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Authors: Grace Slick,Andrea Cagan

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Somebody to Love?

BOOK: Somebody to Love?
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If you purchase this book without a cover you should be aware that this book may have been stolen property and reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher. In such case neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

WARNER BOOKS EDITION

Copyright © 1998 by Grace Slick

All right reserved.

Cover design by Rachel McClain

Book design and composition by L&G McRee

Warner Books, Inc., Hachette Book Group, 237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Visit our Web site at
www.HachetteBookGroup.com

First eBook Edition: December 1999

ISBN: 978-0-446-55442-8

Copyright Acknowledgments

The author and publisher gratefully acknowledge permission to reprint the following material:

Lyrics from “Philadelphia Freedom,” by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Copyright © 1975 Big Pig Music Ltd. All Rights for U.S. administered by Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. Canadian Rights administered by Chappell Music Canada Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. Warner Bros. Publications U.S., Inc., Miami, FL 33014

Lyrics from “Somebody to Love,” by Darby Slick. Copyright © Irving Music. Used by Permission.

Lyrics from “White Rabbit,” by Grace Slick. Copyright © Irving Music. Used by Permission.

Lyrics from “Lather,” by Grace Slick. Copyright © Icebag Corp. Used by Permission.

Lyrics from “Triad,” by David Crosby. Copyright © Stay Straight. Used by Permission.

Lyrics from “Ride the Tiger,” by Paul Kantner. Copyright © Ronin Music. Used by Permission.

Lyrics from “Comin' Back to Me,” by Marty Balin. Copyright © Icebag Corp. Used by Permission.

Lyrics from “Third Week in the Chelsea,” by Jorma Kaukonen. Copyright © Icebag Corp. Used by Permission.

Lyrics from “Starship,” by Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Marty Balin, and Gary Blackman. Copyright © God Tunes. Used by Permission.

Lyrics from “Manhole,” by Grace Slick. Copyright © Mole Music. Used by Permission.

Lyrics from “Do It the Hard Way,” by Grace Slick. Copyright © Ronin Music. Used by Permission.

Lyrics from “Hyperdrive,” by Grace Slick. Copyright © Ronin Music. Used by Permission.

Lyrics from “Panda,” by Grace Slick. Copyright © Helmets Without Heads. Used by Permission.

Contents

Dedication

Preface

Author's Note

Part One

1: The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend

2: I Love L.A.

3: Geisha Grace

4: 1798 or 1998?

5: Grouser

6: Toodles

7: Fat

8: Blue Balls

9: What to Do with a Finger Bowl

10: “Old” Men

11: Convulsive Decision

12: Stupid Jobs

13: Grace Cathedral

14: Use It

15: Peyote, Sweet Potatoes, and LSD

16: The Scene

17: Initiation Rites

18: Knobs and Dials and Wires

19: Lather

20: Jailbirds

21: Monterey Pop

22: Woodstock

23: Altamont

24: Ladies (and Gentlemen) of the Canyon

25: Reruns

26: Strawberry Fuck

27: The Big House

28: And the Winner Is …

Part Two

29: Dosing Tricky Dick

30: Small Busts

31: China

32: The Chrome Nun

33: Fanatics and Fans

34: Silver Cup

Part Three

35: Seacliff

36: Jefferson Starship

37: The Brandy Twins

38: All-Access Pass

39: Firing Myself

40: TUIs

41: Immoderation

42: Working Solo

43: An Easy Ride

44: Exits

45: Panda

46: The Political Pie

47: The Cold Shoulder

48: The Gamut

49: On the Road Again

Part Four

50: Rising with the Sun

51: Fire and Passion

52: Rock and Roll and Aging

53: Dropping the Body

54: A Few Closing Words

Discography 1966–1995

The World According to Grace

“I've enjoyed the accommodations offered by police departments from Florida to Hawaii. Any time I saw a badge, something in me would snap.”

“The wiser you get on the inside, the uglier you get on the outside. The world's great gurus have beautiful things to say but they generally look like shit.”

“Jim Morrison was a well-built boy, larger than average, and young enough to maintain the engorged silent connection right through the residue of chemicals.”

“In Germany I ingested the entire contents of the hotel minibar before a show and stuck my fingers in this guy's nostrils because I thought they would fit.”

“The first words I ever heard the alcohol rehab counselor say were ‘Good morning, assholes!’ With that, I liked him right away.”

“IT'S HARD NOT TO ADMIRE HER VERVE AND SASS.”


New York Times Book Review

“Provides fascinating backstage glimpses into the halcyon days of hippiedom.”


People

“Gracefully outrageous … a treasure trove of backstage gossip and psychedelic philosophy.”


San Francisco Examiner

“A fascinating journey … as outrageous and shocking as the days when she used to lift her top to flash a crowd.”


Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“A fun, emblematic trip.”


Kirkus Reviews

“Slick tells her story with unflinching candor and humor.”


Washington Post Book World

“An enjoyable psychedelic pastry, a look back at rock's game of musical beds, and a report on the life's ups and downs (and other drugs).”

—Jerry Hopkins, coauthor of
No One Here Gets Out Alive

“An absurdly readable page-turning blitz. … A delicious, chaotic, splendid hurtle down the rabbit hole—a trip you'll never forget.”

—Pamela Des Barres, author of
I'm with the Band

“I always loved Grace Slick's talent. Until I read this book I didn't know I loved her wisdom and humor as well.”

—Olivia Goldsmith, author of
The First Wives Club

“Slick can't help being somebody to love—she's smart, sarcastic as ever, and ceaselessly funny … [with] a load of wonderfully colorful stories to tell. … A page-turner throughout.”


Discoveries

“A primer for hipsters with irreverent humor, levelheaded wisdom, persistent defiance, and—yes—sprightly grace.”


BAM
(Pleasant Hill, CA)

“Frank … highly entertaining. … The era of free love has never been better chronicled.”


Library Journal

“Finally, the last great rock-and-roll story … a smart, well-written tale, told as if it's been shot out of a cannon.”

—Steven Gaines, coauthor of
The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles

“Quite entertaining … Slick's language is so strong it might even make Kenneth Starr blush.”


Anniston Star

“Bawdy, boisterous … the unvarnished gospel from a woman guided by passion and freedom of expression.”

—Alanna Nash, music reviewer for
Entertainment Weekly

Love to All

T
HANK
Y
OU TO
A
LL
W
HO
H
ELPED
M
E WITH
T
HIS
B
OOK

Skip Johnson, my friend always

China Kantner, for being exactly who she is

Mom and Dad, for giving me so much more than existence

Chris Wing, for seeing with a child's eyes

Paul Kantner, for humor and invaluable help with my arbitrary memory

Andrea Cagan, for her friendship, her open heart, and her open mind

Brian Rohan, for introducing me to my agent

Maureen Regan, my agent, for talking me into doing this book and getting the “big bucks,” respectively—and for her boundless energy in both personal and business situations

Rick Horgan, my editor, for his suggestions and for letting me play

The Great Society, Airplane, and Starship groups and all associates, for their talent and support

Sister Pat Monahan, for Bucky and for her ability to listen

Vincent Marino, for damn near unconditional love

Ron Neiman, for beautifying the outside and putting up with the inside of my head

Justin Davis, for his unique self and his photograph

And of course, to all the people who've followed our music through the years

A
UTHOR'S
N
OTE

In writing this book, my cowriter, Andrea, and I
first
attempted to proceed by having her ask me questions, after which she'd go to her computer, armed with notes, and construct a scenario around a sentence or paragraph taken from our conversations. The results were sounding disjointed, so we tried a different tack.

The second, ultimately successful method involved Andrea's giving me a foundation for each chapter by providing a list of topics she'd heard me discuss, at which point I'd write down my recollection or interpretation of that aspect of my life. Andrea (being the pro) then organized my thoughts and my horrendous punctuation. I can construct an interesting scene and create plausible dialogue, but distinguishing between colons and semicolons has always struck me as something akin to gastrointestinal surgery.

Yup, these are my words, with the help of the runway, the mechanic, and the control tower.

By the way, several of the names in this story have been changed to protect the guilty.

PART
One

1

The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend

I
t's Chicago, 1973. Jefferson Airplane is tuning up and I'm standing onstage getting ready to sing. Some guy in the audience stands up and shouts, “Hey, Gracie—take off your chastity belt.”

I look directly at him and say, “Hey—I don't even wear underpants.” I pull my skirt up over my head for a beaver shot, and the audience explodes with laughter. I can hear the guys in the band behind me muttering, “Oh, Jesus.”

My response to that particular heckle was actually pleasant compared to what I did in Germany, four or five years later, when I was so drunk, I went up to a guy sitting in the front row and picked his nose. It was the night before I left the band for the first time. To be more accurate, I fired myself. Fed up for a variety of reasons I'll discuss later, having ingested the entire contents of the minibar in my hotel room before I arrived at the venue for the show, I stuck my fingers in this guy's nostrils just because I thought they'd probably fit. Luckily, the majority of that particular German audience had never seen us before, so they must have figured we were some kind of punk band and just let it go.

Why did Grace Wing, a well-educated, contented girl who grew up in a
Leave It to Beaver
household, ultimately embrace such a maverick persona?

Well, sarcasm was always a family trait, but the
real
reason for my tendency toward raucous behavior can best be explained by a 1949 film that I watched when I was a young girl. I recently saw a rerun, and it was all right up there on the screen: a combination of humor and fantasy that was especially appealing to a young child looking for a Technicolor reality.

TV Guide
listing in May 1997:

11:40 (DIS) movie, Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend—comedy (1949) 1:35 Betty Grable.

Love the title.

When I was between the ages of five and nine, the soldiers of the Second World War wanted to
have
Betty Grable, but I wanted to
be
Betty Grable. She was the epitome of an alluring woman; she had it all as far as I was concerned.

My mother told me, “She's got caps on her teeth, bleached blonde hair, and no talent.” Mom, being a natural blonde with a mouth full of perfectly straight teeth, was feeling some resentment. But Miss Grable could have been head-to-toe Styrofoam for all I cared. Whatever it was, it worked for me. When I saw that movie, I figured I had all the information I needed to ride through life like an armored blonde goddess.

The opening shot of
The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend
takes place in 1895 in a small western town. Betty's in jail, still in the fabulous outfit she was wearing for her evening's saloon singing. She's only slightly put out by being in the slammer, and a friend tells her, “Don't worry, you'll be out in minutes. Nobody liked the guy you shot, anyway.”

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