guilty pleasure monday: jane (jefferson starship)

yeah yeah. i had a guilty pleasure post about jefferson airplane a little while back. but the airplane and the starship are two different modes of transport, if you know what i mean.

when jane was released in 1979, i think the only person left standing from the original jefferson airplane lineup was paul kantner. (someone chime in if i’m mistaken.) my beloved grace slick (and her rockin’ haircut that i’ve copied for the past 30 years)had been kicked out, thanks to her infamous drunken tirades against basically the entire nation of germany. marty balin bailed the group just before this album (but not before contributing some mid-1970s hits which i can hardly stand.) luckily, they somehow pulled in journey’s drummer aynsley dunbar and discovered teenaged guitarist craig chaquico who has since gone on to play smooth jazz and new age successfully.  voila! instant band.

to my young ears, the song had a fantastic hook — and a killer keyboard part for me to bang along with on that poor, beleagured piano (the one that still graces my family room, despite the times when hellboy pounds on it.) i didn’t care that the singer was obviously being played by his girlfriend, jane. (when i was 14, those sorts of things didn’t loom large in my mind. the song could have been about flying monkeys and i would have been fine with it, as long as the hook was working.) i hear it, and i’m instantly transported to summer camp — the second year i was working at one, that is. (for $50 a week. yes, you read that right. by my calculations, i would have to work one hour to afford the big gulp coffee i required prior to each work day.)

ah, leonard baer day camp, 1979:

i would be the dork on the far right channeling my inner chris evert in the white shirt and green tennis shorts.

i would be the dork on the far right channeling my inner chris evert in the white shirt and green tennis shorts.

my hair had not improved one iota from the year prior, when i was a mere CIT:

lmbdc 1978

white shirt, top left, dork with whistle. cos that's how i rolled.

what a difference some years make:

lmbdc 1983

far left, girl with bouncin' and behavin' hair. just prior to my infamous run-in with Sun In.

i think i was still pulling in that $50/week by 1983. probably kept me in hair supplies, i think. but it kept me from working on the sleazeside heights boardwalk, a scary and dangerous thing for a girl of a certain age to be doing, my parents insisted…

where was i? r i g h t…

jefferson starship. 1979 was probably their last year of interest for me. (and apparently billy corgan, too.) they’d go on in various incarnations, building up to the atrocity known as we built this city, one of the worst popular songs of the 1980s. (a decade that had a lot of awful musical opportunities, so no mean feat.) by then, they had dropped the jefferson part of their name and were simply starship. perhaps they should have put whatever dirigible they were flying in in park in 1979, cut their losses, and followed solo careers.

sigh. nothing lasts.

thankfully, i still have jane. and, come to think of it, my grace slick hair.

4 Responses to “guilty pleasure monday: jane (jefferson starship)”

  1. Please tell me you’ve seen “Wet Hot American Summer.” Or at least know of it. (It’s a summer camp movie. Or the parody of one. Featuring this song in the soundtrack. It also stars Janeane Garofalo. I love Janeane.)

  2. I always liked “Jane” too. I never really decided how I felt about Jefferson Airplane/Starship/Go-cart or whatever. It was “White Rabbit”, “Somebody to Love” then “Jane” then out. “We Built This City” had a lot to do with it, I’m sure. Ugh.

  3. […] happy memories of def leppard from the summer of 1983, when i was about to enter college. as mentioned in an earlier post, i had worked as a day camp counselor (for the whopping sum of $50/week), which left my evenings […]

  4. […] the time the classic rock group jefferson airplane / jefferson starship had morphed into starship, times indeed had changed. for one thing, no one in the band was legally […]

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