September 20, 2013

Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship - Have You Seen the Stars Tonite? (1970)

Internal problems amongst the members of Jefferson Airplane began to boil over in 1970, starting with their drummer, Spencer Dryden, being unanimously voted out of the band. Members Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen launched a side project, Hot Tuna; Paul Kantner and the married Grace Slick began a love affair; and Marty Balin felt like a bit of an outcast because of his bandmates pairing up without him.

Since Jefferson Airplane had only released one single in 1970, Paul Kantner decided to work on a solo album with Grace Slick titled Blows Against the Empire. The entire album was conceptualized around a science-fiction theme and was released under the name “Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship.” It’s important to note that this was not the same Jefferson Starship band that would be created in 1974 by Kantner. This was, if anything, a coincidental name that would provide the inspiration for Kantner’s Jefferson Starship four years later. It’s said that the name “Starship,” was inspired by many things: the evolution of Jefferson Airplane to something more grandiose, the star-filled lineup that accompanied Kantner and Slick on the album, and the fact that the characters within the album were seeking a starship to leave the planet Earth.

Speaking of the talent involved in the creation of the album, Blows Against the Empire featured not only the talents of Paul Kantner and Grace Slick, but also fellow Jefferson Airplane members Jack Casady and Joey Covington; the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart; CSN’s David Crosby and Graham Nash; Quicksilver Messenger Service’s David Freiberg; The Electric Flag’s Harvey Brooks; and Jorma Kaukonen’s brother Peter Kaukonen.

The song heard below appeared as the eighth song on Blows Against the Empire. It was written by Paul Kantner and David Crosby. It features Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Jerry Garcia (pedal steel guitar), Mickey Hart (percussion), and David Crosby (vocals, guitar). Although the song never charted, Blows Against the Empire itself was the first rock album to be nominated for the Hugo science fiction award. If you like this song, I highly recommend listening to the entire album.

album art

Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship - Have You Seen the Stars Tonite? (1970)

Loading the ABLYAM player...(Might not work on mobile devices)


Have you seen the stars tonight?
Would you like to go up on ‘A’ Deck and look at them with me?
Have you seen the stars tonight?
Would you like to go up for a stroll and keep me company?

Do you know?
We could go
We are free
Any place you could think of
We could be

Have you seen the stars tonight?
Have you look at all the family of stars?

No comments:

Post a Comment