Paul Kantner was not the leader of Jefferson Airplane, the sixties band that came to epitomize the counterculture. Leadership rotated, original leader Marty Balin once joked, to whichever member was currently involved with Grace Slick. Neither was Kantner Jefferson Airplane or 70s Jefferson Starship’s lead vocalist, being only one of four singers, his warm, understated vocals often eclipsed by Slick and Balin’s more attention-grabbing turns. Nor was Kantner his bands’ primary songwriter – one of the Airplane’s four primary songwriters, he was just one hand on the Jefferson Starship overcrowded deck. All this is not however to bury Kantner – that occurred, literally, in January 2016, at age 74 – it is absolutely to praise him. Indeed to praise him in the most comradely fashion: as a key component in a countercultural collective, the very antithesis of the individualist diva.Read more
The world must know. The world simply must know, must be shaken by the shoulders until it collectively acknowledges that something like the Monks can exist. That there can be such a thing as “avant-garde garage rock,” and that it can be played by active American G.I.’s increasingly alienated with the army. It needs to know, fifty years to the calendar month after the release of their only album.
Ten years back there was in fact something of a surge in interest around the Monks. A documentary was made, a tribute album was put out featuring the (International) Noise Conspiracy, the Fall, and a few other recognized inheritors of the garage rock sound.Read more