And the ones that your mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all
Since last night I have the voice of Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane) wailing around in my head. And that magnificent, dark, Spanish intro to White Rabbit. Being the info junkie that I am, I Wikipedia’d myself all over the place to find out more, and now my head is boiling over with information and random thoughts.
On January 19th, 1936, my mother was born. On September 30th, 1939, Grace Slick (then Grace Wing – she had a hippie name before anyone ever heard of Haight / Ashbury) was born. On August 17th, 1969, Grace sang White Rabbit to an audience of at least 300,000 people at Woodstock. On August 18th, 1969, I was born – time zone differences taken into account it must’ve been while Johnny Winter was playing at Woodstock. (Just my luck – I really don’t like white blues.)
Somehow last night it struck me. Grace Slick wasn’t that much younger than my mother and yet, while my mother was expecting her third and last kid and was trying to be a good housewife, Slick sang these mildly depreciating lines about the ones that your mother gives you in a song which combines a fairytale with an LSD trip.
I never even told my mother I used to smoke marijuana. It’s pointless, she wouldn’t understand and it would just give her more unreasonable fears to struggle with.
Since last night my head is trying to make sense of this enormous difference. The music my mother and father danced to when they first met, and the music Slick was making some ten years later. And I can’t make heads or tails of it – I can’t get past the rather downtrodden path that ‘something big’ happened in those fabled Sixties.