Chart Performance: Pop (#8); 1967
Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne
The name “Jefferson Airplane” seemed very hip in 1967, yet, its genesis lay at the feet of man’s best friend. Singer Marty Balin laid the cornerstone for the Airplane in 1965 when he recruited guitarist Paul Kantner. By the time guitarist Jorma Kaukonen joined them, they still didn’t have a name for the band. However, a bluesman friend of Jorma’s did have a dog named Blind Tomas Jefferson Airplane, which the group shortened and temporarily adopted. After “Jefferson Airplane” proved most popular with their fellow San Franciscans, the group decided to keep it. The Airplane’s fifth single, Somebody To Love, introduced the name to a national audience when it peaked at #5 in June of 1967. Next up was White Rabbit; written by singer Grace Slick. Slick based Rabbit‘s melody on Ravel’s Bolero, mined Lewis Carroll’s Alice books for the lyrics, and watched it reach the Top 10 in July as recorded by her and the dog-named Airplane.
This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.
- Rick Jarrard
Lyrics Written by:
- Grace Slick