Grace Slick was one of the first female rock stars. Her strong presence and personality would prevent her from ever being relegated to just a singer backed by a band and she redefined women's role in popular music and became an icon of the 1960s in the process.
After catching early performances by JA during the summer of 1965, husband and wife Jerry and Grace Slick decided to start their own band. They debuted as the Great Society on 10.15.65 and continued performing around SF throughout 1966. As musicians, they were amateurs, but their naivete and their experimental nature, not to mention a repertoire of good songs, made them quite enjoyable.
Grace replaced Signe Anderson just a few weeks prior to this show, and this recording gives a clear picture of that transition. This concert also falls right in the middle of the initial studio sessions for Surrealistic Pillow.
By this time, Slick had been fully integrated into the band, and her confidence level had dramatically increased. She was quickly becoming the visual focus of the band, as well as an icon of the SF music scene in general. "Two Heads" reveals Grace's gift for writing intriguing lyrics that work on multiple levels, and this is an embryonic version of the yet-to-be-released song.
1967 was a whirlwind year for JA as Surrealistic Pillow album had penetrated way beyond SF. This first taste of substantial success and the heavily experimental culture blossoming all around them had a profound effect on the bands music.
This Fillmore West set was recorded at the peak of the classic lineup's powers, as their fourth album, Crown of Creation, was climbing up the charts.
Everything on this memorable night is performed with passionate intensity.
Here we have the JA in full flight as the '60s are fading into the '70s. Those turbulent times were
reflected strikingly not only in the Airplane's music, but also within the personal makeup of the group itself. "Mexico" salutes