Got a Revolution! The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane

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9780671034030: Got a Revolution! The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane

A noted music journalist offers a close-up look at the complex history of Jefferson Airplane, chronicling the band's origins in 1965 San Francisco and their influential role in 1960s and 1970s rock 'n' roll, which paved the way for other Bay Area music greats, including the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and Santana.

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From the Author:

This book is the culmination of five years of intense work, but its genesis really dates back to the summer of 1967 when, as a rock and roll kid living on Long Island, I heard "Somebody To Love," "White Rabbit" and then the Surrealistic Pillow album for the first time. The music of Jefferson Airplane suggested a more stimulating way of life and transported me to another place.

Nine years later, ensconced in a tiny Haight-Ashbury apartment in San Francisco, I began writing about music professionally, and began interviewing members of what had by then split off into Jefferson Starship and Hot Tuna. They were all intelligent, outspoken, creative, fascinating people and I wanted to communicate that. Throughout the ’80s I kept up with the musicians and tried to speak with them whenever I could.

In 1992, I wrote the liner notes for the Airplane's boxed set. I've since written more than 25 liner notes for Airplane CDs, interviewing the musicians each time. With those conversations as a basis, and having established working relationships with all of the major parties involved, I decided it was high time the world had a book on Jefferson Airplane. I’ve long felt they were one of the most important American rock bands, one that truly represented the exhilaration, experimentalism and chaos of the 1960s, and one whose gripping, sometimes unbelievable story needed to be told. This book is the result.

From the Inside Flap:

Jann Wenner, editor-in-chief and publisher of Rolling Stone, wrote, "The classic Jefferson Airplane lineup were both architects and messengers of a psychedelic age, a liberation of mind and body that profoundly changed American art, politics, and spirituality. It was a renaissance that could only have been born in San Francisco, and the Airplane, more than any other band in town, spread the good news nationwide."

Jefferson Airplane, the most successful and influential rock band to emerge from San Francisco during the 1960s, created the sound of a generation. Their smash hits "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit" provided the soundtrack to the Summer of Love, virtually inventing the era’s signature pulsating psychedelic music, and came to personify the decade’s radical counterculture. Their appearances at the landmark Monterey Pop, Woodstock and Altamont rock festivals—the only band to play at all three—placed them on the front lines during one of the most exciting, tumultuous times in American history. Their confrontational lyrics and alternative lifestyles often cast them as "outlaws in the eyes of America." Jefferson Airplane didn’t just dominate American popular music and culture at the peak of the ’60s, they transformed it.

Got a Revolution! is the first full-length biography ever written about Jefferson Airplane. Jeff Tamarkin, veteran music writer and historian, has worked closely with the former members of Jefferson Airplane for more than a decade and penned more than twenty-five Airplane-elated liner notes. Those who lived it tell the story: the band members, their families, friends, lovers, crew members, and fellow musicians. The book’s all-star cast includes fellow rock legends David Crosby, Janis Joplin, Donovan, the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, and Paul McCartney, to such larger-than-life cultural figures as Robert F. Kennedy, Bill Graham, Abbie Hoffman, the Hell’s Angels, and even Richard Nixon. It’s a tale of complex people with complex relationships living under the spotlight during a complex time.

To the public, they were prototypical free-loving, good-time hippies, but to their inner circle, Jefferson Airplane was a paradoxical bunch—constantly at odds with one another. Jefferson Airplane’s members were each brilliant, individualistic artists who became the living embodiment of the ups and downs of the sex, drugs and rock and roll lifestyle.

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