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 There are over 100 photos, many previously unpublished.
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.
If 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.
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…).
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 😉
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.
“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.”
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.
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 😉
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.
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.
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
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.
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,
This blog post is about The Capitol Theater resurgence in Portchester, New York.
The San Francisco Scene on the East Coast
When I look back on the concerts I attended at The Capitol Theater I was thankful to see the psychedelic sounds of San Francisco were well represented.
Our first concert at The Capitol featured Santana and John Lee Hooker at the late show on Friday June 12, 1970. We bought the tickets late and got seated in the balcony. You had a great seat no matter where you sat as the vantage points were all conducive for the stage. John Lee Hooker opened for Santana. I am embarrassed to say that I wasn’t a patient concert goer like I am today. We were rude to the great bluesmen and kept shouting for Santana. I regret my actions that night and wish I treasured John Lee Hooker’s set more than I did. It turns out that was the only time I got to see him play.
When he came back out for an encore we groaned but let me tell you this, he schooled us that night. He did a rendition of “One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer” that included the boogie blues beat that enthralled me. He turned me around with that number and I was cheering for him when he left the stage. Little did I realize how much Carlos Santana respected John Lee Hooker until years later when they recorded The Healer together.
Santana ripped the roof off The Capitol that evening. I recall they were bathed in a warm red light most of the night. I owned the first album Santana and played it all the time on my hi-fi system. Their percussive sound formed a rhythmic beat that kept us dancing out of our seats.
I didn’t see Santana in concert again until 2002, 32 years later. I have seen them live 15 times since the first show in Portchester. They are my favorite band and I have every one of the Santana recordings in my music library. 42 years of music and still going strong, Viva Santana.
The next concert by a band from San Francisco was our first concert by The Grateful Dead on November 7, 1970. I was sitting in the balcony the night of the Santana show when the sound system started playing Workingman’s Dead. The announcer stated that The Grateful Dead would be playing a bunch of dates at The Capitol in November. I ran right downstairs to the lobby box office and purchased our tickets for the third row.
Seeing The Grateful Dead and the New Riders of the Purple Sage that close was a pretty awesome deal. NRPS featured Jerry Garcia on pedal steel guitar. Jerry played right in front of us and he was spectacular on pedal steel guitar. He loved playing that instrument. He smiled throughout the entire NRPS set. I was especially taken with the vocals by John “Marmaduke” Dawson on “Last Lonely Eagle”.
The Grateful Dead played from 9:00 pm until 4 am the next morning, which was an incredible feat. I loved the energy the band gave off and how cosmic it all felt. You could tell they loved playing The Capitol. I loved the people twirling in the lobby and how happy everyone was to be there. I am glad this show was taped and I can play it often to relive the experience.
The following week Jefferson Airplane pulled into town. We attended the late show on November 13, 1970 which featured Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tunaand E Pluribus Unum. I was excited to catch Jefferson Airplane with Grace Slick on vocals, along with Marty Balin. They were a powerful combination with Jorma and Jack playing behind them. The JA set was a classic music choice of their catalogue. Hot Tuna was a surprise that night and they also featured Papa John Creach on fiddle.
We would see Hot Tuna again January 20, 1971 on a cold winters night. They headlined for a bill that featured Big Brother and the Holding Company and John Hammond. The funniest part of that show was that there were so few people in The Capitol due to the snow storm that we were invited to stay for the second show, which we did. The guy behind us tried to get an encore from Hot Tuna but Jack Cassady just told him come to the second show, its free 😉
I love how Hot Tuna keeps on trucking. They released last month, Steady As She Goes, their first studio recording in over 20 years. It is a stellar recording which captures and expands the Electric Hot Tuna sound I’ve come to relish and witness all these years 🙂
I’ve been playing Steady As She Goes through the DELL PC and the Bose Sound Dock . Microsoft Zune supplies the Hot Tuna recording as a Windows Media Audio file, 192kbps which is equal to Audio CD output level. I’ve resisted the urge to buy the digital download for the car as I am waiting on the deluxe edition 2-lp vinyl+ release sometime in May? This edition is mastered at half-speed and pressed on 180 gram HQ. I’m always a sucker for “deluxe editions”. This specialty package includes new artwork, which I love to hold and look at, plus a full CD of the album. It also has a temporary tattoo which I think is very cool 😉 Maybe the Fur Peace Ranch Store will sell them separately so I can wear this tattoo to their next concert (hint, hint).
There ain’t a clunker or uneven track on Steady As She Goes, all twelve tracks cook. I think it was an incredibly smart move of Jorma, Jack and company to head up to Woodstock, NY and record at Levon Helm‘s studio. They achieved a warm, engaging sound there. Larry Campbell‘s production ability continues to amaze and impress me. His co-operation with Hot Tuna is very clear throughout the recording. I hear his fiddle and guitar on various tracks.
What can I say about Jorma and Jack, I have dug their interplay ever since JA. I am gaining a strong appreciation for the contributions that Barry Mitterhoff (mandolin and many more instruments…) and Skoota Warner (drums) make as they enhance and extend Hot Tuna’s electric sound.
I especially love the vocals by Teresa Williams (she’s married to Larry Campbell) she asserts herself well. Teresa’s voice is a fresh dimension to Hot Tuna’s sound. She has a gutsy blues sound which counter balances Jorma’s vocals with distinction. Electric Hot Tuna growing into a virtual quintet is a cool prospect. I don’t feel compelled to compare Teresa Williams to Grace Slick at all. To my ears they are each unique vocalists, I love how each of them sings and emotes, personally I don’t think its fair to make such a comparison to either of them.
Congratulations to Hot Tuna and Red House Records you have a solid hit on your hands here. Job well done all!