Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

By the time Eric Clapton formed Cream in 1966 with Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce, he had already logged high-profile gigs with the Yardbirds and British bluesman John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. But his new power trio was bigger, louder and way more popular than either earlier gig. He scored his first No. 1 and first platinum-selling LPs with Cream. Though they released only four albums during their short two-year existence, those records serve as solid cornerstones to blues- and psychedelic-inspired rock of the ’60s.

In their short lifespan, Cream were one of the top album bands on the British, and indeed the world, rock scene. But they also amassed quite a sequence of hit singles, and in the chart week of 14 January 1968, they debuted on the US bestsellers with one of their signature songs, ‘Sunshine Of Your Love.’

‘Sunshine of Your Love’

Before “Sunshine of Your Love,” Cream were basically an album act. The handful of singles they released failed to even dent the charts in the U.S. And then “Sunshine of Your Love” hit in late 1967, and everything changed. The song raced into the Top 10, reaching No. 5 and becoming the band’s biggest hit. But more than that, it anchors Disraeli Gears, one of 1967’s milestone albums.

Psychedelic Lunch

The young art director’s idea to photograph as many of the luminaries of the New York jazz scene as possible together for Esquire’s 1959 Golden Age of Jazz edition began his career as a photographer. Police closed the road to all but residential traffic, and 57 musicians duly assembled in Harlem between Fifth and Madison Avenues. The group included Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Thelonius Monk, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan and Count Basie.

A Great Day In Harlem

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Jefferson Airplane: Somebody To Love, Album: Surrealistic Pillow (1967)

This was written by Grace Slick’s brother-in-law, Darby Slick, in 1965. They were in a San Francisco band called The Great Society, which also included Jerry Slick, who was Grace’s husband and Darby’s brother (Jerry played drums; Darby played guitar). The Great Society released the song as a single in late 1965 with another Darby Slick composition, “Free Advice,” on the B-side.

The single went nowhere, and when Darby started exploring Indian music in 1966, the group broke up and Grace joined Jefferson Airplane, which was already established. When she arrived at her new group, she came bearing hits: they recorded a new version of “Somebody To Love” and also did “White Rabbit,” which she wrote as a member of The Great Society.

With royalties he earned from writing “Somebody To Love,” Darby Slick spent years learning Indian music.

San Francisco in the mid-’60s was the epicenter of free love, but Darby Slick saw a downside to this ethos, as it could lead to jealousy and disconnect. This song champions loyalty and monogamy, as the singer implores us to find that one true love that will nurture us and get us through the tough times.

Jefferson Airplane’s first hit song, “Somebody To Love” was also one of the first big hits to come out of the US West Coast counterculture scene. Over the next few years, musicians flocked to the San Francisco Bay area to be part of this scene.

The original version of this song that Grace Slick sang with The Great Society is more subdued. With Jefferson Airplane she sounds far more accusatory and menacing when she belts out lines like “Your mind is so full of red” and “Your friends, baby, they treat you like a guest.”

Jefferson Airplane performed this at Woodstock in 1969. One of the most popular bands on the bill, they got the headlining slot on Day 2, but ended up taking the stage at 8 a.m. the following morning, going on after The Who.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “The Women Of Rock Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Patti Smith

Patricia Lee Smith (born December 30, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author, and poet who became an influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses.

Called the “punk poet laureate,” Smith fused rock and poetry in her work. Her most widely known song is “Because the Night,” which was co-written with Bruce Springsteen. It reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1978 and number five in the U.K. In 2005, Smith was named a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. In 2007, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “The Women Of Rock Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Stevie Nicks

What makes Stevie Nicks “The Queen of Rock and Roll”? For more than 40 years, singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks has captivated audiences around the world with her unforgettable music. Nicks has the distinction of being one of the most prolific songwriters of her generation, which has paved the way for other female singer-songwriters to excel in a male-dominated industry that often dismissed their ambition to be serious performing artists. She has influenced the work of countless other artists and musicians, such as Tori Amos, Vanessa Carlton, Sheryl Crow, Dixie Chicks, Courtney Love, Maroon 5, Sarah McLachlan, and Smashing Pumpkins.

As a member of the legendary band Fleetwood Mac and as a successful solo artist, Nicks has sold more than 150 million albums worldwide. She has earned five Grammy Award nominations for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance and one nomination with Fleetwood Mac for Best Album, which the band won in 1978 for Rumours. Nicks was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Fleetwood Mac in 1998.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “The Women Of Rock Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Joan Jett

  • Many of her commercial successes came from covers of songs originally recorded with male voices: The Arrows’ “I Love Rock And Roll,” Tommy James and the Shondells’ “Crimson And Clover,” Gary Glitter’s “Do You Wanna Touch Me,” and AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.”

    The songs she most identifies with, however, are the ones she wrote herself, especially “Bad Reputation.”
  • Her teacher once threw her out of her voice lessons. The teacher was an opera singer who didn’t like the way Jett was dressed.
  • She is a huge fan of the New York Liberty of the WNBA, and can often be seen sitting courtside at their games.
  • She began as a member of the all-girl rock group, The Runaways. Future heavy metal queen Lita Ford was a band mate.
  • Jett starred in the movie The Light of Day with Michael J. Fox. She also appeared in the stage version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show with a bald head, and acted in a movie about the Runaways called We’re All Crazy Now, with actresses playing the other band members. It was never released.
  • In 1979, she released two songs in Holland that she had recorded with ex-Sex Pistols Paul Cook and Steve Jones.
  • Her first album features Blondie members Clem Snide and Frank Infante. It was originally titled Joan Jett, but the record label (Boardwalk) renamed it Bad Reputation.
  • Jett produced many of her own recordings and has done production work for others. Her credits include the Peaches track “I Don’t Give A…” and the Bikini Kill song “Rebel Girl.”
  • She was a staunch supporter of the politician Howard Dean, the governor of Vermont from 1991-2003. When Dean ran for President in 2004, Jett accompanied him to the Iowa caucus, where in his speech to supporters, the candidate let forth a scream of excitement that came off as un-presidential. The media seized the moment, and Dean’s campaign was doomed. Jett was onstage at the time – she says the media got it all wrong; the scream was not angry but effervescent.
  • Ricky Byrd, lead guitarist for the Blackhearts, knows the importance of style. In the book MTV Ruled the World – The Early Years of Music Video, when asked if he thought fashion was important to a band’s success, he answers: “Oh come on, man, it led everything. Billy Idol was great with videos. People would see them and start dressing like him. Look at Madonna. Would Madonna be so big if video wasn’t around, so people could see what she does? If you were a kid, and you just heard one of those songs on the radio, would you be as impressed as if you saw her rolling around on the floor? Shock value is hard to put across on the radio, unless you’re Jim Morrison or something like that… if it’s just outward sex appeal that’s in the words.”
  • Her birth name is Joan Larkin, but she legally changed it in the early ’80s. She came up with the “Jett” moniker after hanging out at a Sunset Strip club called Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco, where all the fabulous people used outlandish names.
  • She became one of the first female artists to found her own record label when she and producer/songwriter Kenny Laguna launched Blackheart Records in 1980. Aside from releasing Joan Jett & The Blackhearts albums, the label also helmed releases by hip-hop artists Big Daddy Kane and Professor Griff, and punk acts like The Eyeliners and The Dollyrots.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “The Women Of Rock Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Janis Joplin

  • Joplin was found dead in room 105 of the Landmark Hotel in Los Angeles after a heroin overdose. The hotel was later renamed The Highland Gardens.
  • She left $1500 in her will for a funeral party. It was held at The Lion’s Share in San Anselmo, California, on October 26, 1971. The Grateful Dead performed.
  • She was on the cover of Newsweek May 26, 1969 with the headline, “Rebirth of the Blues.” She was slated for the cover in April, but got bumped when former president Dwight Eisenhower died.
  • Her idol was the blues singer Bessie Smith. When Joplin found out Smith was buried in an unmarked grave, she bought a headstone that read, “The greatest Blues singer in the world will never stop singing.”
  • The 1979 movie The Rose, starring Bette Midler, was based on Joplin’s life.
  • In 1963, she was voted “The Ugliest Man on Campus” at the University of Texas, Austin. This prompted her to leave her home state of Texas and go to San Francisco.
  • She was going to be married in 1966, but backed out to join Big Brother and the Holding Company. Other dating exploits include going to a barbecue with the future United States Secretary of Education William J. Bennett and hitting Doors frontman Jim Morrison over the head with a broken bottle when he tried to pick her up.
  • Joplin appeared in many movies, mostly because of her music. These include Janis, Woodstock, Festival Expressand Petulia (starring George C. Scott and the Grateful Dead).
  • Love, Janis is a biography of her written by her sister Laura, who is also a psychotherapist.
  • She played with many bands over her career. She started with Big Brother, and then used the Joplinaires, the Kozmic Blues Band, and the Full Tilt Boogie Band as backing groups.
  • She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 – the same year as Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers Band, Frank Zappa, Al Green, Martha and the Vandellas, and Neil Young.
  • Her ashes were scattered off the coast of California.
  • Joplin: “Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions and no answers. You can fill your life up with ideas and still go home lonely. All you really have that really matters are feelings. That’s what music is to me.”
  • In 1967, one of Janis’ lovers was Joe McDonald, of Country Joe and the Fish. They were reportedly quite happy together; they would typically lie together in their apartment and crank up the radio whenever either a Country Joe or a Big Brother (Janis’ band) song would come on. Janis joked that for a while their bands merged into “Country Brother and the Holding Fish.” They broke up very amicably, parting more for their careers than anything else.
  • Probably one of the greatest tragedies that shaped Janis’ worldview and hence life was her having been born and raised in the small oil town of Port Arthur, Texas. Many times she would refer to the relentless bullying she’d been a victim of in that most conservative of US states. She spent most of her adult life seeking the approval and acceptance she’d never found in school. In 1969, just after a September concert at the Hollywood Bowl, she played for a packed audience in Austin, Texas, in October. Of the audience described in the papers as “frantically enthusiastic,” she remarked afterwards “I used to go to school here and they never treated me like this!”
  • Janis’s father Seth Joplin was an engineer at a Texas plant in Port Arthur. Both he and Dorothy East, his wife and Janis’s mother, wanted their daughter to become a schoolteacher.
  • Producer John Simon recalls that Janis Joplin would methodically practice various kinds of shrieks and screams which, of course, were made to seem like spontaneous, instinctive explosions of emotion in concert. “She’d go, ‘How about this scream?’ She’d say, ‘Tina Turner does this,’ or ‘Mama Thornton does it this way.'”

Psychedelic Lunch