The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby redrabid on Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:22 am

Zappa didn't produce "Baxter's", but they (probably the powerful axis of Slick and Dryden) were thinking of hiring him as such. Grace and Spencer, lovers at the time, were admirers of Zappa. JS? Not in my What If world. Lots of solo albums maybe, but JA stayed priority #1. Oh, what a wonderful world it would be!
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby plasticfantastic on Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:31 am

Tell me about it.... Quite a wonderful world indeed.

Thanks for clarifying on the Zappa thing. I'd never heard about that.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby EmbryonicRabbit68 on Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:08 am

Punk generally doesn't suit rich people approaching middle age.


Yeah, but the blues doesnt suit middle-class white people now does it?

I think if the classic JA line-up stayed together during the early 1970s, blues-rock would have been prominent, and maybe progressive elements with the jazz.With the blues-rock, it would have turned into a progressive hard rock sound, then around the mid-1970s im sure they would have gone near Heavy Metal, between Rampage Hot Tuna, and 'Ride The Tiger' it couldnt be escaped, but keeping the progressive elements.And praying that Paul sticks it out and finds inspiration elsewhere for songwritting, they wouldnt have gone into soft rock in the late 1970s.I just know by then it would be over, the line-up and formula couldnt last that long, especially with punk and disco destroying everything their paths.Then the early 1980s might be the come-back, and it would definitely be hard rock again, and if atleast Jorma can stay along, Starship would never happen.But thats all my opinion, they could have gone in any direction.And I never think of Starship as part of the Jefferson "trilogy" mainly because no-one in the band wrote songs.Thank god, my heart would be broken if I found out Grace wrote some of that crap.

P.S: Do any recordings of that rock opera Marty was working on in 1979 still exist?I would love to hear that.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby jimmie ray on Sat Nov 14, 2009 9:00 am

[quote="EmbryonicRabbit68.And I never think of Starship as part of the Jefferson "trilogy" mainly because no-one in the band wrote songs.Thank god, my heart would be broken if I found out Grace wrote some of that crap.[/quote]

Did they ever catch whoever it was that was responsible for it? If it was that Marconi guy, I hope he got the Mussolini treatment!
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby TakeMeOnYourFlight on Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:36 pm

Grace has two writing credits with Starship, both are on No Protection. She co-wrote I Don't Know Why and Babylon. They're the only two tracks worth a damn on that album.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby redrabid on Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:48 pm

Starship was musically a disaster, though I have to admit that I never listened to more than 3 or 4 songs on any album. Oh, that voice, that terrible voice of Mickey Thomas.
But one can't blame Mickey Thomas that he did what Paul Kantner advised him to do: He did hijack a Starship. So choosing him as substitute for Marty Balin proved to be a big mistake. He was far more ambitious than expected, ousted (supported by RCA officials and the band including Grace) Paul Kantner and directed the Starship into all too well known territoria.The man had no taste. But as vain as he was he didn't quite grasp the importance of the presence of Grace Slick in the band. When she got fed up with his machinations she just left and Starship was over.
So why did JS choose Mickey Thomas? Above all if it is true that Jess Roden was runner up for the position of leadsinger. Jess Roden? They could have had Jess Roden? How cruel history can be. What if......
But I seem to be one of the few persons who likes "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now", if only for the moment when Grace Slick comes into the song and shreds the lyrics to pieces. "She still can sing with the best of them", someone wrote back then.
By the way I think Paul Kantner is the most undervalued person in JA's history. A reappraisal is long overdue.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby jimmie ray on Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:28 pm

redrabid wrote:But I seem to be one of the few persons who likes "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now", if only for the moment .


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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby Susan Butcher on Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:56 pm

I have to agree about Paul. If he's not somewhere on the record, I'm not so interested in it.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby EmbryonicRabbit68 on Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:13 am

This is a "What If" no ones thought of - What if when Signe left, they asked Janis Joplin to join instead of Grace, and JA got big on the songs Janis became famous for, and The Great Society ended up getting big on Somebody to love and White Rabbit?In JA, between Marty, Jorma and Janis, they would become a complete R&B Blues Band.Then maybe a few years on Paul would leave and join The Great Society, it could have happened...And Paul is definitely underappreciated.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby plasticfantastic on Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:34 am

I've thought of that what-if quite a lot actually.

I don't really know how Airplane would've been if they'd gone in the straight R&B direction... it would definitely have been interesting.

And I;m sure that The Great! Society would've only improved with time.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby JoeD80 on Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:10 pm

EmbryonicRabbit68 wrote:P.S: Do any recordings of that rock opera Marty was working on in 1979 still exist?I would love to hear that.


Yes, the whole show was done for about a year and there was a cast recording released on vinyl. I don't think it was ever on CD, but I've seen several used vinyl copies here and there. It's called "Rock Justice." I believe Marty finally released a DVD of the show but I'm not sure where that can be found.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby babson on Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:18 am

I don't think Joplin and JA would have worked. All I can imagine is a clash. Gracie and The Great Society could easily have taken off. I guess $750 was a lot of money back then.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby JoeD80 on Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:32 pm

According to the Got a Revolution book, the Great Society was already falling apart when Grace left it. They had been offered a contract with Mercury Records and Darby Slick and Peter van Gelder decided to go to India instead. David Minor left the band, and Grace and Jerry were having marriage troubles and Darby was in love with Grace. So if Grace hadn't joined the Airplane, the Great Society probably would have just fallen apart.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby redrabid on Sat Dec 05, 2009 7:15 pm

Marital problems can be a great advantage to a band, as Fleetwood Mack showed. And JA of course. Grace came in. Paul Kantner had a crush on Grace since the first time he saw her performing with the Great Society, but Grace had first a fling with Jack Casady and then started an afair with Spencer Dryden. Then she went for Paul Kantner for a few years and in the meantime had also something with Jorma Kaukonen. With very nice results, don't you think?
The Great Society would have been a great succes, despite or thanks to all those relationship hassles. They (Grace Slick, Darby Slick and Peter Van Gelder) just wrote better songs than the other San Francisco bands ( maybe including the Grace-less JA)!
And they would have had Grace Slick. She always was the sine qua non for succes.
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Re: The Jefferson Airplane What IF Game

Postby redrabid on Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:44 am

Looking back, working on my new "JA What If" album "Out Of Grace", I can only conclude that the second half of the 70s were dark times for the ex members of jefferson Airplane. Despite the commercial success of Jefferson Starship they didn't seem to be very happy. Marty Balin, just back on board, often showed a "I'm only in it for the money"-attitude and still didn't know how to handle the media attention that (again) centered around Grace. Consequently he didn't contribute anything worthwhile. He relied on sentimental, mediocre songs by Jesse Barish, a great error of judgement for a man who wrote such sincere lovesongs like "Today" and "Comin' Back To Me".
Grace Slick mainly wrote lyrics to tunes by other band members. She didn't put much effort into it. She could do that with two fingers up her nose. The results were just not good. Her increasing dependency on alcohol didn't help either. As for Paul Kantner, he lost his muse to Skip Johnson and this seems to have blocked his inspiration completely. No songs by Paul Kantner. Also, the pressures to continue the commercial direction of JS must have troubled him deeply.
Hot Tuna kept releasing fine albums, but commercial success evaded them, creating financial problems. To cut costs they decided to release a not-so-very-live live album. But "Double Dose" needed lots of overdubs in the studio, making it a very expensive album. Adding to the problems: Relations within the band were detoriating. As Jack Casady commented after Hot Tuna disbanded: "It got a bit heavy, personality-wise".
The lack of good songs by JS made it impossible for me to create a nicely balanced "What If" album based upon "Spitfire", "Yellow Fever" and "Hoppkorv", albums released around the same time, more or less. So I decided to include "Earth" (stretching my own rules for this game a bit), though that doesn't make the selection much better.
Coming soon: "Out Of Grace" by Jefferson Airplane.
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