3 Sides of... 1

San Francisco 1968, Inaugural Show

Steve Miller Band, Greatful Dead, and The Jefferson Airplane

L@YL - listen at your leisure.

Music fans young and old have many associations, thoughts and misunderstandings of and about the music that can be connected with the city of San Francisco in the late 1960's. The three records I have chosen to inaugurate this new series of shows have similarities and differences. Each is unique.

The initial Steve Miller Band record was actually not even recorded in the USA, as the band had a horrible experience with their label’s recording engineers and insisted on being flown to London to work with Glyn Johns.

Children of the Future never sounded better than in this recent remastering. The vinyl copy I own I bought when it came out, and it sounds awful, as do the other copies I’ve heard. Nonetheless, Johns did a wonderful and very interesting job of producing this debut, and the background vocals and electronic effects are fantastic. It may not show off the Blues-Rock power the band and Miller became known for, but it is a great psychedelic side!

The second release from the Grateful Dead is close to my favorite. There is no acoustic rubbish and navel gazing, while at the same time, the band has inaugurated using electronics as well by adding Tom Constantin. The final track from side one was issued as the b-side of the studio version of Dark Star, which most fans might not know was a 3 minute track issued on a 45 before the album was released. From this period, Dark Star and Alligator would remain in the band’s shows for much longer than The Other One. As I am drawn to all three, I continue to find side one of Anthem of the Sun very required listening.

Crown of Creation was the fourth Jefferson Airplane record, and the third with Grace Slick. It is a little more streamlined than its jamming predecessor, After Bathing at Baxter’s, but no less psychedelic in its own way. From the opening notes of Wah-Wah Guitar from Jorma Kaukonen to the end of the side, Crown is as good as anything the group did, and Kaukonen’s Wah-Wah pedal playing is as good as it gets. Pay special attention to the lyrics of Greasy Heart; they portray a cold, metallic, but still rancid art and party scene, supposedly a left coast response to Warhol’s*_Factory*_ and the music thereof. The part that goes..

"you are your own best toy to play with
remote control hands
woman with a greasy heart
automatic man"

...should make any listener reconsider that the Airplane were just spewing hippie proverbs. Message? Tune in, stay critical, avoid ‘plastique’.

Set 1

  1. Children of the Future
  2. Pushed Me To It
  3. You've Got The Power
  4. In My First Mind
  5. The Beauty Of Time Is That It's Snowing (Psychedelic B.B.)
  6. You've Got The Power
    The Steve Miller Band, from
    Children of the Future
    Side 1

Set 2

  1. That's It For The Other One
  2. New Potatoe Caboose
  3. Born Cross-Eyed
    The Greatful Dead, from
    Anthem of the Sun
    Side 1

Set 3

  1. If You Feel
  2. Crown of Creation
  3. Ice Cream Phoenix
  4. Greasy Heart
  5. The House At Pooneil Corners
    The Jefferson Airplane, from
    Crown of Creation
    Side 1


Posted on September 11, 2016 and filed under 3 Sides of....