""Fly Jefferson Airplane" is a musical documentary recommended easily to fans of the beloved San Francisco acid-rock group. Vintage performance footage of their best-known songs are presented in surprisingly-clean footage with good sound fidelity and in their entirety--rare for most "nostalgia" videos. The performances span the classic "hits" of the 1966-1970 era: "It's No Secret", "White Rabbit", "Somebody To Love", "Plastic Fantastic Lover" as well as lesser-known gems "Martha" and the two "Pooneil" songs.
If one is looking for "dirty dish", there is no sniping here. The former band members reflect nostalgically, warmly and philosophically on their collective achievements instead of the often-documented acrimony and in-fighting. They have, it seems, grown up. They are all, Marty Balin points out with some satisfaction, STILL ALIVE. Perhaps no other major rock group of the era can boast such a claim. It is, initially, shocking to see these sexagenarians and reconcile them with the young and vital performers we see in the music clips.
As a documentary, it plays it safe: it avoids a critical perspective on the music, the albums, the band members or live performances. It is, in some ways akin to a souvenir of "The Summer of Love". It does, however, go into enough interesting detail (through interviews with all the band member interspersed throughout) to give the uninitiated or casual fan a reasonably-broad and informative look at the group's history and accomplishments. Bonus features include more interviews and a photo gallery."
WARNING: May trigger flashbacks.
C. ANZIULEWICZ | Spring Hill, WV USA | 11/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I guess I developed my appreciation for the Jefferson Airplane during my college years (1977-1981). I'm no child of the sixties, but my uncle went to Woodstock, and like many college students I learned of the magical powers of certain hallucinogenic substances. There is some ineffable quality in Jefferson Airplane's music that lends itself well to the psychedelic experience, and anyone who knows where I'm coming from ought to get this DVD. Apparently produced under the auspices of Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, this disc captures some of the magic of the San Francisco music scene, circa 1965-1972, and the pivotal role Jefferson Airplane played therein. That the members of the band are still alive and still relatively LUCID is nothing short of amazing, but if you are looking for dish, you won't find much here; there's nothing in the interviews that hints of the acrimony that sometimes flared during the band's heyday. But the musical performances: WOW! Where did they dig up some of these films? And how did they preserve them so well? Particularly fascinating for me is the performance of "It's No Secret," featuring the band's FIRST female vocalist, Signe Anderson. Her presence is altogether different from that of her successor, Grace Slick, but there's something about the quality of her voice that always intrigued me. The performance is a heady mixture of exultant vocals, jubilant dancing in the audience, and of course those very trippy liquid light shows that Ms. Anderson's first husband was apparently responsible for. I don't think you can overestimate the archival value of "Fly Jefferson Airplane." So break out the stash, slap this disc on the DVD player, and take a little TRIP back in time ...."
Way better than I expected
Terry I | Tigard, OR | 10/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like I said, this DVD was much better than I was expecting it to be. The sound and video are very clean, and a few songs have been re-engineered into 5.1 DD. The songs are presented in their entirety without interruption or voiceover.
The interviews, interspersed between the songs, show the band members (Grace Slick, Marty Balin, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Cassidy, Spencer Dryden, manager Bill Thompson, and later drummer Joey Covington) fondly, insightfully, and humorously recalling what made Jefferson Airplane tick. Don't miss the bonus material, which includes additional interviews with discussions about their genesis, Bill Graham, light shows, Woodstock, and Altamont. Plus, there's an interview with Maurice, who provides the only hint that there was often friction between the band members."
It's About Time
A Voice from the past | Whittier Ca. | 09/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The great thing about the new DVD technology is you get to see things in a way you have never seen before. The last time I saw any of these promo clips or performances was in the 1960's. The performances are complete and can be seen separately from the documentary which is a good thing. Video and sound quality are very good considering the limitations in recording at that time. For many of us, it is better to remember the band how they looked in their prime. I have not been able to bring myself to watch the documentary part and see the group and how they look today. I don't need to be reminded how old I really am. The unfortunate thing about waiting so long to release this vintage material is that most of Jefferson Airplanes fanbase "including myself" are around 60 years old. I'm a grandparent now and I wish that other groups of that era would release DVD's of their material before my generation is to old or sadly "to senile" to care."
Great music and commentary
JoeB | Latin America | 11/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a fantastic DVD with great performances and commentary from the original artists. I don't think anyone who likes Jefferson Airplane will be disappointed with this DVD.
Here's a list of the performances:
It's no secret (Filmore Auditorium, 1966) High Flyin' Bird (Monterey Pop Festival, 1967) Somebody to Love (Monterey Pop Festival, 1967) White Rabbit (Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, 1967) Crown of Creation (Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, 1968) Lather (Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, 1968) Martha (Perry Como Special, 1968) House at Pooneil Corners (Rooftop Concert, New York, 1968) We Can Be Together (1969) Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil (A Night at the Family Dog, 1970) Plastic Fantastic Lover (Go Ride the Music, 1970) Volunteers (Go Ride the Music, 1970) Embryonic Journey (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction, 1996)"