Playing their classics including "We Built This City"
To commemorate Rancho Cordova's 10th year as a city, we are EXCITED to present STARSHIP who will perform "We Built This City" along with their other mega-hits. Originally founded as "Jefferson Airplane" in the 60's, it evolved into "Jefferson Starship" in the 70's and now is known as "Starship". Whatever it's name, you will recognize many of their chart-topping songs throughout the decades.
The History of STARSHIP:
Jefferson Airplane began in 1965, when San Francisco folk singer Marty Balin, who was inspired by the Byrds, decided to form his own folk rock band. He met Paul Kantner, a folk singer and guitarist, who was intrigued by the idea and agreed to co-found the band. They debuted on the Airplane's first album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off (1966). It became a modest national success.
Shortly after, Grace Slick joined the group and brought a unique singing voice and far more assertive stage presence than most female pop singers before her. She completed the Airplane's most successful and creative lineup, listed with their primary instruments:
Grace Slick, vocals
Marty Balin, vocals
Paul Kantner, rhythm guitar/vocals
Jorma Kaukonen, lead guitar
Jack Casady, bass
Spencer Dryden, drums
In a year in which rock 'n roll expanded from teenage songs to more mature themes and experimental music, "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit" both became major U.S. hits. The latter engendered controversy due to its vague drug lyrics and references to "Alice In Wonderland." But controversy was becoming increasingly acceptable in rock music, and Jefferson Airplane provided its fair share.
Jefferson Airplane began as a folk rock ensemble in San Francisco and quickly evolved into an acid rock band that encouraged the entire world to (in the words of "White Rabbit") "feed your head." Their ability to weather change enabled them to survive personnel defections and rise above musical trends, as demonstrated in next step of their evolution: Jefferson Starship.
With Jefferson Airplane having flown its last, a new name was needed for the band Kantner would form with Airplane singer Grace Slick. They named the new group Jefferson Starship. The name was more than just a cosmetic assocation with Jefferson Airplane and the earlier album. In addition to Kantner and Slick, three other members of the new band were also veterans of the Airplane, while the remaining two had played on Kantner and Slick's solo work. Thus, Jefferson Starship's original lineup was drawn from prominent West Coast musicians:
Paul Kantner, rhythm guitar/vocals (founding member of Jefferson Airplane in 1965)
Grace Slick, vocals (joined Airplane in 1966)
Papa John Creach, violin (joined Airplane in 1970)
John Barbata, drums (former member of the Turtles and Crosby Stills Nash & Young's backup band; joined Airplane in 1972)
David Freiberg, vocals/bass/keyboards (former member of Quicksilver Messenger Service; joined Airplane in 1972)
Craig Chaquico, lead guitar (19-year-old former member of Steelwind)
Peter Kaukonen, bass (brother of Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen; had played on one song on Blows)
The new band released Dragon Fly (1974); the album went gold and yielded a minor hit, "Ride the Tiger." But, for many fans, the highlight of the album was the band's one-song reunion with Airplane founding vocalist Marty Balin.
Balin, who had left the Airplane in 1971, was coaxed back by Kantner. In 1975, Balin rejoined the band, boosting the lineup to eight. Fittingly, the second Jefferson Starship album was entitled Red Octopus.
Released in the summer of 1975, Red Octopus sold over two million copies and topped Billboard Magazine's U.S. music chartâ€”the only Airplane or Starship album to do so. Much of its success was due to the hit single, "Miracles," a sultry love ballad written and sung by Balin.
The success of "Miracles" prompted the band to continue in the middle-of-the-road (MOR) vein for the next two albums, Spitfire (1976) and Earth (1978). Both albums sold over a million copies and contained further romantic hits: "With Your Love" (1976) and "Count on Me" and "Runaway" (both 1978).
Several members left the band, including Slick. Undaunted, remaining members Kantner, Freiberg, Chaquico, and Sears recruited a new drummer, Aynsley Dunbar (formerly of Journey) and a new lead singer, Mickey Thomas (formerly of the Elvin Bishop Group). They recorded Freedom at Point Zero (1979), a hard rock album similar in style to those of Bad Company and Foreigner, but with Kantner's science fiction lyrics returning to the fore. This was a risky move, as the band had just lost two star vocalists; to change their musical direction risked alienating their fans further. Against all odds, Freedom went gold and yielded a Top 20 hit, "Jane."
Slick, who had briefly launched a solo career, guested on the band's next release, Modern Times (1981), and rejoined the band shortly before its release. But despite her return, both that album and the next, Winds of Change (1982), sold modestly. As the 1980s dawned, Jefferson Starship found itself struggling to compete with a new force in music, MTV, and against much younger bands such as Duran Duran and Def Leppard.
In 1985, five remaining members (Slick, Thomas, Chaquico, Sears, and drummer Donny Baldwin) reemerged as Starship and - both paradoxically and typically - went on to achieve the band's greatest success with radio-tailored hits such as "We Built this City" and "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now."
Jefferson Starship emerged from the ashes of Jefferson Airplane and achieved greater commercial success than the original band. Yet their resilience and willingness to change musical directions ultimately caused them to evolve into completely different band with no original members.
Now called Starship, it features MICKEY THOMAS who had propelled STARSHIP through the decades of the 80's and 90's. With his soulful and compelling vocals, MICKEY has established himself as one of Rock Music's most recognizable stars. Mickey made his mark in 1976 as lead vocalist on the mega-hit "FOOLED AROUND AND FELL IN LOVE" with The ELVIN BISHOP Band. In 1979, Mickey joined the JEFFERSON STARSHIP as lead vocalist, after the departure of Grace Slick and Marty Balin.
'NOTHING GONNA STOP US NOW" from the movie "Mannequin". Other top hits included "FIND YOUR WAY BACK", "STRANGER", "LAYING IT ON THE LINE", and "IT'S NOT OVER TILL IT'S OVER" which became Major League Baseball's theme in 1987.
Moreover, every STARSHIP album released since 1979 has gone Gold, Platinum, or Multi-Platinum. MICKEY's stellar voice and video charisma on STARSHIP's video classics such as "WE BUILT THIS CITY" and "SARA" have become staples on MTV and VH1. Material covered in STARSHIP's live performance ranges from MICKEY's tenure with THE ELVIN BISHOP Band and STARSHIP, as well as songs from his two solo albums.
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Wednesday, July 3 at 8:15 pm
Be sure to arrive early to get a good seat!
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