inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #76 of 164: Get your hands dirty or get your ass kicked. (stdale) Thu 31 Jul 03 19:01
    
I was gonna say.

Something I didn't get a good sense of from the book, though, is what's up
with China, and what kind of relationship she has with her parents these
days.  Any insights there, Jeff?
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #77 of 164: David Freiberg (freemountain) Thu 31 Jul 03 19:07
    
China recently sang with Paul and his band at the Avalon Ballroom ..
and she played some mean tamborine, as well.  She seems great.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #78 of 164: Get your hands dirty or get your ass kicked. (stdale) Thu 31 Jul 03 19:23
    
Thanks, David.  That's nice to hear - one thing that was very clear from the
book was that Paul cared a lot about his kids.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #79 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Thu 31 Jul 03 19:38
    
> 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?<


Sure it is--pages 43-44. I should really post an expanded version of
that story to my web site though (gotarevolution.com). It's a goodie.
Briefly, the band was scouted out by several major labels as well as
several indies. The story I pieced together was that Spector's sister
got wind of the band being big in SF and told him about them. They flew
to LA and set up in a lobby of his house or something. He wouldn't be
in the same room as them. He had bodyguards and a lot of guns were
flashed. Most of the band didn't like him and were happy to get out,
but Paul hung around and spoke with him for a half hour or so. Needless
to say, nothing came of it.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #80 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Thu 31 Jul 03 19:41
    
>Something I didn't get a good sense of from the book, though, is
what's up with China, and what kind of relationship she has with her
parents these days.  Any insights there, Jeff?<

I didn't really concentrate on the years following the 1989 JA reunion
except in the epilogue chapter, but as David said, China now has good
relationships with both of her parents. She's married, sober, finishing
school and is a Christian (hey, if Grace Slick and Paul Kantner are
your parents, you got a better way to rebel?).

She lives in LA with her dentist husband and sees Grace often. She
sees Paul when she's in SF and did just sing with him not long ago.
China had a rough adolescence (who didn't?) that included her own bout
with drinking but she's a survivor like the rest of them.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #81 of 164: David Gans (tnf) Thu 31 Jul 03 19:42
    

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

I have to get my memory checked.  Jeeziz, I must be a quart low. Sorry, gang.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #82 of 164: David Gans (tnf) Thu 31 Jul 03 19:45
    

Photo of Grace, Paul, Pete and David w/ producer Keavin Beamish in 1982:
http://www.fotolog.net/gans_archive/?photo_id=318118


Photo of Grace imitation a CScorpions album cover, taken the same day:
http://www.fotolog.net/gans_archive/?photo_id=309637
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #83 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Thu 31 Jul 03 19:46
    
>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?"<

True enough, but keep in mind that JA predated QMS and GD when it came
to facing the record biz, and the early Airplane DID play three-minute
pop songs for the most part (i.e., the first album, Takes Off). The
jamming didn't really come till a year or so later, and didn't kick
into high gear till they saw Cream and realized they could do that too.
If anything, it probably wasn't the music that scared the record
bizzers so much as the MUSICIANS. They obviously didn't give much of a
fuck about anything (although they did want to make records and be
famous) and that SF attitude was not something the bizzers had
encountered before.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #84 of 164: David Freiberg (freemountain) Thu 31 Jul 03 20:53
    
>They obviously didn't give much of a
fuck about anything (although they did want to make records and be
famous) and that SF attitude was not something the bizzers had
encountered before.<

I don't think it was that we WANTED that -  we kind of *knew* that it
would happen and we considered the Record Biz guys as bozos who didn't
understand what the fuck we were trying to do.  I realize now that the
truth really lay somewhere in the middle --- but we DID have some FUN!!
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #85 of 164: Life Is Easy When Considered From Another Point Of View (dam) Fri 1 Aug 03 05:47
    
A so so review of the book in last month's Mojo (with Zeppelin) on the
cover.  I think Mojo is the best Music magazine in existence today.  I did
find one comment the reviewer wrote pretty interesting and I will paraphrase
here:

Is it possible that there is not more interest in this band because it is
the only San Francisco Band where all of the primary members are still
alive?


Think about it.....that is such a good point.


Oh, and I have bids on eBay for almost every Hot Tuna album right now.  So
your book did get me interested in Tuna music again, which means, to this
reader, you did your job, you got me interested in the music again.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #86 of 164: David Gans (tnf) Fri 1 Aug 03 10:16
    

> Is it possible that there is not more interest in this band because it is
> the only San Francisco Band where all of the primary members are still
> alive?

VVery interesting question.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #87 of 164: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Fri 1 Aug 03 10:31
    
On another philosophical note ..

Reading the book reminded me on how the pioneers of that "youth
movement" of boomers of which I was a part in my teens were mostly
people born before WWII.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #88 of 164: Berliner (captward) Fri 1 Aug 03 10:46
    
Mojo, however, is fairly hostile to Americans, which should be noted.
Still smarting from recent personal experience, but it's always been
there. 
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #89 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Fri 1 Aug 03 14:12
    
Time out for a little self-hype...


Jeff Tamarkin NYC Airplane Book Reading Aug 7th w/ Bill Thompson 

To all New Yawkahs and those within shouting distance, 

Sorry for the short notice, but I've just received confirmation that I
will be giving a reading/signing of "Got a Revolution! The Turbulent
Flight of Jefferson Airplane," in Manhattan, NYC, next Thursday, August
7th, at 7 PM. It will take place at a bookstore called Housing Works,
at 126 Crosby Street in Soho, between Houston and Prince. 

Bill Thompson, the manager of Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship
and Hot Tuna, will be on hand to answer questions following my talk.

I hope to meet all of the New York area Fultonites there! The store's
phone number is 212-334-3324 if anyone needs directions or has any
questions. Feel free to email me too.

Jeff
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #90 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Fri 1 Aug 03 14:15
    
Whoops, sorry about the "Fultonites" reference. That's the name for
folks who inhabit the Jefferson Airplane listserv, 2400 Fulton. That's
what i get for copying and pasting. 
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #91 of 164: Gary Lambert (almanac) Fri 1 Aug 03 15:56
    

Ooh, I will be in NY at the time of that reading/signing, and will
definitely try to make it! Housing Works is a wonderful bookstore.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #92 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Fri 1 Aug 03 19:49
    
>Is it possible that there is not more interest in this band because
it is the only San Francisco Band where all of the primary members are
still alive?<

An extremely valid point. Not just one of the only SF bands whose
members are all still alive but one of the only major '60s ROCK bands,
period. Think about it: the Beatles, Stones, Who, Beach Boys, Doors,
Creedence, Mamas and Papas and of course the Dead...the list goes on
and on. And then there are the towering individuals: Hendrix, Janis,
Otis, etc. I've thought about this a lot while writing the book. If
Grace had checked out during one of her alcoholic binges or car
accidents, and there never was a Jefferson Starship, or at least if
there never was a STARSHIP--that calamity of a band led by Mickey
Thomas--I wonder if the Airplane would be considered in more of a
reverential light today. They made the mistake not only of surviving
but changing personnel and names (and musical styles), all the while
maintaining an ever more tenuous tie to what they once were. I mean, I
was no fan of Jefferson Starship from the time Marty and Grace gave up
in '78 till the end in '90, so I can't very well expect most of the
people reading this book to be fans of that later period (although some
of them really, really like that era, even the post-Paul stuff from
'84 to the end). The reputation of Jefferson Airplane undoubtedly
suffered at the hands of the later Starship, but that's just the way
history played out, and for better or worse it did give my story an
undeniable arc. One of the points I tried to make in telling this story
was how, in a way, the story of Jefferson Airplane is something of a
microcosm of the story of the hippies/boomers. Just as many others of
"our" generation eventually cut their hair, went straight and got
corporate jobs, I think you can look at how the Airplane morphed into
the more commercial Jefferson Starship and then the even more
commercial Starship as being somewhat representative of where the
counterculture went during the '70s and '80s. Hippies>Yuppies and all
that. I for one was never comfortable with how readily some of my own
friends from the '60s fell right into line during the Reagan era and
became more conservative and denounced their past as being juvenile.
But ya gotta do what ya gotta do, and the ex-members of Jefferson
Airplane did what they hadda do.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #93 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Fri 1 Aug 03 19:52
    
Hey Gary--look forward to seeing you there. Come over and say hi.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #94 of 164: Steve Bjerklie (stevebj) Fri 1 Aug 03 20:18
    
Jeff, that's an interesting notion to make the story of the JA/JS/S a
parallel to the arc of the story of the Boomer generation. I hadn't
looked at the Airplane et al. that way before. Hmmm.

Something that occurred to me today is that while the record companies
may have been somewhat mystified by Quicksilver, the Dead, Big
Brother, and the Charlatans, as evidenced by the dis-connect between
those bands' first (and in some cases second) albums and their live
performances, some record people did learn lessons from the Airplane,
particularly from Surrealistic Pillow. We hear those lessons learned in
the not-much-later success of Creedence, Santana and the first It's a
Beautiful Day album, I think. 
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #95 of 164: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Fri 1 Aug 03 22:22
    
> The reputation of Jefferson Airplane undoubtedly
> suffered at the hands of the later Starship

Not with me. I had no idea there was a Starship between about 1979 and
the Airplane reunion in 1989 until I read your book!

Ratbert: I'm just a rat and don't know anything, but that's okay
because ignorance is ... is ...

Dilbert: Bliss. Ignorance is bliss.

Ratbert: Darn, now it's gone!
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #96 of 164: Jeff Tamarkin (jefftamarkin) Sat 2 Aug 03 06:34
    
>I had no idea there was a Starship between about 1979 and
the Airplane reunion in 1989 until I read your book!<

Let's just say you didn't miss much, although Paul did write some
pretty good songs even in those waning years. In fact, if you dissect
the components there is still a lot of value there: Craig Chaquico was
a stunning guitarist, Pete Sears' wife Jeannette contributed some fine
lyrics and Pete himself was always inventive in his playing (as was
Freiberg), Grace's singing could still thrill, etc. But when all of
those elements came together and Mickey Thomas' Steve Perry-esque
vocals were laid on top and the production glossed it all up, there
wasn't much left in the way of sponatneity or risk. Technically, Mickey
was an excellent singer, but like a lot of folks who came up with the
Airplane and the other SF bands, that whole style just didn't do
anything for me.

Re Steve's point about the record companies: I agree to a point, but
Santana, Creedence, even Sly, definitely aimed more for mass appeal
than JA, QMS, GD, etc. As for Beautiful Day, I'm convinced the only
reason they didn't have more commercial success was that matthew Katz
managed them and no one in the business wanted anything to do with him,
so his acts suffered.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #97 of 164: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Sat 2 Aug 03 08:55
    
>Craig Chaquico

Yes, I remember how interested I was when I first heard him. His
technical fluency made a favorable impression in comparison with
Jorma's bare-knuckles playing, but at the same time, Chaquico's lines
sounded cliché, almost like advertising jingles, compared to Jorma's
inchoate, wordless anthems of the psychedilic revolution.

I had not realized until I read the book how young Craig was; now his
excellent but obviously derivative early style is explained to me. I
have not heard him in a few years but I imagine he must be a genuinely
stellar player by now, almost 30 years later. Will have to look his
work up.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #98 of 164: David Gans (tnf) Sat 2 Aug 03 09:36
    
Chaquico has made something of a name for himself as an acoustic player in
recent years.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #99 of 164: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Sat 2 Aug 03 12:00
    
I'll look for some of that material, thanx.
  
inkwell.vue.189 : Jeff Tamarkin, "Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane"
permalink #100 of 164: Get your hands dirty or get your ass kicked. (stdale) Sat 2 Aug 03 12:15
    
Something called Starship featuring Mickey Thomas is playing for free not
more than a 30 minute drive from my house today.  I think they're
overcharging, though, so I'll observe the occassion by staying home and
listening to the 2400 Fulton Street collection while thumbing through the
photos in the book.
  

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