Starship in 1974 at Radio City Music Hall

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Posted by Chris Hager on 03/07/02 - 11:55:45
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I remember going to New York City in 1974 to see Jefferson Starship at Radio City Music Hall.  It was my first trip to New York alone.  I booked a room at the New York Hilton (a whopping $65 a night back then!), ate dinner at the House of Chan over on Seventh Avenue (The restaurant is long gone.), and headed over to Radio City.  About 5 minutes before curtain, a voice announced that Grace was ill and that the show would be postponed to the next night.  I noticed that Paul Kantner and David Freiberg were at the foot of the stage talking with some fans.  I read later that the band took some fans who couldn't afford to stay over night and put them up in a hotel.  By luck, I was already going to stay another day, so I was set to go.  The next day, Dragonfly was released.  I bought it at the Sam Goody's next to Radio City and took it back to my hotel room to study the lyric sheet.  I cursed the fact that I had no turntable (Remember those?) on which to listen, and I couldn't believe that Marty had contributed a song and guest vocal on Caroline. (For you "youngsters" who may not know, Marty was not in the band at this time.  David Freiberg, who alternated on bass guitar and keyboards with Pete Sears, sang the higher male vocals, and had two lead vocals on the Dragonfly album.  He sang those tunes in concert on this tour.  When Marty came back, he took over lead vocals on those songs, and Freiberg sang no more leads on recordings.  He usually sang one song in concert after that, and it was often a Quicksilver number.)  Anyway, the band DID play the next night, coming out full blast to Ride the Tiger.  The entire second side of Blows Against the Empire was a highlight, and Dragonfly was heavily featured, including Hyperdrive and All Fly Away.  Unlike today's Jefferson Starship, Airplane material was virtually ignored with a few exceptions, but the solo and duo/trio albums involving Grace, Paul, Papa John, and Freiberg received heavy play as a group.  Grace took the opportunity near the start of the show to say something to the women in the audience about making sure their men wore condoms.  Apparently she was sick the night before due to a bad reaction to sulfa.  At least, that's what she said.  You fill in the missing parts!  It was a great start to the up and down roller coaster ride that ended that phase of Jefferson Starship after the 1978 Earth album and tour.  I will always have great memories of that concert and the two nights the band played at Radio City in 1975 during the Red Octopus tour.  Regards, Chris Hager

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