THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Wednesday, March 19, 1969
A blessing on your head, Airplane
By RON SCHAEFER
Jefferson Airplane has finally
made an album of concert tapes,
and it's been worth all the wait.
Bless Its Pointed Little Head
(RCA, LSP-4133) contains four
Jefferson Airplane oldies, two
"standards," and two new songs,
all done in exciting, supercharg-
Jefferson Airplane, vanguard
of the new rock coming out of
San Francisco, began with a
strong folk flavor, heralded the
Love Generation. That was
1966. They were also the first
group to effectively break with
the hippie scene, and act out
theit militancy. "Jefferson Air-
plane is the only rock group in
the world that is me,'i says
Bless Its Pointed Little Head
is a crystallized retrospective-
"Jefferson Airplane's Greatest
Hits" ' without the staleness.
Three of the songs come from
Surrealistic Pillow, JA's only
million - selling a 1 b u m; but
they're performed in the high-
energy style of JA's later work
(the best of which is' to be'
found on After Bathing at Bax-
ter's). That these are in-per-
fornance tapes is also vital to
Jefferson Airplane for it ties
the album to the San Francisco'
roots of. the dance/concert.
The album opens with the last
minute of the movie King Kong,
then begins Marty Balin's "3/5
Mile in 10 Seconds" with a posi-
tive jol,. This is one of only
three' rock songs on Surrealistic
Pillow-the other two are here
'as' well-but the traditional en-
ergy, especially in this song, is,
nothing short of astounding.
It becomes elifficult to keep
up -with them (After Bathing at
Baxter's vas often seen as "in-
accessible" in this way) ; un-
able to dig them, you'd stand
in awe, of them instead. Luck-
ily, this is less of a problem with
older; mores 'familiar material.
The band turns next to
"Somebody to Love," and gives
it a new and exciting arrange-
ment. This is, after all, some-'
what difficult, since Grace has
been singing the song for
around four or five years, and
you can't be "sincere" and "in-
volved with the same old song.
Jefferson Airplane's version
is certainly far better than that
recorded one of the Great So-
ciety, Grace's old group, and
this most recent version is
probably the most iiteresting of
The other JA oldies, Marty's
"It's No Secret" and "Plastic
Fantastic Lover,"don't fare as
well. The former of these is no
worse (nor better) than on their
first album, but the latter, the
final SP oldie, seems to have
suffered in the transition. The
faster tempo doesn't seem to
suit the song, and Marty's fer-
ocidus singing obscures the
imagery. (It's his own song, of
course' he has the right to
change it, but it's just worse.
And tle other was just so
Marty's role in the current
Airplane is hard to assess. He
wrote most of their material and
was clearly their leader during
their early days; Jefferson Air-
plane did beautiful, melodic,
and gentle songs. "All our songs
are about love,",said Marty in
the liner notes to JA Takes Off.
. By Baxter's (Dec. 1967) the
leader/group, s t r u c t u r e had
changed;-most of the songs were
written by rhythm guitarist
Paul Kantner, and individual.
talents had grown into an or-
ganic and original JA sound.
They might still have been
singing about love, but Baxter's
lacked the loving touch of SP;
it was a different sound, ab-
stract, hard, cold' as ice. But
one can tolerate what is in ef-
fect the rejection of melody and
conventional beauty because of
the words, attitude, and class
consciousness of Jefferson Air-
But if JA has abandoned the
hip-innocent Universal 1ove of
their first period, they have
arrived (not the first time) at a
more erotic treatment of love in.
BIPLH. Of course, this is little
more than the removal of the
bullshit that long existed in rock
music generally: compare mid-
dle-aged people manufacturing
music for young people ten years
ago and young people making
music for each other now.
In any case, the new mate-
rial, Grace's "Bear Melt" and
lead guitarist Jorma Kauko-
nen's rendering of B. B. King's
"Rock Me Baby," is indeed about
love, and about making love.
The raga structure, in evi-
dence since Baxter's and in al-
most everything Jorma plays, is
inexorably climactic. (It is also
somewhat repetitive, but there's
nothing wrong with going there
And Grace is just right be-
cause she's such a tough chick.
Not violent, tough-minded (lis-
ten to the words she writes).
And her voice is amazing. It
varies in thickness, but it's al-
ways about two inches behind
your right eye.
The other two songs on the
album are Ionovan's "Fat
Angel" (worth it to hear Paul
sing "Fly Jefferson Airplane")
and Fred Neil's "Other Side of
This Life" (notable for excel-
lent instrumental 'work).
I haven't yet mentioned Jack
Casady, the best rock bass play-
er there is, and Spencer Dry-
den, really a perfect drummer.
They're surely responsible for
the solid Airplane sound, but by
now that goes without saying.
All I can say jor BIPLH is:
bless its inversely pointed little
poetry and prose
Delight in the Woods
By LARRY RUSS
Yesterday at the UGLI John Woods, a professor at Western
Michigan, read from his poetry. (The latest of his four books
from Indiana U. Press is Keeping Out of Trouble.) As a poet he
is extremely delightful and talented, but certainly limited in his
range and intensity.
Woods does not hit the dangerous depths-we are not gripped
by the strongest emotions, by poems of great sorrow, fear, or joy.
He does not have a great spiritual strength, does not move into
the depths of other beings, other realms of being. (For instance,
in "Turning to Look Back," with sections entitled "Grandfather,"
"Brother," and so on, the voices are never really others'; and do
not reveal themselves, but talk about a life more Woods' than
This is not to say that there aren't some marvellous approach-
es, thrusts, some successes. There are excellent poems and pas-
sages, such as "Three Mornings in September," "Looking Up and
Down," and this one from "Simples":
"I can hear, in Iowa,
a thousand frigid wives
turning on their beds
like the pages of Gideon bibles
in the motel rooms
of their husbands."
Sometimes I feel that Woods could make certain poems shine
brighter by paring away some more dull substance (e.g., in "What
Do You Do When Its Spring?")
But Woods' books show a definite' improvement in each-
greater ease and "sincerity" of rhythm, better cutting, clearer
iragery-and there is reason to believe he will get even better.
The best of Woods' poetry is a great delight. Most of the better
passages are those that move into a semi-surreal world of gaiety,
satire, and sensuality. Having made some negatives comments, I
want to make very clear just how really good Woods can be. Rather
than try to describe it, I'll just let Wood's prove himself:
"I dreamed I slept with A.&P.,
Rolled in her bounty, hung
By my carcass from the hooks
Of her revolving mouth.
"I committed prodigies between
Her aisles, hustled new products
Through her rear entrance
And stood up, a pyramid, in cans."
The Mystery Tour stinks
By SHERRI & SUZY FUNN
The only newspaper in Ann
Arbor, the Argus, showed the
Magical Mystery Tour last night
and the night before and the
night before that.
I suppose the good ol' Argus
made itself a pantload of money
off 'that movie, or television
show or whatever it was and
I wish them only the best.
But, boy! Did it stink!
It's been a long time since
the Beatles made the Magical
Mystery Tour and all through
that time we've been hearing
nothing 'but bad news about it.
I; for one, kept saying to my-
self, "Well,." I said, "The Beatles
made .it so, it must be hokay,
you know? I mean, the fat cats
don't like it but so what?"
Well, I was one of the few
people who thought the album
of' the 'Magical Mystery Tour
was groovy. Aside from the fact
that it had the hit singles that
we all know and love on it, it
had, all those magical songs
from the show that I really
liked. "Your Mother Should
Know," you know?
And .let's face it, the pictures
were all right. It looked like
there was going to be a nice
movie, judging by the story book
inside' the album. Well, the
Sherri keeps trying to say
that it wasn't as bad as all that.
She agrees that technically it
was just an expensive home
movie but she says she likes
home movies anyway. She
claims she was willing to notice
flair for humor."
Letter Perfec... f 1
"CHARLY is a sensitive,
the poor color, the ineffective
editing, and the rotten sound
but she'll put up v.ith that for
"After all," the pert little
cutie purrs, "we only went to
sleep once and that was during
'Blue Jay Way.'" Well, that was
enough for me. (I'm Suzy, who
One of the chief complaints
the darn fool critics had when
the film came out was that they
couldn't follow the plot which
is understandable because there
wasn't any plot. Again, that's
all right with us but I sort of
think you can do better, fitnnier
things without plots. (Look at
your own life for example.)
Well here we are at the bot-
tom of our review and we've run
out of things to say. But the
weatherman says it's going to
be nice again today so why
don't you all go out on the Diag
and enjoy yourselves and forget
about the Magical Mystery Tour.
University of Michigan
Fri., March 21-8 P.M.
Sat.,' Mar. 22-2:30 P.M., 8 P.M.
Sun., March 23-2:30 P.M.
Tickets at Barbour Gym 1-4 P.M.
or Reserve by Mail: Mr. Adamson,
Barbour Gym, U.M.
The fictionalized li
A major work in th
7:00 & 9:05
Lndy Sacks " -Ti
_ e sac s Thurs
LS dir. Jose
fe of Marl
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