivist at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre, which I first saw when I
attended what turned out to be JA's final concert in 1972.  They were my
favorite band then, and despite the changes of names and personnel, there has
never been an album without something memorable.  I spent a long time
hunting--unsuccessfully--for photos of that last concert for my archives, and
almost as long waiting for somebody to write this book.  Any chance you'll be
in Chicago for a reading?
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #134 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Wed 6 Aug 03 05:03
    
Hi Bart. Unfortunately it doesn't look like I'll make it to Chicago.
Right now the only reading scheduled is in NYC tomorrow (Thurs) and
hopefully one in boston soon. 

I don't know of any photos of that Chicago concert in '72. It actually
wasn't their last though. They did a few more after that on the West
Coast, wrapping it up Sept. 21-22, 1972 at Winterland in SF.

Re: Grace. That was her playing the lovely recorder on "Comin' back to
Me." And most of the piano on the early records would be her, until
Nicky Hopkins came along in '69.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #135 of 164: tambourine verde (barb-albq) Wed 6 Aug 03 09:57
    
I think her piano on Blows Against the Empire is transcendent.
Droning, pounding, passionate. I too think her musical talents get lost
in all the wild woman coverage. Though I must admit that aspect of her
personality was very, shall we say inspiring, to many women of that
era, including me.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #136 of 164: Adam Powell (rocket) Wed 6 Aug 03 13:21
    
Jeff, I'm really enjoying this stuff.

You mention a transition to coke during the recording of the third album,
and how the band broke into factions at that time.

This mirrors HS thompson's observations that when the drugs shifted from pot
and acid to coke and heroin in 67-68, the hippie scene imploded.

How did that dynamic manifest within the Airplane? Balin doesn't strike me 
as a coke fiend...
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #137 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Wed 6 Aug 03 14:48
    
Hi Adam,

No, Marty was vehemently anti-coke. I don't know if he ever did it or
not, but once Paul and Grace started getting heavily into it, he
withdrew even further from the band. He just didn't like what it was
doing to them and to the music. Jorma and Jack, meanwhile, were much
more into speed, which had a vibe not unlike coke but even edgier.
Marty was more of a dope smoking, boozing occasionally acid taking kind
of guy, not into the heavier stuff at all. Spencer, meanwhile, was
mostly a drinker and he pulled Grace further into that as well.

I don't think the drug shift can be solely blamed for what happened
within the band though. The personalities were so different and the
egos were just so strong that it was inevitable that they would pull
apart from one another. And also, their musical leanings were different
before they came together, and while those difference contributed to
the uniqueness of their sound, eventually everyone sort of drifted away
from the center and back toward their own preferences, so by '70 or so
they no longer had even that common goal to hold onto.

Barbara--Yes, Grace's piano work on Blows is magnificent. She really
shines on all of the solo and duo albums from that period--Sunfighter,
Baron Von Tollbooth, her own Manhole, etc.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #138 of 164: David Gans (tnf) Wed 6 Aug 03 14:49
    

Tell us about MAURICE.  How ddiid he get that name,a nd what diid he do for
the band?
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #139 of 164: Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Wed 6 Aug 03 17:09
    
Jeff, what do you think of the new CD editions of the Airplane's first
four albums? They each have a few bonus tracks, but really not so
many, or such exciting ones, that it gets even a fan like me too intent
on rushing out to get them. To your knowledge, are there any major
reserves of unreleased '60s Airplane material -- studio or live -- that
would be worthwhile to release?
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #140 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Wed 6 Aug 03 18:35
    
OK, Maurice. Real name is Pat Ieraci. He's originally from Brooklyn
and moved to Los Angeles in the late '50s to work in the record biz.
Landed at RCA where he did a number of different things. He worked with
Dave Hassinger, the engineer, and was present for such landmark
recordings as the Stones' "Satisfaction" (I know they weren't on RCA,
but they recorded it at RCA Studios). Also the first ead album later on
(Pat thought they were obnoxious). When RCA sent producer Al Schmitt
up to San Francisco in '65 to scout out this new band with the funny
name Jefferson Airplane, Pat helped convince the older A&R guy at the
label, Neely Plumb, to sing them. By 1967 (Baxter's album), RCA
assigned Pat to help with the various chores relating to production of
the Airplane--he was NOT a producer himself, he was a production
coordinator. he was the guy that kept track of which musicians played
on what, what the band spent money on, and much, much more. The
Airplane really liked him and someone in the band, he doesn't remember
who, said "You don't look Italian, you look French." So they bought him
a beret, cigarette holder, ascot, etc., and christened him "Maurice."
He stayed with the organization until 1984 when Kantner left, and was
truly invaluable in keeping things in order in the studio. He would be
the guy who made sure everyone got to the studio on time and that the
tapes were carefully logged, sent out for mastering t the right place,
etc. 

Aside from that, personally I can say that he's truly one of the
nicest, funniest and most enjoyable people I met while doing this book.
I spent a fantastic day with him and his family at their home outside
of L.A. and he showed me his very considerable archives. I think he was
a vital part of the Airplane/Starship story.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #141 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Wed 6 Aug 03 18:43
    
Hi Richie, welcome. Sorry I missed your Booksmith reading--hope it
went well. Enjoying your new book lots.

As far as the new RCA reissues, I think the sound is honestly the best
it's ever been on these albums. I wish I could say that there were
tons more tapes in the vault that could be used for bonus tracks, but
there just ain't. This is the third generation of reissue people at RCA
looking for stuff, and this time the search is being headed up by Bob
Irwin, who really knows his way around a tape vault. If Bob doesn't
find stuff, it's just not there. he's come up with a few little gems,
but not as much as we would hope for. That isn't to say it doesn't
exist. Marty's father, for example, has a room full of tapes, allegedly
including live material recorded at the Matrix. Unfortunately he wants
more for these than BMG is willing to spend, and the question of who
really owns them has never been explored. There are, of course, also
tons of live recordings but the Airplane never made the kind of
coordinated effort that the Dead did to tape all their shows in
pristine quality. Studio outtakes and unreleased tracks are
surprisingly few. The Airplane, as is well known, were not exactly
workaholics, and they didn't love the studio. So there wasn't a lot of
leftover material. You might find some demos and alternat versions and
stuff like that, but generally they just recorded what they intended to
use for an album. Some fans have put together lists of songs that
allegedly exist (Paul's "Revolutionary Upstairs Maid" being one of the
most elusive) but they haven't turned up. It remains to be seen what
Bob will come up with for the other JA albums, which will be reissued
next year. personally I'm hoping for the master tapes of the gigs that
Bless Its Pointed Little Head was culled from. They recorded all of the
shows at those gigs, so there has to be complete concerts someplace.

Still you never know what will turn up. Bob did come up with a few
things that no one knew existed for these albums, so there must be more
someplace. 
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #142 of 164: an oceanic sofa of bliss (sd) Thu 7 Aug 03 08:07
    
so what was the mysterious reference to Ansley Dunbar's strange
proclivities about? what could be to strange for our intrepid heroes?
it sounded like there was an untold story surrounding his departure.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #143 of 164: Are We Really? (arewereally) Thu 7 Aug 03 10:49
    
"When the truth is found... to be lies, and all the joy, within you
dies"
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #144 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Fri 8 Aug 03 05:55
    
I'm not really at liberty to say why Aynsley Dunbar was kicked out of
the band. Paul has talked about it more openly than I'm willing to, but
he has a right to because it involves a member of his family. The
incident seems to be something that most everyone within the Starship
organization agrees happened, but it was not something I could put in
the book in graphic detail since it never became a matter of public
record. I would have set myself up for legal problems if I spelled it
out in the book.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #145 of 164: Berliner (captward) Fri 8 Aug 03 06:19
    
I heard a lot of chatter about Dunbar when I lived in Marin. Trust me,
Jeff's right. 
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #146 of 164: Richie Unterberger (folkrocks) Fri 8 Aug 03 07:53
    
Not long before the book was published, Signe Anderson was briefly in
the news because of some hard times she was going through, including
being faced with possible eviction if I remember right. How's she doing
now?
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #147 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Fri 8 Aug 03 08:23
    
Richie--I haven't spoken to Signe in a few months but last I heard she
was back on her feet. A couple of benefits in the Bay Area brought her
some much-needed cash and she was able to remain in her home. Signe's
a real survivor and she's been handed a lot more stress in her life
than most of us could bare.

Hi, Ed--Yeah, it's not a pretty picture. I did attempt to get Dunbar
for an interview for the book but he avoided me. I think he knew what
i'd be asking about.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #148 of 164: David Gault (dgault) Fri 8 Aug 03 10:27
    <scribbled by tnf Fri 8 Aug 03 14:30>
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #149 of 164: virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Fri 8 Aug 03 12:26
    
Jeff, this has been a great trip. It's time for us to take the pill to
make this topic smaller, while we feature a new conversation just
starting up. That doesn't mean you have to leave, of course. Hang
around, if you like, 'cause clearly everyone is enjoying talking with
you about the Airplane. This conversation continues as long as we make
it.

Which is a way of saying, "Thanks!"

Thanks, too, to everyone who stopped in to question, murmur, gossip,
or otherwise add to things here. Bless all your little heads, pointed
and otherwise.

Me, I'm holding out hope for masters that make for release of a CD set
of an Airplane concert front to back.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #150 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Fri 8 Aug 03 14:24
    
Sure, I'll hang around as long as there's interest. Been a lot of fun
for me too. Thanks for the opportunity to do this.

No word on a full JA concert coming to disc but I'm hoping that when
BMG gets to remastering Bless its Pointed Little Head later in the year
they find the complete masters that were used for that set and decide
to make it an expanded edition.
  

More...



Members: Enter the conference to participate

Subscribe to an RSS 2.0 feed of new responses in this topic RSS feed of new responses

 
   Join Us
 
Home | Learn About | Conferences | Member Pages | Mail | Store | Services & Help | Password | Join Us

Twitter G+ Facebook