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Rock DVD: Go Ride The Music & West Pole by Various

The late jazz and rock music journalist Ralph J. Gleason is credited for highlighting the burgeoning the late ‘60s San Francisco psychedelic rock scene while also co-founding Rolling Stone magazine. Gleason produced these flicks that originally aired as one-hour TV shows. Therefore, he was instrumental in getting the word out during those hippie trippy days where anti-war protests and excessive drug use played a vital roll within the grand schema.

It’s a stroll down memory lane for me. Here, we find Jefferson Airplane in the studio performing classing pieces such as "We Can Be Together," and "Plastic Fantastic Lover." In effect, the band projects a peace, love and happiness sense of being via acid rock motifs to complement Marty Balin and Grace Slick’s sprightly vocalizations. Other scenes include outdoor festival performances by Quicksilver Messenger Service and cameos by Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia who says that Jefferson Airplane’s chemistry "is a special kind of dope." In other areas, the filmmakers inject split screen images and psychedelia-based background scenes to accompany the music.

On the second disc, Gleason provides comments and narration about the San Francisco scene, alluding to the "cultural revolution" mindset of the time. And once again the music is augmented by fast-forward type imagery and other hip celluloid effects. As the Sons of Champlin, and Steve Miller Band are showcased along with the all-female and lesser-known rock group, Ace of Cups.

Miller’s lovely piece titled "Roll With It Sittin’ In Circles," offers a preamble to his ensuing fame on the pop-rock circuit to complement the Sons of Champlin’s blend of soul-jazz horns and toe-tapping rock grooves. Otherwise, it is difficult to fathom that it all took place nearly forty-years ago. No doubt, it was an infinitely creative era amid all the elements and mechanics, which served as the basis for this phantasmagorical timestamp in American music.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Various
  • CD Title: Rock DVD: Go Ride The Music & West Pole
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Eagle Rock
  • Musicians: Artists: Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Ace Of Cups, The Grateful Dead, Sons Of Champlin, Steve Miller Band
  • Rating: Three Stars
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