Saturday, January 15, 2005

Spencer Dryden: 1938-2005

Spencer Dryden, drummer for Jefferson Airplane during their most prolific period (Surrealistic Pillow through Volunteers), died of complications from colon cancer this week at age 66.

I didn't get into Jefferson Airplane until 20 years after the Summer of Love. By then, the band had mutated into Starship, fouling the nation's airwaves with slave-pop like "We Built This City." Although the Airplane's psychedelic ballroom jam leanings probably wouldn't have aged well in any case, Starship's commercial success ensured that most people would remain unaware of the Airplane's greater legacy save for twin classic rock staples "White Rabbit" and "Somebody To Love." I prefer "She Has Funny Cars," "Plastic Fantastic Lover," "Comin' Back To Me" and especially "Lather," which Grace Slick wrote for Dryden when he was standing uneasily at the precipice of his 30th birthday. I'll have to break that out this weekend.

No comments: