Signe Anderson - vocals; Marty Balin - vocals, percussion; Paul Kantner - vocals, guitar; Jorma Kaukonen - lead guitar; Jack Casady - bass; Spencer Dryden - drums
This Saturday evening Jefferson Airplane set, sandwiched between sets by the Grateful Dead and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, occurred during a memorable three-day run at Winterland and the Fillmore Auditorium. At this point in time, Spencer Dryden had recently replaced original drummer, Skip Spence, who had moved on to found Moby Grape. Original female vocalist, Signe Anderson, was still on board, soon to be replaced by Grace Slick.
The group was clearly forging ahead into new territory, beginning to leave most of their folk roots behind. Dryden and Casady were beginning to develop into one of the most powerful and original sounding rhythm sections in all of rock music. Their contribution was inspiring the other bandmembers to take a more adventurous approach.
This new approach is evident from the start of their set. The group immediately launches into Fred Neil's "The Other Side Of This Life," which begins with ferocious interplay between the core musicians. This is clearly a departure from the tight, vocal-focused arrangements of their earlier material. The musicians are becoming more aggressive in their approach and the group is striving toward a more even balance between instrumental and vocal intensity.
With the exception of Jorma Kaukonen's blues showcase on "Kansas City," and the closer, the remainder of this set relies on material from their debut album. "Let's Get Together," "Tobacco Road," "You're Bringing Me Down," "Run Around," and "Let Me In" all remain relatively close to the studio arrangements, but display an enticing immediacy in live performance.
Following "Let Me In" and prior to the final song, Paul Kantner mentions that during a jam on the previous night, Paul Butterfield Blues Band guitarist Mike Bloomfield broke his guitar, leading one to speculate what exactly went down to end the previous night. He then announces the final song as "People," the working title for the soon to be classic "3/5 of a Mile In 10 Seconds." The group's enthusiasm for this new song is obvious and it is particularly interesting hearing this in embryonic form, prior to Grace Slick joining the band.
Written by Alan Bershaw