by Grace with Andrea Cagan Slick ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 8, 1998
Jefferson Airplane singer Slick delivers a bouncy, somewhat hectoring account of her 25-year career. Raised by comfortable WASPs in Palo Alto, Calif., Slick married young and moved to San Francisco, where she and her husband saw an early incarnation of the Jefferson Airplane perform in 1965 and figured that starting their own band, the Great Society, would be more fun than their boring day jobs. Slick soon drifted into the Airplane and out of her marriage. Her lively descriptions of the close-knit musical community revolving around Bill Graham's Fillmore Auditorium successfully evoke both the highs and lows of the Summer of Love. Slick was never one to shrink from the highs, and she gives us a few entertaining psychedelic vignettes. Uniquely, the Airplane played all three of the pivotal rock festivals that, respectively, inaugurated an era (Monterey), defined it for posterity (Woodstock), and ignominiously ended it (Altamont). Slick cheerfully and explicitly details her sexual liaisons with all but one of her bandmates and an encounter with Jim Morrison involving a bed full of smashed strawberries. In the '70s, Slick had a child, tried to slip acid into President Nixon's tea, and got drunk often, finally quitting the revamped and renamed Jefferson Starship in 1978. A few years later she reenlisted, at this point the only original member; this version of Starship was a soulless commercial enterprise that commissioned its songs from top Hollywood hacks, but the aging Slick liked the ""easy ride."" Since retiring several years ago, she's been campaigning to end medical testing on animals, but coauthor Cagan (Marianne Williamson's coauthor for A Return to Love, not reviewed) doesn't help her explain the cause very coherently. Slick's swaggering, unapologetic persona gets a little irritating by the end, but her progress from hippie queen to cranky rich liberal makes for a fun and emblematic trip.
Pub Date: Sept. 8, 1998
Page Count: 384
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1998
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