December 2006

Hi all and happy/safe new year:

I wanted to wish everyone the best for 2007 and a real large thanks for the past year.  I keep coming acorss sites where people that owe me nothing (I don’t even know them) have posted about my Jefferson Airplane book “Take Me To A Circus Tent.”  Then there are those that have constantly emailed me asking how my dad is feeling.  It is as if writing the book has created a larger family.  That is amazing!

Dad had a good last few days and let it be that way forever.

Thanks for supporting the book the last month and once dad is well there will be cool things set up for further promotion.

Please don’t drink and drive and be safe always,

Craig The Airplane Man

P.S. It’s time to visit dad.  Must run!

Hello all and early happy new year!

It is a tremendous experience to see reviews not only posted on the Airplane and Jefferson Starship boards, the publishers site but I saw one of the buyers of the book Rod Evans took the time to post something on the U.K. radio station XFM. 

As an author I try to use each day to do two things 1)Make sure dad is geting better 2)Market the book through emaails, posting boards, etc.

When people that have no relationship to me such as family or friend go out of their way to help with the promotion of the Jefferson Airplane book Take Me To A Circus Tent, all I can utter is a thank you 1 billion times.

A gentleman in the Chicago area Rick Smith did the same thing on the Oldies Music website.  He didn’t know me but was kind enough to list the book available with a picture of it and commented on the expertise that went along with it. 

You can spend a lot from an advertiseing budget but the best news I get is a positive review or post by somebody that I have never seen.

To all of you that have puchased the book Take Me To A Circus Tent in 2006, thank you so so much.  I hope it made your day a bit happier and you can look at it as a nice guide to all things Jefferson Airplane.  For those that are interested in getting it in 2007, thank you in advance.

An author doesn’t do a reader a favor.  The reader does the author a favor and so many of you fine people throughout the globe have done me the biggest favor yet.

As I leave now to see dad (He did better this week), have a safe and healthy new year and may all things good come to your door in 2007.

All the best,

Craig The Airplane Man

Take Me To A Circus Tent

Hello All Jeffson Fans:

Hope the holiday season has been great.  I have to share a non-musical experience with you and then tell about 3 cool rare audio files for you great folks.

My dad has been ill as you are aware.  Thanks to all those that ask how he is (Somewhat better, thanks).  Dad is in a rehab facility about 40 minutes from home.  I go there everyday at 3PM and sleep over so he is not alone.  Monday night the rain was so bad it looked like a Florida tropical storm.  For some unknown reason the hour + it took to get to dad the driving was the worst I have ever wittnessed.  People tailgatting every second, some had no lights on and many going so far over the speed limit they have not been able to calcualte the MPH.  That hour was worse than all other driving history!

Here is the cool news on the Airplaneman’s site go to the audio section and there are 2 Crown Of Creation rough mixes and a demo of Starship!

Enjoy and have the best day ever and please drive safely,

Airplane Man

Hi everyone:

I wanted to try to get an important point across, but first more importantly may the coming year be fantastic for you/friends/family.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to write about something that I have such a passion for the book on the Jefferson Airplane-Take Me To A Circus Tent.

I got an email from a nice gentleman at Word Press that a couple of people were upset that in my blogs I put my website address.  I was really shocked about this.  For one I had always hoped if you are not spreading hate or violence and are not attempting to sell an unethical product, you should have a right to post anything.

The average book in the USA sells 2000 copies.  98 percent of all authors have a second job.  They write for a wide range of reasons. 

I take care of my dad (He has been ill for the past 13 weeks).  By writing the book it gave me an opportunity to spend almost every minute with him during the illness.  The reason for the heavy promotion is not only that I want to sell books, but if I can get the word out to as many people as possible, the opportunity may come where the book can provide me with the ability to stay with dad during 2007 and not worry about a stranger taking care of him.

There are situations that are not always on the surface.  I didn’t want to ever upset anybody.  I do want people to know the reason I go to such lengths to post as much as possible about the book/website.

During the last 6 months of writing the book I spent 7 days a week, 12 hours a day making sure it would get out on time and every part of the results were fan friendly.  I took 1 day off in over 24 weeks and didn’t think of it as work.  It was and is an honor to have interviewed 32 people of the Airplane and family of bands. 

I hope this gives a background to you that makes it easier to tolerate if John Doe or Jane Doe do something that may not please you.  It isn’t to try to get away with something or see how far they can stretch the rules.  Jane and John have a creation that is part of them forever.

Thanks for reading and may all of you be well always.

All the best for a greatttttttttttttttt day,

Craig The Airplane Man

Hi all:

Dad is doing a bit better, thanks for the emails!  Another real nice review today about the Jefferson Airplane book.  Thanks and great day wishes, CF

Take Me To A Circus Tent (The Jefferson Airplane Flight Manual) by Craig Fenton is a must for the holiday season and every one that follows.  Craig is a wizard when interviewing the members of the Airplane and family of spin-of bands.  His history of a former radi odisc-jockey comes into play as he always seems to get the most out of the artist and makes each person feel as if they were friends for years.  (Maybe they are).  The book will give you a great live history lesson and one of the studio stuff that didn’t get released.  It is full of pictures that can top any other San Francisco based publication both on volume 93 and rareness.  Right before page one of the book you will see a photo that has never surfaced before.  Autogrpahed by the band in the early days and Paul signs it “Paul Airplane.”  As a bonus it has Signe Anderson and Skip Spence.  Later on a mindbuster photo of the days with Jerry Peloquin and Bob Harvery (Before Skip Spence and  Jack Casady).  There is also over 250 questions and answers about the Airplane and Hot Tuna and the Jefferson Starship.  Craig went all out and the words put you right at the corner of Haight-Ashbury and the he can get you back to the 60’s with his special time machine.  I don’t write reviews for a living or claim to be in the music business, but for that very reason I think it is important to get insight from a typical Joe or Jane Airplane fan.  Take a look under the tent and make sure the book is under your tree or bush for the holiday season and 2007.  Thank you for the opportunity to post this and I’ll return to reading the book again.

Review 12/20/06 by “Old But Not In The Way.”

Hello there JS/JA people:

Hope the weekend is going great.  I always try to put some rare Airplane Family gems for you on the site.  If you would like to fly back to the Winter Of Love (Hey it sounded cool) March 10, 1967 to San Francisco, there will be a classic tune into an unreleased goody.

Enjoy and thanks for those that emailed about dad.  He is doing a bit better.

Have a greatttttttttttt day.

 Thanks so much for the great reviews.  For US/Canadian customers you can get the book through

My site is

For those outside the USA/Canada, will ship to you fine folks all over the globe. 

Enjoy the book and the great reviews below!

Thanks so much and be well,

Craig The Airplane Man


The ultimate Airplane book for the ultimate band!
Reviewed by: Jeff R. Son (11/23/2006)
Take Me To A Circus Tent: A review by Jeff R. Son The 22nd of November, 2006 Writing letters or reviews isn’t something that is common for me, however in getting to read a sneak-peak of Mr. Fenton’s masterpiece I would be depriving Airplane fans of a must read. Authors often times seem to write what is hot, hip, or what the publisher tells them is the flavor of the month. Mr. Fenton’s words are from the heart. I have never seen any Airplane fan with this much knowledge and the ability to share it as if it is a long time friend talking to you. You can see how fan friendly he is by the attention to every detail. If you enjoy photos he gave over 90 and there are pictures that are so rare I bet the band members don’t even own them. If your bag is the music, the look at the 121 live performances and 60 unreleased songs/jams/tid-bits from the vaults could grow hair on a bald person. He left no stone unturned. References to riffs that were played for only a matter of seconds, song titles that before were never mentioned. He could have stopped there and taken a bow but there are 266 questions and answers that look not only at the Airplane but Hot Tuna, Jefferson Starship, KBC Band, & Wooden Ships. The information is a treasure chest. To top off the most exquisite meal Mr. Fenton finishes the book with 32 interviews. What he did was always make the most use out of the time afforded for the conversation. You can tell he didn’t even need notes to conduct the interviews, because often times the musicians asked him stuff! If seeing a photo of David Freiberg as a folk performer from 63 or a concert bill (1964) with original bass-player Bob Harvey, or a group photo without Jorma doesn’t excite you, simply turn to the interviews with Marty, Paul and even Signe Anderson. If that doesn’t get your attention why not look at the first and last time a song was ever performed by the band, or find out the history of the group through the eyes of the people that were there. If you are looking for a holiday gift for a friend, co-worker or family member you have found it. If you are like me and often get the worst holiday presents that will set under a bed or get returned, treat yourself to what is under the circus tent. I’ll go now because I want to look at some of the amazing photos of Grace from the Great Society days and alternate covers to the 2nd record.

It is the one-stop Airplane book of greatness
Reviewed by: Rod Evans (11/29/2006)
On an early November morning (11/28/06) the Airplane Express delivered Craig’s new book. My wife told me that I hadn’t been this excited about anything since her mom moved out of the house. Others have written books on the San Francisco bands, but Craig has created an “Encyclopedia.” I first went through the book for the photos. What an experience! To see so many pictures not in print before was enough to make the book worth double the price; however it didn’t stop there. I couldn’t believe the detail he went through to explain the terminology in the book and to make reading it for the Jefferson Family fan the most pleasurable experience possible. The interviews are done with such skill that I would match Craig’s ability to make the person he is talking with comfortable against any I have come across in my years as a rock and roll fan. Not only the comfort level, but also the ability to bring out such detail with all the musicians he spoke with. It wasn’t the same things that we read about since the 60’s. The story of one person attempting to get Janis Joplin to sing one of his songs really was a soap-opera. The question and answer portion will give new facts to the most hardcore individual. The information that Craig knows takes a back seat to nobody when it comes to the Airplane. Reading about the stuff Marty did with Bodacious D.F. and why they have that name as well as Jorma’s early works and Bob Harvey’s promo CD info was icing on the best tasting cake ever. For the holiday season think 1 gift first “Take Me To A Circus Tent.” There is something in the book, sorry the ENCYCLOPEDIA for all.


WHAT A FANTASTIC BOOK! BW from the Jefferson Starship Board:

It’s a large soft-bound book that is easy to hold and flip the individual pages.  You can lay it down and both pages lay flat.  You don’t have to bend the binding.

The paper is a bright clean white, with the type style dark enough so it’s easy to read.  Jam packed with information, but the book “breathes.”  A ton of information spread out on 537 pages, but it is not “cramped.”

You can easily open to any page and start reading.  It reads like a novel, really.  I have the book laid out on the bed behind me.  I’m able to turn around in the chair and easily read it, from 2-3 feet away.

Really nice pictures of Everyone.  Just noticing some nice pictures of Darby and Paul.  He get’s all the girls!  This book goes way beyond just the Jefferson trip.  It describes the scene, and anyone who was involved with the Jeffersons in any way.

Here’s Craig asking Tim Gorman some questions, about him joining the Rolling Stones, no less!  A lot a fact, a little bit of gossip, and one big juicy read!

Can’t wait to get started!



To all Jefferson fans:  Craig’s book is 6 stars not 5!

I am always worried when there is hype to a book or CD.  Would it live up to advanced billing?

Craig’s “Take Me To A Circus Tent” goes beyond anything I have seen.  He is always making the musician feel comfortable.  Several ask Craig to send them their own music!  The insights and knowledge that he shows is impressive; however more impressive is how he is happy to give so much credit to others.

There are so many things that haven’t previously been brought up in interviews.  If you take the total length of Craig’s conversation with Marty I bet it is as long as any interview Marty has done in or out of the Jefferson Airplane/Starship.

The pictures are a sight to admire.  Don Aters is as good as anybody snapping a photo.

Craig has made sure the book is all meat and no filler.  There is a logical layout to each segment.  I knew the book would be something special when I looked at the index.  He supplied more names than several books combined.

The amount of time he must have labored to get the obscure song titles proved this isn’t an author doing it for the publisher, it is a fan doing it for us guys and girls.

Craig even went as far to get all the names of the players on the Great Society reunion, and the 1964 concert Bill that has Bob Harvey, Jorma and Paul playing at the same venue but on different dates was the best job of dropping in “What is to come” that I have seen.”

I first thumbed through the genius for the pictures.  Signe was so cute and innocent and the entire journey made me feel young again.  Once I looked at the photos and digested over 90 of them, I went to the interview section.  I was blown away with Craig’s style and he is really funny.  Read what he says to Jesse Barish when Jesse asked him for a video of a specific tune.  I was on the floor.

I am now going over the Question & Answer segment again because I want to gain the full impact.

The San Francisco scene has never seen a book that has flown as high.

Thank you Craig and I hope you have the opportunity to get the full credit via TV/Radio and the printed word.

6 Stars and a must for any Holiday!!

From Wood N. Ships


To all fans:  5 stars are not enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finished Craig’s book “Take Me To A Circus Tent” this morning.  It deserves a label above Gold Medal Winner.

The research must have taken countless hours but the love of the band is a lifetime.

The question and answer portion has something that a fan of one day or a decade could really sink their teeth into.  The greatest stuff is uncovered.  When you get to the interviews it will be impossible to not read staight through.

The pictures blow away anything prior because Craig gave us not only the most (I believe 90 or so) but countless not in print before.  The photo that Tim Lucas supplied is worth the price of the book and when you have pictures from 1963 on, I don’t need to go further.

The live and studio segments finally put the right information together and the titles that I always wondered why they didn’t have names before.

The way Craig documented the entire 89 reunion or some of Marty’s material was as if he were in the band.

If we can give Craig a hand, we should.  He did it the best way and did it without treading on any other author’s Airplane or Jefferson Starship books prior.

Craig you are a Gold Medal writer in a world of plastic.

Buy the book and spread the word, the Airplane Man has landed.


Airplane Man reached the stars, 5 that is
Reviewed by: Sam Rotis (12/7/2006) *****
There have been only a handful of rock and roll books that I couldn’t put down over the years. Craig Fenton’s Take Me To A Circus Tent is the latest and best. It is an empire created with not only the mind and hands but with the heart. His fondness for the Airplane and spin-offs is easy to see from the start of the book. The layout is wonderful. Each chapter not only takes you on a flight to a specific year but is named after a part of a song that fits the theme. When you are done with the live and studio information the questions and answers and interview sections are something you can marvel at. Look how the questions aren’t the same 5 day old bread that have always been recycled. When it is time for the interviews I have never seen anyone do it better than Craig. It is one thing to be prepared, to be a fan, but Craig is so full of information it is great when the musicians ask if they did something or if he would send them the rarity. The Marty Balin interview is a Rollys Royce, the info from Signe was wonderful and getting the insight from 3 former Great Society members was a treat I never thought would happen. Not only the interviews but the photos of the band and the studio/live history. There are pictures in the book that are so special for their rare nature and beauty that I ask all you fine people to turn the pages slowly and soak in every second of the sunshine. It shines with a light of brilliance. I really respect that Craig didn’t forget about the Signe period. Although Grace is my favorite singer ever, Craig tells a nice story of the early days with some photos that you’ll love and the info about a few of the live dates, recording sessions, etc. Get 2 copies of the book. One for yourself and one for the old Airplane fan that you may not see hanging around the Jefferson Airplane or Jefferson starship boards but who still longs for the day when rock and roll was played with skill and lyrics were memorable. Craig you are really the Airplane Man and I hope the book Takes Off and all dreams are realized. Buy the book, buy the book and buy the book.


5 STARS *****

Wednesday the Airplane book by Craig Fenton called Take Me To A Circus Tent came and it is the most detailed book I have ever read about any American music band.  Why? The details excel not in 1 portion of the book but all that Craig used to construct.  He points out for the live portion even if a riff of a song got played, the studio unreleased portion opens the door to the massive music hiding from us all these years, the photos out number any music book you can think of and the interviews don’t waste time with why somebody doesn’t date their highscool sweetheart anymore.  The information Craig gets out of the different people is an A+.

Many have talked about the great Marty Balin interview and Signe and Paul but his conversation with Craig Chaquico is a tribute to Fenton’s wide knowledge of the artists history.  One moment Craig talks about a great tune on Dragonfly and then is able to converse with Mr. Chaquico about the solo albums went he changed styles 360 degrees.  The Bob Harvey and Jerry Peloquin transcripts are really super and you’ll dig the Tom Constanten conversation with excellent questions about his days after playing with Jerrry and the guys.

I was going to look up great big words but it is better I used the simple language and tell you this is 5 stars in every avenue it travels.

A great gift for yourself and friends.

To Craig thanks for giving me a reason to miss going to my loud and off the wall sister-in-law’s house.  I told the wife that I was doing a book review.  Craig I owe you a 50.00 steak for getting me out of seeing her run her mouth every second for no reason.

Next Page »