Paul Kantner dies at 74.

Paul Kantner dies at 74.

When I was 4 I started buying 7″ singles. The first ones I ever got were “Crosstown Traffic,” “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” and Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit.” Now.. being 4, I didn’t really understand the lyrical content. I thought Crosstown Traffic was about driving around town in a car. It wasn’t until I was a teenager when I realized it was about a very sexually active woman. White Rabbit, I thought, was about Alice In Wonderland. I loved how it was dark and scary and mysterious. It had a sort of Tango rhythm to it and I would do a sort of dark tango dance with my stuff rabbit named Bunny. Years later when I figured out it was about dropping acid, it made all of that seem so… innocent.

Anyway… Jefferson Airplane’s album Surrealistic Pillow is a brilliant piece of magic. Beautifully melding intricate rhythms, styles and different modes, pop melodies and gorgeous arrangements. I only knew the two hits from it when I was a kid. I didn’t hear the full album until I found a scratched up copy at a yard sale for 25¢ when I was about 15. If you haven’t heard it, it’s well worth the listen. You’ll understand why people miss the old Haight Ashbury so much.

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