Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Go Ride the Music and West Pole|
Actor: Various Artists
Director: Robert N. Zagone
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Following on the heels of the release of "A Night At the Family Dog" last year, this new DVD brings together two more TV programs from noted music critic and Rolling Stone co-founder Ralph J Gleason, covering the San Franc... more »
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OY WHAT A MESS
coot veal | 08/13/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, disc one, "Go Ride The Music" has the only worthwhile footage on this two disc set. It's the Airplane playing at Pacific High Studios to some cameras, but no audience present. It's a little strange also because they've just dumped the subtle, inventive, tasteful drummer Spence Dryden in favor of shlock pounder Joey Covington -and believe me, you'll notice. There's a few songs such as "Mexico" and "Emergency" that never made it on to record and here you'll find out why. "We Can Be Together/Volunteers", "Plastic Fantastic Lover", "Somebody To Love", and "Wooden Ships" are good though, and if you're an Airplane fanatic you should get this DVD just based on that. Grace Slick is splendidly beautiful and charismatic, as she was in the pre-booze days, and once again you're reminded that she was really a jazz vocalist singing in a rock band.
The only other redeeming feature of this disc is a solid rendition of "Mona" by Quicksilver featuring a good vocal and guitar solo by the ever-underrated Gary Duncan. There's a couple of other tunes by Quicksilver here but they focus unfortunately on Dino Valenti, who is sort of like Al Pacino doing a bad impersonation of a rock star. Strangely, one of the great keyboard players of the 60's and 70's, Nicky Hopkins, is present and playing but the cameramen chose to ignore him completely.
Disc Two, "West Pole" is pretty much a total washout. The only plus here is to finally here and see the venerable musicologist/writer, Ralph J. Gleason,who did so much to promote the San Francisco scene as it was just emerging. But the song list is MISLEADING. One of the reasons I purchased this DVD is that it lists some tremendous rarites such as the Grateful Dead performing, "New Potato Caboose", the Airplane doing "Greasy Heart" as well as some Steve Miller stuff and more Quicksilver. BUT, these are not actual performances. It's just some overly "psychedelic" (read poorly photographed) early pseudo-videos set to the album tracks of these songs. Bad idea. And the poison cherry on this moldy cake is the mercifully forgotten "Ace of Cups", arguably the worst Bay Area band of all time -sort of like an SNL send up of the era. Yikes. So proceed as advised, my friends...
Sunrise, surprise, civilised man, You were keeper to me, you
Junglies | Morrisville, NC United States | 08/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There were a number of reasons why I sought out this DVD. Firstly to have another record of performances by Bay area bands thatI have listened to for years. Secondly as a bit of a historical record of a time when a different set of rules applied, a sort of revolutionary era, which has since been reversed.
As a musical journal, the version of the Airplane has different characteristics to what is considered by many as the classic lineup. Perhaps this may offend the sensibilities of the purists but things, and people, change. By the time of this recording, the Airplane's evolution was moving forward and would metamorphose again within a few years.
I was very disappointed personally with the clips of Quicksilver and in particular with the focus on Dino Valente while John Cipollina was virtually invisible. Gary Duncan and David Friedberg got a reasonable share of the filming and it is rather cruel irony that Valente's version of the band would persist while Cipollina went on to attain virtuoso status. Again, it is an historical footnote to one of the best, but unluckiest, bands of the era.
The second disc is rescued from mediocrity by the musical interludes of Dead, Airplane and QMS. It is a more historical semi-autobiographical documentary conducted by Ralph Gleason who distracts the viewer by his constant downward glances at his script. I am disinclined to crticise the attempts of Ace of Cups to make their mark in the company of even the Steve Miller band but they made a contribution to the scene as a whole and disappeared alongside hundreds of others.
All in all, not the best collection of Bay Area music, but a reasonable addition to a growing collection. Something to share with our children and our children's children, if they do not laugh too much at our antics.
As a sidenote, I have just learned of a Cheech and Chong reunion tour. Well I can tell you, Dave's not here.
Airplane At Their Height of Power
Robert Piercy | San Jose, CA | 09/01/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's nice to have the Airplane in its entirety, along with QMS, with a clean, clear picture. Although it's not my favorite Airplane performance, it's a fascinating look at when they were at the height of their power, as a band and individually. Each member holds a commanding presence, self-assured and comfortable of their role and collective sound. Marty and Jorma, in particular, are full of testosterone here, like a good rock star should be. Joey adds the new dynamic, the new energy, the power "rock" drummer that is now the centerpiece and focal point for the band, that Grace, Marty and particularly Jorma encircle around, feed off and respond to. Paul and Jack are on either side in the background, but one can't deny how crucial they are to the overall sound. Sound quality itself is still so-so. I can detect no difference in the extrapolated stereo to the mono. Still it's much superior to the horrid UATWMF vinyl that came out later. My only real complaint on this video is why they left out Eskimo Blue Day, which is on the vinyl record. Could it be because, since this was slated for TV, the FCC would not have allowed for a repeated profanity but OK'd the slightly discernible one in WCBT? Lastly, only Marty could have sung the chorus to the Delfonics 'La La Means I Love You' at the beginning and refrain of a counter-culture anthem like Wooden Ships and made it work. But that was the Airplane then, wildly diverse and creative as we all know and love them."
Go Ride the Music and West Pole
J. Carr | 08/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Excellent - The Airplane at their best. Been waiting since 1971 for this to resurface."