The Band’s With Me By Sally Mann Romano

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Photo by Baron Wolman

Sally Mann Romano, an attorney in her native Texas, is the proprietor of an animal sanctuary and deep-pocket money pit known as Rockit Ranch Rescue. She came to the law after her marriage to Spencer Dryden, drummer for Jefferson Airplane, having also spent a number of years working for, traveling with, and tending to Frank Zappa, the Grateful Dead, Grace Slick, Ten Years After, Stephen Stills, The Band, and other characters of similarly dubious repute.

Sally has been featured in a number of photo essays of so-called “groupies” and women in rock by Baron Wolman, Henry Diltz, Jim Marshall, and other renowned rock-and-roll photographers. She is the subject of paintings by artists as diverse as Jim Bama and Alice McMahon, both of whom based their works on the iconic photo by Baron Wolman that originally appeared in Rolling Stone, and countless interviews and magazine articles.

Her memoir, The Band’s With Me, available on Blurb with a foreword by Grace Slick and photographs by Baron Wolman, Henry Diltz, Herb Greene, Rosie McGee, and others, chronicles her escapades in the kaleidoscopic world of music and entertainment in the late 1960s and 1970s, comes clean on affairs of the heart and otherwise, and offers a wry, unsparing take on some of the more unforgettable musicians who marked an equally unforgettable era. There are over 100 photos, many previously unpublished.

Been So Long: My Life and Music – Jorma Kaukonen

Jorma Kaukonen is the consummate journeyman. He tours constantly with Hot Tuna and on his own. I am both amazed and thankful for the schedule he keeps at 77.

Somehow between the concerts, guitar teaching, Fur Peace Ranch, and the responsibilities of being husband and father he found time to write his memoirs. No moss grows on him.

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His words about achieving this accomplishment strike deep inside this verbal expressive.

“There are those who talk about writing books and those who actually do it”

This is a must-have book for your music book collection. Especially since Grace Slick wrote the foreword and Jack Casady authored the afterword. Fly Jefferson Airplane I always say.

Bravo Jorma! Long may you strum…

Been So Long: My Life and Music is available now for pre-order via Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It will be available on Aug. 28, 2018.

Review Posted on Goodreads on 9/19/2018

Been So Long: My Life and MusicBeen So Long: My Life and Music by Jorma Kaukonen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I liked hearing directly from Jorma Kaukonen. His words were very personal and revealing. I came away from the book with a better appreciation of who Jorma Kaukonen really is as a person and a musician. His challenges were shared in an honest fashion. As they say, the truth will set you free.

View all my reviews

The Monterey Pop Festival 1967

Monterey International Pop Festival PosterIf time travel was an option, I would love to be transported back in time to The Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. When I look back on what Monterey Pop accomplished, the rich set of artists that performed, there was a magic that weekend that formed peace, love and the power of music for generations to come. It’s the music festival I would most want to attend and experience.

I would love to attend that festival at the age I was in 1967, close to 16. I would also like to experience the event fully with no understanding of the events as I know them now. What I mean is that I would love to witness each act unfold, be surprised by The Who and Jimi Hendrix, boogaloo to Otis Redding. I would just love to have been there from beginning to end.

Imagine meeting his Majesty Prince Jones as he walked amongst the crowd. Monterey Pop celebrated its 45th anniversary this past June.

Five years ago I wrote a blog post about the 40th anniversary of Monterey Pop It serves as a fitting testament to the event.

There are so many rock stars that are no longer with us who performed at Monterey Pop. For that reason alone revisiting the Monterey Pop Festival would be worth it.

Imagine seeing The Who go insane smashing their instruments amidst the smoke bombs and fireworks Keith Moon planted under his drum set. Or witnessing Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire. Hendrix was in top form that night as he one upped Peter Townshend of The Who.

There is a fantastic official Monterey Pop International Festival Web Site. I visit it often. I urge you to go hear Eric Burdon sing Monterey and watch the images, view the vast information available. Then go rent or own the rock documentary, Monterey Pop, directed by D. A. Pennebaker. That’s what I plan to watch later today. I own the deluxe video set (no surprise there folks…).

Cover of "Monterey Pop- Criterion Collect...
Cover via Amazon

If that’s not enough content for you, I wanted to point out that there is a new book available about Monterey Pop. Maybe Santa Claus will be good to me and put this under my Christmas tree, hint, hint 😉

A Perfect Haze, The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival by Harvey Kubernik and Kenneth Kubernik ,Foreword by Lou Adler, Afterword by Michelle Phillips

I found this painting on the InterWeb by Grace Slick who appeared with Jefferson Airplane that weekend. She named it Monterey.

Monterey, a painting by Artist Grace Slick

1. Unknown (Drug Dealer)
2. Marty Balin (*JA singer)
3. Jorma Kaukonen
4. Janis Joplin
5. Ghandi
6. Jack Casady (*JA Bass)
7. Otis Redding
8. (Mama) Cass Elliot
q9. Pete Townshend
10. Groupie chick
11. Grace Slick
12. Roger Daltrey
*Jeffferson Airplane
13. Jerry Garcia
14. Alice and White Rabbit
15. David Crosby
16. Keith Moon
17. Neil Young
18. John Philips
19. Jimi Hendrix
20. Ravi Shankar
21. Wavy Gravy
22. Ben Fong Torres
23. Brian Jones
24. Spencer Dryden (*JA drums)

I leave you with this video clip of Janis Joplin with Big Brother & The Holding Company. This was THE  breakout moment for Janis and her band. Of all the performances that happened that weekend, this one is truly special. Enjoy.

Grace Slick – Poster Artist

One of my favorite live music introductions was Grace Slick awakening the Woodstock audience at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday August 17, 1969.

Today Grace Slick is an artist and a painter. This is her painting of Woodstock. I love her irreverent sensibilities.

Click <a href="http://www.areaarts.com/woodstock-by-grace-slick/">HERE</a> for more info

“at the time (1969). A concert with 1/2 a million people was unheard of. To be honest we were blissfully unprepared and unmercifully hammered by the weather. As the painting shows. The audience had to slog around in the mud. Young people adapt to that kind of a mess better than old farts.

Saying goodbye on the last of three days. The clump of musicians on the stage is appreciating the audience and visa versa. Everything except murder is happening in the crowd – as it would in any gathering of that size.

I have taken the liberty of inserting some individuals who could not have been there, but maybe there were in spirit – Abraham. Buddha. Mohamed. Jesus. Adam & Eve. Alice in Wonderland. The White Rabbit. My Daughter and Barack Obama.

For composition and space. I have simplified the stage gear and the sound towers. If it looks like a cartoon – it was.”

Grace Slick

Moonalice is a band that has given new life to the art of the rock music poster. They issue a rock music art poster for every one of their concerts. I got this poster of theirs at the Gathering of the Vibes Festival in 2009.

7/25/09 Moonalice poster by Alexandra Fischer

Moonalice has partnered with some of the best rock art poster artists. Take a stroll through their Moonalice Poster Web Site.

Grace Slick and Moonalice are partnering together. Legendary singer Grace Slick will team up with Moonalice for a ‘Visual Concert of Grace Slick’s Phantasmical, Whimsically Droll” on April 22 at George’s in San Rafael, CA. The exhibition will feature her newest painting, titled “Crossover,” along with a live performance from Moonalice.

Grace Slick recently designed this poster for Moonalice for their April Fools Day concert in Hartford, Ct. Classic Grace isn’t it 😉

4/1/12 Moonalice poster by Grace Slick

Jefferson Starship – Gold

Cover of "Gold"
Cover of Gold

I have the music of Jefferson Starship coarsing through my veins now. Seeing Starship live in concert did that for me 😉

The recording in their collection I find myself reaching for on Spotify is Jefferson Starship, Gold.

The track on this compilation that I was unfamiliar with until the concert is “St. Charles”. I have come to appreciate this song immensely now.

Last week in concert an audience member shouted out “St. Charles” as a request and Paul Kanter and company went right with it. I love impromptu moments that take on other orders of magnitude. The Starship ensemble gave us a beautiful rendition of that song. I was swept along with the melody, vocals and the visual lyrics of this epic tale.

Marty Balin : Vocals,
Grace Slick : Vocals, Piano,
Paul Kantner : Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Craig Chaquico : Lead Guitar, Vocals,
Peter Sears : Bass, Keyboards,
David Freiberg : Bass, Vocals, Keyboards,
John Barbata : Drums, Vocals, Percussion

Jefferson Starship – Blows Against The Empire

When I think of the music of Jefferson Starship, I am transported back to their premier recording, Blows Against the Empire (November, 1970). It echoes in my head and heart with a unique resonance these many years later.

I especially love the track, “Have You Seen The Stars Tonite”. I can visualize being on a deck in outer space, looking up through a clear glass ceiling floating amidst the stars.

Blows Against The Empire is an amazing blend of science fiction combined with a rich textured musical synergy. One can only imagine what life was like back then in the canyons above San Francisco as members of Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Quicksilver Messenger Service and friends communed and recorded together.

This amalgam of musicians became known as the Planet Earth Rock and Roll Empire.

I purchased today from the Planet Earth Rock and Roll Store the 3 CD set that includes the Blows Against The Empire deluxe edition, the Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra CD (the sequel to Blows…) and the bonus Perro CD. When I have received these items and digested the music I will write an update blog post.

(Thanks to Wikipedia for the following information and for continually providing a great backdrop of music encyclopedia knowledge for research and blogging purposes.)

  • Paul Kantner – vocals, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, banjo, bass machine
  • Grace Slick – piano, vocals
  • Jerry Garcia – banjo on “Let’s Go Together”, pedal steel guitar on “Have You Seen the Stars Tonite”, sound effects and vocals on “XM”, lead guitar on “Starship”
  • Bill Kreutzmann – drums on “Let’s Go Together”
  • Mickey Hart – percussion on “Have You Seen the Stars Tonite”, sound effects and vocals on “XM”
  • Joey Covington – drums and vocals on “Mau Mau”, congas on “Hijack”
  • Jack Casady – bass on “A Child Is Coming” and “Sunrise”
  • David Crosby – vocals and guitar on “A Child Is Coming” and “Have You Seen the Stars Tonite”, background vocals on “Starship”
  • Graham Nash – congas on “Hijack”, sound effects on “Home”, background vocals on “Starship”
  • David Freiberg – background vocals on “Starship”
  • Harvey Brooks – bass on “Starship”
  • Peter Kaukonen – lead guitar on “Mau Mau”
  • Phill Sawyer – sound effects on “Home” and “XM”
Year Title Chart positions Certification
US
1970 Blows Against the Empire by Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship 20 Gold (RIAA)
1971 If I Could Only Remember My Name by David Crosby 12 Gold (RIAA)
Songs for Beginners by Graham Nash 15 Gold (RIAA)
Sunfighter by Paul Kantner and Grace Slick 89
1972 Graham Nash David Crosby by Graham Nash and David Crosby 4 Gold (RIAA)
Rolling Thunder by Mickey Hart 190
1973 Baron von Tollbooth & the Chrome Nun by Paul KantnerGrace Slick, and David Freiberg 120
1983 Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra by Paul Kantner

Jefferson Airplane – Crown of Creation

The first album I owned by Jefferson Airplane was Crown of Creation, their fourth album. I was a late bloomer to the album rock sound of JA. I was familiar with their hits “White Rabbit” and “Somebody To Love” from extensive AM and FM radio airplay in 1967. It took me longer to establish an immediacy with their album content.

I’ll never quite understand why I didn’t own Surrealistic Pillow first as it was their most accessible and known album.

I fully embraced Crown of Creation when it was released in September of 1968. I loved many of the songs on this album. I was working part-time in a grocery store in those days, so I had a little more “pocket-money” to spend on vinyl LPs. I remember picking it off the rack on the wall at the record store in downtown Norwalk that I haunted frequently. The cover with its fiery mushroom cloud called to me.

File:JA Crown-Of-Creation.jpg

My favorite track on Crown of Creation is “Lather“.  It was written about Spencer Dryden (drummer), Grace Slick‘s lover then turning 30. I love when the word, “Child” is whispered at the beginning of the song…

According to the Wikipedia article on Lather (The Song):

“But Lather still finds it a nice thing to do,
To lie about nude in the sand,
Drawing pictures of mountains that look like bumps,

And thrashing the air with his hands.”

This section of the lyrics actually refer to the occasion when bassist Jack Casady was arrested nude on a beach in Santa Cruz, California, while on drugs.