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December 4, 2013 / thackersam

December 3 – Tuesday – The Jefferson Airplane – Surrealistic Pillow

surrealistic_pillow_mono_jefferson_airplaneSuch a freakin’ good album.

I realize that I don’t have any albums under the letter I, but do recall having the only Incredible String Band album, and remember selling it at a garage sale along with a Lovin’ Spoonful album and I don’t know what else. The Incredible String Band was a Scottish psychedelic folk trio and I guess I felt I had out-cooled them. I don’t remember a thing about the group or the album.

Jefferson Airplane was a psychedelic rock band, and not exactly timeless music, but oh so good. They pushed boundaries in many ways, offering up a tough female singer whose ballsy voice meshed well with those of the male singers. To me, Marty Balin has just one of the finest voices I have ever heard, male or female, and Grace Slick added power and sex. You may be more familiar with “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit” from Surrealistic Pillow, both of which feature the phenomenal Ms. Slick , but do not overlook Balin’s contributions to the album in the form of “Coming Back to Me” and the even more beautiful, if possible, “Today.”

Here’s a fun memory of which I think I have some facts a little confused, but here goes: It was probably late 1960s or very early 1970s on one of the late night talk shows, either Johnny Carson or Dick Cavett. The guests were Hugh Hefner, Gloria Steinem and Grace Slick. I may be a little fuzzy on Gloria Steinem as it may have been another articulate feminist, but they were sitting in a row with Grace at the end of the couch wearing a short skirt and a see-through black shirt with no bra and strategically placed pockets. Mind you, this was a cool and rebellious look and in no way hoochie. Hugh and Gloria (or the alternate) were arguing, or course, and old Hugh kept citing studies and research done on women having something to do with sex. I know that even as a pre-teen at the time, I was not agreeing with piggy old Hugh, and though she silent for much of the argument, the discourse was broken up when Grace simply raised her arms over her head and cried out “Wire me up. F- me higher.” It was hysterical, and shocking as that was just not done in those days. Grace didn’t say F, I just don’t want to offend anyone though I have been known to use the word from time to time and then some. She said the word without hesitation, which was bleeped, but you got the gist.

Good workout.

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