The Great Society
The Great Society è stato un gruppo rock statunitense attivo sulla scena musicale di San Francisco nella metà degli anni sessanta.
StoriaThe Great Society si formò nel 1965, nel pieno dei fermenti controculturali della città californiana. La nascita si fa risalire a una sera in cui Jerry Slick, il fratello Darby e la moglie Grace andarono a un club musicale di San Francisco, il Matrix, dove si stavano esibendo i Jefferson Airplane. Magnetizzati dal gruppo in azione, scattò nei tre l'entusiasmo e la voglia di formare un proprio gruppo musicale. Convinsero David Miner, chitarrista e cantante, il sassofonista Peter van Gelder e il bassista Bard Dupont e, scartato il nome "The Acid Fraction", costituirono The Great Society (riprendendo beffardamente un'espressione dell'allora presidente in carica Lyndon Johnson).
The Great Society esordì il 15 ottobre 1965 alla Coffee Gallery di San Francisco, e in seguito si esibì come gruppo di spalla assieme ai più famosi nomi della musica della West Coast del periodo – Jefferson Airplane e Grateful Dead in testa – in diverse occasioni, tra le altre alla Longshoreman's Hall nell'ottobre 1965 e al raduno del 10 dicembre dello stesso anno organizzato da Bill Graham al Fillmore Auditorium per una raccolta di fondi.
Siglarono un contratto con la Columbia, ma dopo un anno dalla costituzione Darby Slick e Peter van Gelder decisero di andare in India per dedicarsi allo studio del sitar. In quel clima di disgregazione, Grace Slick ricevette la proposta di sostituire Signe Toly Anderson come vocalist dei Jefferson Airplane, invito che rappresentava il riconoscimento delle sue doti musicali e che la Slick accettò di buon grado. Questo chiuse la breve esperienza del gruppo musicale.
Photo of the music group The Great Society. From left-Grace Slick, Jerry Slick (carrying Grace), David Miner, Bard Dupont, and Darby Slick. Grace Slick began her musical career with the band. Her ex-husband, Jerry, and former brother-in-law, Darby, were also members. Darby Slick is the author of "Somebody to Love", which became a hit for Grace and her new band, Jefferson Airplane.…
HistoryIn the late summer of 1965, Grace, Darby, and Jerry were inspired by The Beatles to start their own group, assembling it fairly quickly. Grace has also said that seeing Jefferson Airplane perform for the first time was an influence as well. The band made its debut at the Coffee Gallery in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood on October 15, 1965 and continued to perform throughout 1966.
The band released only one single during its lifetime, the Darby Slick-penned "Someone to Love" (b/w "Free Advice"). The single was issued in February 1966 on Autumn Records' tiny Northbeach subsidiary label and made little impact outside of the Bay Area. While signed to Autumn Records, the band worked with the label's staff producer, Sylvester Stewart (better known as Sly Stone), who at the time was still in the process of forming his own band, Sly and the Family Stone. Purportedly, Stewart would eventually walk out as the band's producer after it took The Great Society over fifty takes to record a version of the song "Free Advice" that was suitable for release.
Momentum for the band began to build as they started opening for Jefferson Airplane and other successful local bands, with Columbia Records offering The Great Society a recording contract. However, by the time the contract arrived in the mail, Grace had decided to replace departing vocalist Signe Toly Anderson in the Airplane. Since Grace had been both the visual and musical focal point, the band could not survive without her and disbanded in the fall of 1966. Grace and Jerry Slick would soon divorce as well.
The Airplane recorded "Someone to Love" (retitled as "Somebody to Love") and Grace's own "White Rabbit" for Surrealistic Pillow. Both songs were released as singles in 1967, reaching No. 5 and No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 respectively. To capitalize on Grace's fame with the Airplane, Columbia Records released tapes of live performances by The Great Society, on the 1968 albums Conspicuous Only in its Absence and How It Was. All of those performances were recorded at The Matrix, a small nightclub in the Cow Hollow neighborhood of San Francisco, whose house band was the Airplane. These two albums were later repackaged as a double LP titled Collector's Item in 1971. This double album has been issued twice on CD, once by Edsel Records in 1989 (under the title Live at the Matrix) and again in 2008 under its original title. In 1995 Sundazed Records released the Born to Be Burned compilation, featuring both sides of the band's debut single along with a number of previously unreleased studio recordings. (There is an error on the Sundazed CD; Track 1 is listed as being the issued take of "Free Advice" on the Northbeach single. This is wrong; the issued take is in fact track 16, with a slight edit at the end.)
"The Great Society" was a popular name for musical groups in the 1960s, due to the popularity of the term as used by the then President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson's administration for his Great Society. On one occasion, in Fort Worth, Texas, The Great Society (with Grace Slick) and a similarly named four-man group performed on opposite sides of the city on the same evening.
- Darby Slick - guitar, backing vocals (1965-1966)
- Grace Slick - vocals, recorder, organ, guitar, bass (1965-1966)
- Jerry Slick - drums (1965-1966)
- Peter van Gelder - bass, flute, saxophone (1965-1966)
- David Miner - vocals, guitar (1965-1966)
- Bard Dupont - bass, harmonica (1965-1966)
- Oscar Daniels - guitar (1965)
- Jean Piersol - vocals (1965)
|Album||Label||Year Released||Year Recorded||Details|
|Conspicuous Only in Its Absence||Columbia||1968||1966||Live recordings released following the success of Jefferson Airplane|
|How It Was||Columbia||1968||1966||Additional live recordings released following the success of Jefferson Airplane|
|Collector's Item||Columbia||1971||1966||2-LP reissue of the previous two Columbia albums|
|Live at the Matrix||Edsel/Demon||1989||1966||British reissue of the same live material previously released on Columbia|
|Born to Be Burned||Sundazed||1995||1965||Archival material including previously unreleased studio recordings from the sessions that produced their Northbeach single|
- "Someone to Love"/"Free Advice" (Northbeach No. 1001) February 1966
- "Sally, Go 'Round The Roses"/"Didn't Think So" (CBS 44583) 1968
21 mag 2009 - Caricato da Oliver WreckordsA great Studio song by The Great society it is quasi-psycedelic which is pretty cool cause it was made in 1965 ..
26 nov 2015 - Caricato da John HendersonA live rendition from 1965 of a superb David Miner song (an "over-the-moon-cow" ?), with Grace Slick taking ...