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Grace Slick and The Jefferson Airplane Fly Into Rock's Hall of Fame

Updated on October 9, 2011

Grace Slick, the iconic radical singer who sang "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love", will be entering into Rock's hall of fame with the Jefferson Airplane. For many, this is either exciting news or a "so what" affair.

Jefferson Airplane with Grace Slick as its lead singer burst onto the rock scene in 1966-67 with their infamous song, White Rabbit, and followed with Somebody to Love. The songs also began what is called Psychedelic Rock, partly because of the light shows and acid that were commonly found at concerts. It was San Francisco's way of putting its own brand on rock music, which up to this time was totally dominated by British rock bands, such as, The Beatles, The Kinks, Rolling Stones, Dave Clark 5 and many more.

The Jefferson Airplane LPs when released were a real mixed bag. Sometimes it depended if you were high, as to whether you thought it was worse $4. As a creative force, they pale when comparing to most of the British rockers then. Except for their few number 1 hits, their albums were generally trash, sometimes it sounded like they were on acid when making them. After their first LP, they could not repeat their success.

Grace Slick is now 71, the foxy brunette, is now gray. She can barely stand for more than 10 minutes. She is a homebody now, painting, drawing, cleaning house, buying food and just hanging out with her daughter who lives with her in LA. She has stated there are no plans for any reunion of the surviving members and is not planning to have a comeback. Her biggest regret is not having sex with Jimi Hendrix, never learned to ride a horse nor traveled to the Middle East.

When she was invited to the White House during the early 70's, Nixon was President and his daughter, Tricia, had gone to the same finishing school that Grace had (Finch College). Being a former alumni, Grace was invited. At that time, the invite was for Grace Wing (her maiden name) so she had planned to drop acid into President Nixon's drink. However, the Secret Service did know that  Grace Slick (first hubbie was Jerry Slick) was Grace Wing and prevented her from attending the tea party.

As said earlier, Jefferson Airplane, as a band, was followed by a cult of loyalists. Some were acid heads and some not. Jefferson Starship has little to do with Jefferson Airplane, although, Grace and others were in the band. The Airplane probably would not had amounted to anything had they not found Grace, whose vocals were great. She wrote the song, White Rabbit, in about one hour. Her favorite movie is Alice in Wonderland.

Grace, despite her radical public image from the 60s, was not at all like that growing up in Palo Alto, California, a small town then. Although, she was well behaved she was allergic to conformity and she became more "in your face" in the 60's.

The Psychedelic Rock that Grace and the Airplane introduced to the world lasted only a few years. Listening to some of their LPs now can sometimes be like taking acid musically because it is noise and any person not on some drug would have the same impression.

The saddest thing about all this is not about the band, but, seeing our rock heroes age and succumb to senior issues and then  seeing them in their prime. It is sad because we all know we are  all going down the same road-just at different times.


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    • TTC12 profile image

      TTC12 6 years ago

      I saw Grace at her art show a few years ago. I was strange to be within a few feet of someone so influential and famous. She was not approachable, though, and made it clear she was not there for music talk. Some of Airplanes music, to me, as not aged well, but I respect what they did.

    • hanwillingham profile image

      hanwillingham 6 years ago

      Interesting hub.