Monday night, the second night of the Airplane — Dead — Quicksilver engagement is not a big night for rock and roll shows, but the hall seemed to be filled again. By now everyone knew about Janis, but the crowd was not in a mournful mood. Said Jerry Garcia after the Dead’s set:
“The crowd seemed a little crazier last night than tonight, I don’t know. You have to understand that I have no memory. That’s the price I pay. The difference in vibes? It makes a big difference in vibes if you tell somebody, Janis died. That’s like heavy news. But listen, man, these are all people who’ve been on lots of trips, and they’re sensitive, far-out, weird people, probably the weirdest people on earth in this place, and they’ve all looked at death a million times in lots of different ways. Nobody’s really uptight about death. Death is something that really happens.
“Janis was like a real person, man. She went through all the changes we did. She went on all the same trips. She was just like the rest of us — fucked up, strung out, in weird places. Back in the old days, the pre-success days, she was using all kinds of things, just like anybody, man.
“When she went out after something, she went out after it really hard, harder than most people ever think to do, ever conceive of doing.”
Bob Weir: “You know about the irony of her getting Bessie Smith a tombstone. I think we, the bands, should put together a collection and get her a tombstone, kind of a cheap, gaudy tombstone, the way she’d have wanted. I know she doesn’t like want her ashes scattered to the wind, man, she’ll want to go six feet under like all her songs.”
Pigpen had a personal kind of tribute in mind: “When I get a few days I’m gonna set back and get ripped on Southern Comfort.
“I turned her on to Southern Comfort, man. I knew her when she came up in ’63 and I was with the jugband. Then she came back to Texas, and when she came back up I told her one day, ‘Tex, try some of this.’ She said (rolling his eyes, reeling), ‘Oh man, that’s good!’
“We used to get drunk and play pool together. She beat me 80 percent of the time.”
Marty Balin of the Airplane didn’t appear on Monday night. “He’s feeling really down,” said Paul Baratta, “and he thinks this is going to be a funeral thing for Janis. But Bob Weir told him, ‘Hey, man, Janis went the way she wanted to go, come on.’ But he isn’t coming.”
Neither Baratta nor any of the groups spoke of Janis from the stage. But there seemed to be a special edge in the way the Airplane — a trio, as Grace had not yet come on stage and Marty wasn’t there at all announced, “What do you want to bet by the end of the evening you’re all gonna be dancing?” – Charles Perry (Rolling Stone)
Power brokers pocket check in the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park in early 1967.
The managers from left, Bill Thompson (Jefferson Airplane), Bill Graham (Fillmore Auditorium)
Julius Karpen (Big Brother and the Holding Company), Rock Scully (Grateful Dead), Ron Polte (Quicksilver Messenger Service), and Danny Rifkin (Grateful Dead). I just recently spoke with Julius Karpen about this shot and he said that when he put his hand in Rock’s pocket, there was a big roll of money.
-Jerilyn, September 2015
Mickey and Jerry
Bobby and Phil
Digital Remix New Content (not seen in printed book)
Photos: Top to Bottom, Jim Marshall, Tom Weir, Tom Weir