This song is so great. One of the greatest songs that ever came out of the 1960’s Cultural Revolution.
I saw this group when they were called the Jefferson Starship in 1973 at the Shriner’s Auditorium in downtown LA near USC. Pot smoking was a pretty big deal with society back then, and LA had some super-hardline sheriff whose name escapes me now. He was famous for taking a very hard line on marijuana use, especially at rock concerts. When we walked in, they handed us flyers from the sheriff saying,
This venue is not a haven for marijuana smoking.
Other text then followed. I think it said if you smoke pot here, you are going to be arrested and prosecuted. Those flyers were all over the hallways on the ring of the auditorium, scuttering around on the floors.
Inside, the pot smoking was subdued, but it went on anyway. Well, I and my 16 year old friends snuck pot into the auditorium and also smoked it. This was a bit hard to do, as you might get searched before you went in.
There weren’t any LAPD there. There were these private plainclothes security guards instead, but they were hauling people off for pot smoking nevertheless. I remember this long haired guy next to us took some crushed ice out of his drink and balled it up into a sort of snowball. Then he hurled it as hard as he could at the security guard down below. He beaned him right in the head! Our whole section erupted with cheers!
Anyway a good time was had by all, and I got stoned out of my gourd. Back then when I first started smoking pot, marijuana trips were like these bizarro space journeys to another planet or another world.
I think the Starship came out, held up one of the flyers and told the sheriff to fuck off or something. They were very good at that time. Early Starship was still excellent. They were led by a guy named Marty Ballin who was just fantastic. I think later on, they tended to peter out; however, the Starship did write a few good songs, the names of which elude me now.
The whole audience erupted when the first eerie chords of Go Ask Alice filled the room.