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July 3, 2014 / thackersam

July 2 – Mrs. Slick

Grace & Janis 2Grace Slick was on the Dick Cavett show one night without the rest of the Airplane. “So, Miss Slick,” Cavett said to her. “Mrs.,” she corrected him. Cavett was as surprised as I was. She was married? Or had been? And that meant that Slick wasn’t even the name she was born with (it’s Wing). At least it’s not a made up name. Plus, she had a different life before Jefferson Airplane. I was naïve enough then to think that groups started and grew together, like the Beatles, but she wasn’t even their first female singer. And that’s what I was thinking about when I worked out to Surrealistic Pillow, one of the Ram 20 a couple of evenings ago.

It’s been so long since we were not even halfway through the A-Z album/exercise project, and I haven’t listened to it since we were back in the Js. I was wondering why it was on the list, but I got it now. I also remember reading an interview with Slick years after Janis Joplin died in which she talked about the irony of drug abuse, and how life is a crap shoot. I’m doing this from memory, but that sounds like something she’d say. Joplin, she said, had been clean for a while, was in love with a biker and settling down when she overdosed. Slick admits to being so high so often that she accepted an award she didn’t actually win during a remote performance on the award show (I saw it – it was really not cool), and other such foolishness that she could have easily been the one who died.

But, she and Janis were friends, and rather than post a picture of Slick today at 74, looking like everyone’s grandmother, I wanted to find one of the two of them together, and there were many to choose from. Slick, who doesn’t believe in aging rock ‘n rollers, is long retired from the music scene and is now a visual artist. If we never hear her sing again, and no matter what she looks like (she actually looks good, a little plump and she doesn’t dye her hair), she will always be a major force in rock ‘n roll and a particular force for women in music. I enjoyed working out to Surrealistic Pillow, so much so that I exercised to The Worst of The Jefferson Airplane tonight, though it hadn’t made it to the list, and still won’t. I think that I shall delve further into Jefferson Airplane at a later date. I hope I remember cause I don’t feel like doing it now.

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