Monday, October 01, 2018

Marty Balin 1942-2018

From their debut appearance in NYC -- at the Cafe Au Go Go in legendary Greenwich Village on April 3, 1967-- please enjoy Jefferson Airplane (featuring the great Marty Balin, who co-wrote the song with lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen) and their fabulous "She Has Funny Cars."

The lead-off track from Surrealistic Pillow, which remains one of the great American rock albums of the 60s.

I was at that show, BTW. On a date. With...well, I'm not gonna drag that lovely woman into this.

If I may go off on a brief tangent here -- I had forgotten that Marty already had an attempted Top 40 teen idol career before he got the Airplane together; here's a record he did in 1962. Sounds a little like Gene Pitney, I think.

In any case, I was, and still am, a humongous Airplane fan; my first serious band might as well have been an Airplane tribute act, as you can see by our performance in this 1969 student film. (We enter approximately two minutes in).

I got to meet Balin once, in 1975. RCA Records flew me out to San Francisco when Jefferson Starship (not Starship -- this is when they were still good) were in the studio recording Red Octopus. He was kind of a moody, brooding presence, but when I asked him about an old Airplane song they had performed on TV but never released in a studio version, he totally opened up to me. I thought he was a very cool guy.

Still do.

RIP, Marty.


pete said...

Link to Funny Cars not working. Loving the Gene Pitney....

bruce said...

As well as great stuff Marty sang like "Today" one song impressed me was "Share a little joke". It sounded more like a kind of Sartrean Broadway tune. Now this early single shows he had broader singing experience I wasn't aware of, thanks for that. "Today" still kills me, I've collected every version, listened to it hundreds of times. Vale Marty,

To be any more than all I am
Would be a lie
I'm so full of love
I could burst apart
And start to cry