What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?

Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Carl’s Rock Songbook #88: Jefferson Airplane, “Let’s Get Together”

image jefferson airplane loves youWhile it’s true that the song was not written by them, but by a minor folk singer Chet Powers, and that it had more chart success for another band, “Let’s Get Together” forever will belong to Jefferson Airplane. Their version was the best musically, and they made it an iconic part of their championship of and identification with Love.

Hey, people now,
smile on your brother.
Let me see you get together,
love one another right now.

Not only did they adopt this “Jefferson Airplane Loves You” slogan for signs and publicity copy, the liner notes to their first album said this:

All the material we do is about love. A love affair or loving people. Songs about love. Our songs all have something to say, they all have an identification with an age group and, I think, an identification with love affairs, past, beginning, or wanting…finding something in life…explaining who you are.

As I’ve previously discussed and will explain more in the next post, a key aspect of the 60s hippie counter-culture was this conflation of fraternal love (that exhibited by “loving people” who “smile on” and “get together” with their “brother”), with that of “love affairs,” and of course, with both of these with that of casual sex.

Jefferson Airplane’s full significance eludes us if we focus merely on their identification with acid and “acid rock,” and forget their key role as purveyors of Love. We might also note that musically speaking, they had a strong claim to be the culmination of the folk-rock sound, something you still hear on their justly-famous second LP Surrealistic Pillow, even if it usually gets categorized as “psychedelic” simply, and which you especially hear on their first, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, which contains not a hint of drug-advocacy.

 Read on...

Berkeley in the Sixties
DVD - £9.99

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