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Jefferson Airplane - Fly Jefferson Airplane CD (album) cover


Jefferson Airplane



4.22 | 13 ratings

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4 stars Quality overview of an important American band

"Somebody once said there was a period, maybe about a week in 1966, where anything you wished for would come true. Like you know, 'wish upon a star' kinda stuff. And sure enough, it did."

And so Paul Kantner kicks back with a cigarette and fondly recalls how the real days of magic were actually the summer before the Summer of Love. The summer of 1966 in San Fran was when it all came together in pure magic for those who lived there. Anything can and did happen. By the time the rest of the country heard about it and poured in for '67 Summer of Love, it was a bit ruined by the popularity and this got markedly worse in the following years. I have heard this same sentiment relayed by prominent scenesters in both San Fran and London, that the period just before the Summer of Love was better than the hyped period. Sorry for the false start but I loved the above quote despite my loathing for much of the counterculture's politics. There's no doubt they knew how to throw a party.

"Fly" is an amazing time capsule not just for those interested in the Airplane, but for everyone wanting to experience a bit of San Fran in the 60s. Its biggest selling point is that it features not only quality JA live video, but the story is told by the members themselves. All of their classic line-up are featured along with their manager. This is the real deal, not one of those lame DVDs which features a bunch of silly unknown "critics" dissecting the group's album. Instead we get the story of Airplane from beginning to end, told in glorious detail by Paul, Grace, and the others, from the comfort of their living rooms. Even Spencer Dryden is featured shortly before we lost him. Most importantly, the musical segments are full and complete songs. Nothing worse than "song excerpts" cut short just as you're starting to get into it. This DVD respects the music.

The main feature is just over an hour and alternates between band members talking and the music clips. Both the narrative and the music were outstanding and informative. I only wish it were longer. The music clips are naturally very old and thus the sound quality is not like todays, but it's not bad really and can be turned up enjoyably loud. It begins with "It's No Secret" featuring the first pre-Grace vocalist Signe Anderson, followed by two clips from Monterey. Live cuts of "White Rabbit" and "Crown of Creation" from The Smother Brothers show were highlights for me. The iconic and creepy psych of "Lather" was assembled into a music video. Their historic live rooftop performance of "Pooneil Corners" is included, which the Fab Four copied a few months later-who says the Brits were always first? There are some cool videos to accompany the Volunteers material and it closes with a live acoustic performance of "Embryonic Journey" at their Hall of Fame induction.

Bonus features include a wealth of additional interviews. There are also many high quality photographs uncovered. Highly recommended.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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