Jefferson Airplane – “Somebody to Love”/ “White Rabbit”
RCA Victor, 1967
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2005
This was no doubt purchased after a reviewing of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Funny that this should come up, because I’ve been thinking about Fear and Loathing a lot lately. When I was in high school, I bought my treasured paperback copy of the book at the Half Price Books on Metcalf, the store where I now work. I’ve been coming to the understanding that my childhood and the KC Metro Area are sewn together. If only I was working at the Olathe store. I remember when it opened, and my mom said, “You should go apply at Half Price Books.” Funny. Holy shit, I love being back in Kansas. I spent so many years hating living here and now I couldn’t be happier. It’s more than the fact that people here know how to drive and don’t frequently run red lights. It’s more than the fact that the people are openly friendly (although that’s part of it). I feel like a moth coming out of transformation. Went to a Minneapolis sized pupa and came back almost two years later a grown ass man. It’s all very strange. I hear myself actively being OK with potentially living a normal, suburban lifestyle (in Lawrence hopefully, but in a house with a good school district for the Baby Nugget. Haircuts on a regular basis, interior design with new furniture, holy shit). I rallied against all that shit so hard when I was 16-25 and the idea that you are going to live in the city and be an artist now seems to be a total Peter Pan-ish thing reserved for your early twenties. So anyway, “White Rabbit” takes me back to a time when Fear and Loathing was my post-punk rock jam. Honestly, Fear and Loathing sparked the tiny journalistic fuse in my brain and caused me to start blogging and ultimately, way down the line, writing little observation pieces for college radio. The book and this song are fused. The vinyl is in awesome shape, which seems like a miracle because these 45s from the 60s are almost always thrashed when I come across them at HPB. Even though “Somebody to Love” is probably THEE song most used to illustrated the trippy, free-love 60s, Grace Slick’s vocals are raw and vital and if you can pretend you’re hearing the song for the first time it’s pretty fucking great. “White Rabbit” is, of course, weird and spooky and spends its running time building upon itself until it boils over (and Johnny Depp throws the stereo into the bathtub Benicio Del Toro is sitting in).
"Somebody to Love"
The proper illustration of "White Rabbit"