Marty Balin/Comin’ Back to Me


A beautiful rendition of the Jefferson Airplane folk rock song, “Comin’ Back to Me” from the Surrealistic Pillow album, written by the late Marty Balin.

Marty performing with his band at Jorma’s place in Pomeroy, Ohio 2014.

He goes to prepare a place for us.

Comin’ Back to Me

The summer had inhaled and held its breath too long
The winter looked the same, as if it never had gone
And through an open window where no curtain hung
I saw you
I saw you
Comin’ back to me

One begins to read between the pages of a book
The shape of sleepy music, and suddenly you’re hooked
Through the rain upon the trees, the kisses on the run
I saw you
I saw you
Comin’ back to me

You came to stay and live my way
Scatter my love like leaves in the wind
You always say you won’t go away
But I know what it always has been
It always has been

A transparent dream beneath an occasional sigh
Most of the time I just let it go by
Now I wish it hadn’t begun
I saw you, yes, I saw you
Comin’ back to me

Strolling the hills overlooking the shore
I realized I’ve been there before
The shadow in the mist could have been anyone
I saw you
I saw you
Comin’ back to me

Small things like reasons are put in a jar
Whatever happened to wishes wished upon a star?
Was it just something that I made up for fun?
I saw you, I saw you comin’ back to me

Songwriter: Marty Balin

Comin’ Back to Me Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

 



Marty Balin and Jefferson Airplane Honored

Last night Jefferson Airplane was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. The event also recognized Earth Wind and Fire, Herbie HancockRuth Brown, Celia Cruz, Linda Ronstadt and RUN DMC. Additionally, John Cage, Fred Foster and Chris Strachwitz (Arhoolie Records) received Trustees Award honorees. The award ceremony was filmed for a future PBS Great Performances show titled Grammy Salute to Music Legends. I look forward to that broadcast when it airs later this year.

It was unfortunate that Marty Balin was unable to join the festivities. His doctor ordered that he not attend. I respect putting your health first. Balin issued a press release on Friday April 22nd assuring everyone that he is doing well and that he looks forward to resuming his 2016 tour in the near future. Tour updates are found at  http://martybalinmusic.com/ I’m considering seeing him at The Iridium in NYC if its feasible.

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I have seen various social media photographs from last night’s awards in my Facebook stream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I liked this shot of  (left-right) Jack Casady, Grace Slick (wearing Paul Kantner’s hat), Cathy Richardson (who sang for Grace) and Jorma Kaukonen.

 

The Haight: Love, Rock, and Revolution By Joel Selvin (Author), Jim Marshall (Photographer)

I love the immediacy of Jim Marshall‘s photographs. I own several of the late Jim Marshall’s music photography books. I treasure what his camera lens captured for rock music legacy.

Speaking of cultural history later this year we will have a new book of photographs culled from the archives of Jim Marshall, The Haight: Love, Rock, and Revolution.

Here is the book’s description from the publisher, Insight Editions.

Widely regarded as the cradle of revolution, California’s Haight-Ashbury grew in the sixties from a small neighborhood in San Francisco to a worldwide phenomenon. Legendary photographer Jim Marshall visually chronicled this area as perhaps no one else did. Renowned for his powerful portraits of some of the greatest musicians of the era, in this one-of-a-kind book the full extent of Marshall’s Haight-Ashbury work is stunningly displayed: live concerts, powerful candids, intimate sessions with icons of the day, street scenes, crash pads, and more.

Featuring hundreds of images, from Bill Graham, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane to Carlos Santana, Donovan, The Beatles, Allen Ginsberg, and Timothy Leary, The Haight tells the complete and comprehensive story of the revolutionary aspects of the day. Written by bestselling San Francisco music journalist Joel Selvin, the story behind each of these incomparable images is disclosed through an intimate and revealing narrative, lending the images a fascinating context and perspective.

I welcome this future book and the history it portrays.

© Jim Marshall Photography LLC

 

Good Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want. – Psalm 23:1

A song came to me during the 7:30 a.m. Mass this morning, the Fourth Sunday of Easter. I kept hearing “Good Shepherd” as a hymn. Considering there is no music at this mass that proved even more special. The song was written and sung by Jorma Kaukonen. I welcomed it with a deep resonance inside the music of our heart.

One for Paul
One for Silas
One for to make my heart rejoice
Can’t you hear my lambs a callin’
Oh good shepherd
Feed my sheep

Songwriter: Kaukonen, Jorma L. Jr.
Good Shepherd Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, EMI Music Publishing

 

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Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship

The trajectory of Jefferson Airplane has produced a very solid flight path across three+ decades of rock and roll.

Legacy Recordings has reissued a double CD, The Essential Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Starship, which covers the hits and popular tracks from these various bands from 1966 to 1989

It’s a nice music collection to have handy if you are a fan of any permeation of this group. You get a real sense of the (r)evolution of their sound as they kept current with the times, the fashions etc.

I find myself growing fond of this track from Jefferson Starship’s Spitfire

Edward The Mad Shirt Grinder – The Beautiful Articulation of Nicky Hopkins

Cover of "Beck-Ola"
Cover of Beck-Ola

Jeff Beck Group HandbillNicky Hopkins is without question rock’s greatest session musician. His signature contributions are still felt strongly today, 18 years after his passing. I continue being blown away by the breadth and depth of Nicky Hopkins piano contributions to rock.history

My first encounter with Nicky Hopkins’s musicianship was with The Jeff Beck Group and Beck-Ola. I saw Nicky Hopkins play with The Jeff Beck Group at the Fillmore East on July 3, 1969. He is depicted performing with The Jeff Beck Group on the cover of this definitive book by Julian Dawson.

Nicky Hopkins got his recording start with Del Shannon. You can hear his piano virtuoso as a lad of 17 on the 1961 hit, “Runaway”.  His frail health (he suffered from Crohn’s disease) forced him into the life of a session musician, where he excelled.

Nicky Hopkins was known as the Sixth Stone. His body of work with the Rolling Stones is immeasurable, ranging from “Ruby Tuesday” to “Waiting On A Friend”.

Nicky moved to Mill Valley, California to improve his health and took up with such San Francisco bands as The Jefferson Airplane and Jerry Garcia Band. He was considered a full-partner in Quicksilver Messenger Service and his touch played a fundamental role in Shady Grove and Just For Love.

The musicians he worked with over the decades were very taken with him.

“It was such a thrill to work for him as well as have him work with me. Every time I hear Joe Cocker’s ‘You Are So Beautiful’ I want to cry before Joe’s even come in. People try to emulate that piano piece, but there’s only one person could have played that—Nicky Hopkins.”
Peter Frampton

He worked with all four of the Beatles when they went solo. I am especially fond of his song, “Edward (The Mad Shirt Grinder)” that he recorded with QMS and on his best solo album, The Tin Man Was A Dreamer George HarrisonMick TaylorKlaus Voormann and Hopkins’ fellow Rolling Stones sidemen Bobby Keys and Jim Price.)


 

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 – Thu. March 15, 2012 – Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield, Ct.

 

Rosemary bought us tickets to see the Jefferson Starship Paul Kantner 71st birthday gala at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Thursday March 15th, 2012. This secures our first concert for calendar year 2012.

Jefferson Starship today consists of Paul Kantner, David Freiberg, Slick Aguilar, Donny Baldwin, Chris Smith, and Cathy Richardson.

There will also be a tribute to the late Papa John Creach who we saw play with Hot Tuna in 1970 and 1971.

I have listened to Blows Against The Empire and Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra the past few days.

Nona Hendryx is listed as a special guest star. You may remember her from Labelle who had the hit “Lady Marmalade“.

The concert listing also indicates there will be other guest stars appearing with Jefferson Starship that night. My personal wish is that it will include Marty Balin but I’m not confident he will be there.

Mimi Page is the opening act.