Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

Jefferson Airplane Woodstock
The Who had finished, the misty Sunday sunrise appeared, and the Jefferson Airplane would close Saturday’s 22-hour music marathon.

The sun rose and the Jefferson Airplane started at 8 am; they will play for and hour and 45 minutes, thus bringing their set’s ending to around 10 AM. 10 AM meant that Saturday’s part of the festival lasted nearly 22 hours!

It’s a New Dawn

It would be very understandable if the Airplane had done a lackluster performance.  Amusing jokes aside about what kind of party the night had been, et cetera, it was 8 AM! But Grace let everyone know: “All right friends, you have seen the heavy groups, now you will see morning maniac music. Believe me, yea. It’s a new dawn.”

Personnel, the regular guys and…
Setlist
  • The Other Side of This Life
  • Somebody to Love
  • 3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds
  • Won’t You Try/Saturday Afternoon
  • Eskimo Blue Day
  • Plastic Fantastic Lover
  • Wooden Ships
  • Uncle Sam Blues
  • Volunteers
  • The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil
  • Come Back Baby
  • White Rabbit
  • The House at Pooneil Corner
Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

The Other Side of This LifeJefferson Airplane Woodstock

 

Fred Neil wrote it and the song had been on their then most recent album, Bless Its Pointed Little Head, a live album recorded at both the Fillmore East and West in 1968. This cover is nothing like Neil’s version, but at about 6:18 they call out his name.

Would you like to know a secret just between you and me
I don’t know where I’m going next, I don’t know who I’m gonna be
But that’s the other side of this life I’ve been leading
That’s the other side of this life.
Well my whole world’s in an uproar, my whole world’s upside down
I don”t know where I’m going next, but I’m always bumming around
And that’s another side to this life I’ve been leading
And that’s another side to this life
Well I don’t know what doing for half the time, I don’t know where I’m going
I think I’ll get me a sailing boat and sail the Gulf of Mexico
But that’s another side of this life I’ve been leading
And that’s another side of this life
Well I think I’ll go to Nashville down in Tennessee
The ten cent life I’ve been leading here gonna be the death of me
But that’s the other side of this life I’ve been leading
And that’s another side to this life
Would you like to know a secret just between you and me
I don’t know where I’m going next, I don’t know who I’m gonna be
But that’s the other side of this life I’ve been leading
But that’s the other side of this life.

Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

Somebody to Love

Darby Slick, 2011

Darby Slick wrote the song. He was a member of The Great Society, a band that included his brother Jerry and Jerry’s wife, Grace.  As a Great Society single, the song didn’t succeed, but when Grace went to the Airplane and the band used Darby’s song, it became one of the biggest hits of the 60s.

Before Grace begins the song, she observes that, “Somehow, this is doing it to me. when I put my hand on it. It’s gonna arc…” likely referring to her mic or mic on the mic stand.

The short delay (“bit of a piano problem”) continues, Grace says that “I’m going sit here and watch the show with you people” but Spencer Dryden’s drums indicate that the show will go on.

When the truth is found to be lies
And all the joy within you dies
Don’t you want somebody to love, don’t you
Need somebody to love, wouldn’t you
Love somebody to love, you better
Find somebody to love

When the garden flowers baby are dead, yes and
Your mind, your mind is so full of red
Don’t you want somebody to love, don’t you
Need somebody to love, wouldn’t you
Love somebody to love, you better
Find somebody to love

Your eyes, I say your eyes may look like his
Yeah, but in your head, baby, I’m afraid you don’t know where it is
Don’t you want somebody to love, don’t you
Need somebody to love, wouldn’t you
Love somebody to love, you better
Find somebody to love

Tears are running down and down and down your breast
And your friends, baby they treat you like a guest
Don’t you want somebody to love, don’t you
Need somebody to love, wouldn’t you
Love somebody to love, you better
Find somebody to love

Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds

Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

Marty Balin wrote it and for those of you who are (like me) wondered how fast 3/5 of a mile in 10 seconds is, but are (also like me) too lazy to do the math, it’s 216 mph. The song appeared on the band’s 1967 Surrealistic Pillow.

As tuning continues, Grace suggest that they just play it out of tune. Do it anyway.

Do away with people blowin’ my mind
Do away with people wastin’ my precious time
Take me to a simple place
Where I can easily see my face
Maybe baby, I’ll see that you were kind
Know I love you baby, yes I do
Know I love you baby, yes I do
Do away with people laughin’ at my hair
Do away with people frownin’ on my precious cares
Take me to a circus tent
Where I can easily pay my rent
And all the other freaks will share my cares
Know I love you baby, yes I do
Know I love you baby, yes I do
Do away with things that come on obscene
Like hot rods, pre-cleaned real fine nicotine
Sometimes the price is sixty-five dollars
Prices like that make a grown man holler
‘Specially when it’s sold by a kid who’s only fifteen
Know I love you baby, yes I do
Know I love you baby, yes I do
Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

Won’t You Try/Saturday Afternoon

Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

Written by Paul Kantner, the song had appeared on the band’s 1967 After Bathing At Baxter’s album. According to Jeff Tamarkin‘s history of the Airplane, “baxter” was the band’s code for LSD and the title as a whole translates to “After Tripping On Acid.” The song itself is fairly obvious in its LSD references.

Won’t you try
Won’t you try
Won’t you try
Find a way to need someone
Find a way to see
Find a way to need someone and the sunshine will set you free
Won’t you try
With love before we’re gone
Won’t you try
Won’t you try
Won’t you try

Saturday afternoon
Saturday afternoon
When your head is feeling fine
You can ride inside our car
I will give you caps of blue and silver sunlight for your hair
All that soon will be is what you need to see, my love
Won’t you try
Won’t you try
I do care that you do see
Is it time to leave, my lady
Yes it is I know
Round about and everywhere sunshine instead of snow
Times can’t change that what I say is true

I’ll come through for you
And I’ll come through for you, my love
Won’t you try
Won’t you try
Won’t you try
Won’t you try
Saturday afternoon
Yellow clouds rising in the noon
Acid incense and balloons
Saturday afternoon
People dancing everywhere
Loudly shouting I don’t care
It’s a time for growing, and a time for knowing
Saturday afternoon
Saturday afternoon (won’t you try)
Saturday afternoon (won’t you try)
Saturday afternoon (won’t you try)
Won’t you try (Saturday afternoon)
Won’t you try (Saturday afternoon)
Won’t you try
Won’t you try

Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

Eskimo Blue Day

Paul Kantner and Grace Slick wrote the song. The Airplane had already recorded their next album, Volunteers, but it would not be released until November where this song appeared.

Sun cuts loose from the frozen
Until it joins with the African sea
In moving it changes its cold and its name
The reason I come and I go is the same
Animal game for me
You call it rain
But the human name
Doesn’t mean shit to a tree
And if you don’t mind heat in your river and
Fork tongue talking from me
Swim like an eel fantastic snake
Take my love when it’s free
Electric feel with me
You call it loud
But the human crowd
Doesn’t mean shit to a tree
Change the strings and notes slide
Change the bridge and string shift down
Shift the notes and bridge sings
Fire eating people
Rising toys of the sun
Energy dies without body warm
Icicles ruin your gun
Water my roots the natural thing
Natural spring to the sea
Sulfur springs make my body float
Like a ship made of logs from a tree
Oh, redwoods talk to me
Say it plainly
The human name
Doesn’t mean shit to a tree
Snow called water going violent
Damn the end of the stream
Too much cold in one place breaks
That’s why you might know what I mean
Consider how small you are
Compared to your scream
The human dream
Doesn’t mean shit to a tree
Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

Plastic Fantastic Lover

Marty Balin wrote it and the song was the B-side of their Somebody to Love single. While it may seem to refer to something sexual, it apparently refers to a new stereo system Balin purchased.

Before the song, Grace says, “We got a whole lot of orange, and it was fine. Still is fine. Everybody’s vibrating.”

People call out requests.

Her neon mouth with a bleeding talk smile
Is nothing but electric sign
You could say she has an individual style
She’s a part of a colorful time
Super-sealed lady, chrome-color clothes
You wear ’cause you have no other
But I suppose no one knows
You’re my plastic fantastic lover
Your rattlin’ cough never shuts off
Is nothing but a used machine
Your aluminum finish, slightly diminished
Is the best I’ve ever seen
Cosmetic baby, plug into me
And never, ever find another
And I realize no one’s wise
To my plastic fantastic lover
The electrical dust is starting to rust
Her trapezoid thermometer taste
All the red tape is mechanical rape
Of the TV program waste
Data control and I.B.M.
Science is mankind’s brother
But all I see is draining me
On my plastic fantastic lover
Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

Wooden Ships

David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Paul Kantner, so this is the rare song that was twice-played at Woodstock by two different groups. The Airplane stretch out the song for 22 minutes compared to CS & N’s 6:46 version.

At a time when so many young people felt disconnected from society and often rejected its values, the notion of getting away had much appeal.

Perhaps Woodstock was a wooden ship for the weekend?

If you smile at me you know I will understand
‘Cause that is something everybody everywhere does
In the same language
I can see by your coat my friend that you’re from the other side
There’s just one thing I got to know
Can you tell me please who won
You must try some of my purple berries
I been eating them for six or seven weeks now
Haven’t got sick once
Probably keep us both alive, yeah
Wooden ships on the water very free and easy
Easy you know the way it’s supposed to be
Silver people on the shoreline leave us be
Very free and easy
Sail away where the morning sun goes high
Sail away where the wind blows sweet and young birds fly
Take a sister by her hand
Lead her far from this barren land
Horror grips us as we watch you die
All we can do is echo your anguished cry
Stare as all you human feelings die
We are leaving
You don’t need us
Oh
Go and take a sister by her hand
Lead her far from this foreign land
Somewhere where we might laugh again
We are leaving
You don’t need us (need us, no)
You don’t need us
Sailing ships on the water very free and easy
Easy you know the way it’s supposed to be
Silver people on the shoreline leave us be
Very free
And gone
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no
(Oh) no, no, no, no, no, no, no
(Oh)
Ride the music, ride the music, ride the music
Go ride the music (oh ride), oh ride the music (oh ride), oh, ride the music, c’mon
Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

Uncle Sam Blues

Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady were blues lovers and this is a cover of Oran “Hot Lips” Page’s composition. He wrote it in 1944 in reaction to World War II.  In 1969, the crowd likely had parents who fought in World War II and just as likely knew someone right then who was in Vietnam.

Got my questionnaire baby
You know I’m headed off for war
I got my questionnaire baby
You know I’m headed off for war
Well, now I’m gonna do some fightin’
Well, no one knows what for
Well, Uncle Sam ain’t no woman
You know he sure can take your man
Said Uncle Sam ain’t no woman
You know he sure can take your man
Well, there’s 40, 000 guys in the service list
Doin’ somethin’ somewhere they just don’t
Understand
Well, I’m gonna do some fightin’
Of that I can be sure
Said I’m gonna do some fightin’
Of that I can be sure
Well, now I want to kill somebody
Won’t have to break no kind of law
I got my questionnaire baby
You know I’m headed off for war
I got my questionnaire baby
You know I’m headed off for war
Well, I want to kill somebody
Won’t have to break no kind of law

Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

Volunteers

Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

Marty Balin and Paul Kantner wrote this song and it would appear on the upcoming Volunteers album. It will be a single off the album as well.

Look what’s happening out in the streets
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
Hey, I’m dancing down the streets
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
Oh, ain’t it amazing all the people I meet?
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
One generation got old
One generation got soul
This generation got no destination to hold
Pick up the cry
Hey, now it’s time for you and me
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
Hey, come on now we’re marching to the sea
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
Who will take it from you, we will and who are we?
Well, we are volunteers of America (volunteers of America)
Volunteers of America (volunteers of America)
I’ve got a revolution
Got a revolution
Look what’s happening out in the streets
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
Hey, I’m dancing down the streets
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
Oh, ain’t it amazing all the people I meet?
Got a revolution, oh-oh
We are volunteers of America
Yeah, we are volunteers of America
We are volunteers of America (volunteers of America)
Volunteers of America (volunteers of America)
Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil

Paul Kantner wrote this song and it had appeared on the Baxter’s album. From WikipediaThe title of the song refers to Winnie the Pooh as well as the folk singer Fred Neil. Parts of the lyric are taken from A. A. Milne‘s first book of children’s poetry, When We Were Very Young. The first four lines of both the first and last verses are taken almost word-for-word from the poem “Spring Morning” in the book. Another source was the Milne poem “Halfway Down”, the origin of the third verse’s lines “Halfway down the stair / Is a stair where I sit”. Neil was a big influence on Paul Kantner, as were Milne’s books.”

If you were a bird and you lived very high
You’d lean on the wind when the breeze came by
You’d say to the wind as it took you away
That’s where I wanted to go today
And I do know that I need to have you around
And I do, I do know that I need to have you around
Love like a mountain springtime
Flashing through the rivers of my mind
It’s what I feel for you
You and me go walking south
And we see all the world around us
The colors blind my eyes and my mind to all but you
And I do know that I need to have you around
And I do, I do know that I need to have you around
Around
I have a house where I can go
When there’s too many people around me
I can sit and watch all the people
Down below goin’ by me
Halfway down the stairs is a stair
Where I sit and think about you and me
I sit and think about you and me
But I wonder will the sun still see all the people goin’ by
Will the moon still hang in the sky when I die
When I die, when I’m high, when I die, when I die?
If you were a cloud and you sailed up there
You’d sail on water as blue as air
You’d see me here in the fields and say
Doesn’t the sky look green today?
But I wonder will the sun still see all the people goin’ by
Will the moon still hang in the sky when I die
When I die, when I die
When I’m high, when I die, die, die, die, die?
Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

Come Back Baby

Walter Davis

The crowd calls for more. The band returns with a traditional song written and recorded by Walter Davis in 1940. Jorma Kaukonen arranged this cover and it appeared as a bonus track on the 2003 release of Surrealistic Pillow as well as on Kaukonen’s 2007 album Stars in My Crown.

Come back baby, baby please don’t go
Way I love you, I want the world to know
Come back baby, let’s talk it over, one more time

Ah, this old world, well will fade one day
Said come back, baby, and don’t go away now
Ah, come back baby, let’s talk it over, one more time

Ah, come back baby, baby please don’t go
The way I love you, I want the world to know
Come back baby, let’s talk it over, one more time
One more time

Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

White Rabbit

Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

Grace Slick wrote it while still with the Great Society. It appeared on Surrealistic Pillow. The song obviously combines Lewis Carroll’s writings imagery with then contemporary drug imagery.

One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you, don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall
And if you go chasing rabbits, and you know you’re going to fall
Tell ’em a hookah-smoking caterpillar has given you the call
He called Alice, when she was just small
When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go
And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom, and your mind is moving low
Go ask Alice, I think she’ll know
When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s off with her head
Remember what the Dormouse said
Feed your head, feed your head
Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

The House at Pooneil Corner

This song will appear on the Airplane’s Crown of Creation album. Marty Balin mainly wrote it with help from Paul Kantner.

Matthew Greenwald from AllMusic wroteAn epic closer to Crown of Creation, “House at Pooneil Corners” is as ambitious a song as the Airplane had yet to attempt. In this science fiction-inspired song about a nuclear holocaust, the lyrics illustrate a scene so devastating and frightening that it takes the group’s summer of love image and turns it inside out. Around this time, Kantner was collaborating with David Crosby on “Wooden Ships,” which has a very similar subject matter — although that song certainly has a more escapist tone. Musically, “House” is a minor-key psychedelic masterpiece, driven by a powerful, dark melody and some exquisitely strange guitar lines from Jorma Kaukonen.

You and me we keep walkin’ around and we see
All the bullshit around us
You try and keep your mind on what’s going down
Can’t help but see the rhinoceros around us
[Grace Slick has the band return to the top]
And you wonder what you can do
And you do what you can
To get balled and high
And you know I’m still gonna need you around
You say it’s healing but nobody’s feeling it
Somebody’s dealing – somebody’s stealing it
You say you don’t see and you don’t
You say you won’t know and you won’t let it come
Everything someday will be gone except silence
The Earth will be quiet again
Seas from clouds will wash off the ashes of violence
Left as the memory of men
There will be no survivor my friend
Suddenly everyone will look surprised
Stars spinning wheels in the skies
Sun is scrambled in their eyes
While the moon circles like a vulture
Some people stood at a window and cried one tear
I thought that would stop a war
But someone is killing meAnd that’s the last hour to think anymore
Jelly and juice and bubbles, bubbles on the floorCastles on the cliffs vanish
Cliffs like heaps of rubbish
Seen from the stars hour by hour
As splintered scraps and black powderFrom here to heaven is a scar
Dead center, deep as death
All the idiots have left
The idiots have leftCows are almost cooing
Turtle doves are mooing
Which is why a Pooh is poohing
In the sun

Sun
Jefferson Airplane Woodstock
Thus “Saturday” ended and…
Sunday would slowly begin.

Jefferson Airplane Woodstock

The first act of Sunday was Joe Cocker.