At the time of this interview with Lisa Robinson, Kantner was recording an album, with help from various members of Jefferson Starship, to accompany his novel-in-progress, Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra. There are real nuggets here about his recollections of the 60's, the constantly rotating membership of the band, their in-fighting, and his relationship with Grace Slick and their daughter, China Kantner.
The other main thematic element of this interview was based on a recent debate Paul had with Reverend Wesley Ates before a Jefferson Starship concert in Normal, Illinois. The Reverend had asked to discuss the "satanic messages" contained in various Jefferson Airplane/Starship songs, and Paul, with nothing to do that night, obliged. Besides discussing this event, the two go on to talk here about other songs accused of supporting satan, the pros and cons of the religious attack on rock n' roll, and how it all fit into the general picture of America at the time.
Throughout, Paul is blunt, philosophical, and, in his way, hilarious.
00:00 - Thoughts on religion01:20 - A debate on satanic lyrics in rock n' roll03:12 - The danger of religious fanaticism for rock n' roll / joys of extremism05:32 - The danger of rock n' roll for religion06:26 - The potential danger of religious fanaticism for the world07:01 - Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra: The solo album and novel 09:17 - The story of the novel09:52 - Technology for amplifying mental telepathy; why children are better at using it 11:22 - What keeps Jefferson Starship going12:08 - What else would Paul do for a living?13:12 - Folk music and the civil rights movement responsible for Paul's career14:37 - The implications of not having to fight to survive16:16 - What China Kantner listens to at age 1117:22 - Is rock n' roll still more than the music?19:35 - Avoiding feeling dated by branching out20:48 - The pitfalls of planning in advance / Grace Slick's desire for structure22:15 - Why Aynsley Dunbar left the Starship22:39 - What they thought Mickey Thomas would add24:03 - Other considerations for a female singer for the Starship (Pat Benatar!)24:59 - The decision making process in Jefferson Starship25:46 - In-band tensions' effect on music / how the Jefferson groups made it through29:10 - A history of head traumas 29:39 - Reacting calmly to bad situations30:06 - Thoughts on death31:56 - The unedited version of "Stairway to Cleveland" / Letter to Rolling Stone34:17 - Difficulty with romance and comedy35:18 - Writing songs with energy, new directions for writing (continued on part 2…)
01:16 - Thoughts on Marty Balin's "Miracles" / radio-friendly songs02:59 - The state of the music industry / thoughts on "free" music04:36 - The Jefferson Starship's current audience05:32 - Still crusading / dangerous dance rituals06:46 - The bizarre punk scenes in L.A. and N.Y.07:26 - A man of extremes07:59 - Not taking stupid risks / evolution of drugs of choice08:47 - Recollections of 1967 / what China knows about the time09:33 - China's lyric writing10:14 - Thoughts on media attention when living with Grace11:05 - A confused timeline of the Jefferson Airplane/Starship11:56 - Different directions for Starship members / "How-to" books12:42 - How-to books: Playing the 12-string guitar; Getting revenge 14:33 - Backwards songs - "Stairway to Heaven," "A Child is Coming," "Another One Bites the Dust"17:45 - Grace's comings and goings / in-band sexism18:54 - How the band members are getting along / like a family20:25 - Reflection on the Jefferson Airplane/Starship overview: a soap opera21:55 - Kurt Vonnegut's conception of karass / America's youth as a nation22:57 - The Grateful Dead's audience24:30 - "Belief" in weapons25:37 - Made in Japan vs. Made in America26:09 - Responsibility for performing benefits / How Jerry Lewis stayed up all night
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