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Star Trek vs. Jefferson Airplane

Entry 317 posted in: 7. Star Trek - The Original Sucker

Grace Slick has always been one of the more flamboyant inhabitants of my wet dreams. Probably that is because of her mythical reputation.
It's a bit what happened to the British psychedelic underground movement in the mid-sixties. Because the blokes who ruled it didn't have a clue what the alternative scene was in the States (no Internet, no intercontinental television, remember) they invented a British version that was apparently much more progressive than the American one. (English underground was mainly a boys club, Miles's girlfriend remembers how Barry and his alternative gang were discussing sexual liberation while she was in the kitchen and could only come out for serving tea and biscuits).

This was also reflected in the music. As Pink Floyd and the other acid bands only knew from hearsay what their American examples were doing they constructed the Brit-variant of the sunshine underground. When Pink Floyd toured America a few months later they were rather disappointed. Manager Peter Jenner was shocked how lame the Fillmore West was compared with UFO and how 'ordinary the bands were compared with the English psychedelic bands'. Roger Waters called the Haight-Ashbury bands less 'extraordinary and mindblowing and trippy' than he had anticipated. (Groupie attention was another thing of course and when the boys got back home from their first American tour they rushed off to a London hospital to get some injections against gonorrhoea.)

I had more or less the same experience (no, not the clap one). When I first listened to The Grateful Dead my immediate reaction was 'this is fucking country music', not understanding what was so special about these guys. As a matter of fact The Grateful Dead never made it big in Europe and have only been world famous in the USA.

A few years ago I read Grace Slick's autobiography 'Somebody to Love'. The reason why I bought it was because I was genuinely interested in a fair amount of sex, drugs and, why not, some rock'n roll. But alas, the book was as interesting and inventive as most of her solo albums. Slick's most famous quote is that 'if you remember the Sixties, you really weren't there' (others attribute this quote to Paul Kantner or even to Timothy Leary) and apart from the fact that she once had a nookie with Jim Morrisson she doesn't remember a lot. I now have this vision of Grace Slick as a rock'n roll granny who calls herself a painter and who listens to the insubordinate tunes of the Gypsy Kings.

But there has always been that voice that can turn even the tackiest song into a classic. And the video is brilliant too...

If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: John Lennon called him 'Normal'....