“Jefferson Airplane: Clocking in Gracefully”

Sometimes I hate Jefferson Airplane, but then I think, how many GREAT bands have there been in history? Maybe 80. Jefferson Airplane were a GOOD band, and what’s more, they were like a job, something we all need.

First of all, they’re best enjoyed in a group, and usually when I hate them it’s when I’m sitting alone, craving more of a climax, like say might be delivered by Yes or Badfinger, to name two stylistically and culturally outfits that are nonetheless groovy.
But everything Jefferson Airplane did was right, BESIDES deliver great climaxes. In this way, they’re like a teacher: those who can’t do, teach.
Even down to interviews, “exemplary” is a word I’d use to describe them. Grace Slick’s were always entertaining… I remember seeing something along the lines of, “People get the impression that the ’60’s were all tie-dye and flowers in the hair.. I remember dressing up in animal costumes… I used to get arrested a lot” (taking a look at Grace Slick in the ’60’s will give you an idea of why she’d rather be in a costume if being touched by five or so police men at a time). [1]
There’s a disturbing trend, that isn’t so new, but extant nonetheless, of band’s trying to be funny when they perform… it’s all fear, something worse than self-consciousness, an actual disrespect for the craft. [2] One thing you can’t deny about the Airplane is that they respected rock and roll. And the times when I hate them, I’m usually feeling misanthropic, jealous of their ability to sit around for 10 hours at a time in a bong or drum circle. I’d be more likely to be that dude in the corner on acid, all of a sudden running around, yelling at people or being crazy, only to see through to the feeble misgivings at the heart of rock and roll, even in its embryonic stages.
[1] The back of the Surrealistic Pillow vinyl is hilarious too: each band member has a quote under their picture, and they’re all pretty good but Grace Slick’s is “Point that thing somewhere else.”
[2] Let’s take a song like “Won’t You Try/Saturday Afternoon.” See, I hate it, because that’s creepy, if I just go around on a Saturday looking at people, with nothing but my di**, but you know, still, it’s Apollonian, or Dionysian.

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