Sunday, October 30, 2011

Grace Slick

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

From her Alice in Wonderland-inspired song, "White Rabbit," which she later claimed to have written in just one hour.

Grace Slick was born Grace Barnett Wing on this date in 1939 in Evanston, Illinois.  She went to high school in Palo Alto, California, and was a model for I. Magnin (a tony San Francisco department store) after dropping out of college.  

When she saw the Jefferson Airplane perform at a club in San Francisco, she decided she would make more money and have more fun as a rock star than as a fashion model.  She, her husband, and her brother-in-law formed a band called the Great Society in 1965.

A year later, the Jefferson Airplane's original female lead singer left the band to have a baby, and they invited Grace to take her place.  "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love" were both Great Society songs that Grace brought with her to her new band.  Here's a link to a live Great Society performance of "White Rabbit," which features an oboe solo by Mrs. Slick.  (The first 4:20 is instrumental navel-gazing -- feel free to skip that part.)

In 1968, Grace performed on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in black face, and made a Black Panther fist at the end of her performance:

Power to the People?

In 1969, while performing "We Can Be Together" on the Dick Cavett Show, she became the first person to say "m*therf*cker" on live network television.

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