January 2007


Hello fine flyers and happy weekend.  I have to give a tremendous THANK YOU to long time New York City radio personality Carol Miller (WAXQ 104.3 and Sirius).  Not only was she kind enough to mention the book “Take Me To A Circus Tent” last night but took the time to email me during the program that she liked what she saw!

Carol is a great and even a better person.  Thank you.

It really is a great feeling when you hear nice things about the book from so many different sources.  I read and respond to every email about the Jefferson Airplane book- Take Me To A Circus Tent.  When you have days tha tthe mail is from Finland to Farmingdale, New York, it makes it all worth every ounce of energy that goes into a project.

Dad is still weak.  After 4 months ill, while he is home it still will be a longgggggg road back.  I will make sure that myself and my sister are there every step with him.

Hope all of you are well,
CF
www.takemetoacircustent.net

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Hi all on board:

Happy Wednesday.  Dad starts physical therapy today.  It is a long road back, but the only goal is to win!!

I got a lot of requests to put the complete set of Grace Slick’s voiceovers for the Jazzy spies series. 

If you go to www.takemetoacircustent.net  and click on the Aerovision section you can enjoy the video clips.

Have a great flight,
CF

1/20/07 http://theglenblog.blogspot.com/2007/01/take-me-to-circus-tent-jefferson_20.html   Blog Critics www.blogcritics.org

 

 

I can only say to Glen Boyd thank you so much for the kind words.  Blog Critics has days that 100,000 people visit the sight. 

The thanks also goes to the great people who supported the book, Don Aters, Rick Martin, Mike Somavilla, Rick McNamara and Jeff Tamarkin (For being a class act every minute of the day and for keeping the J.A. flying with his terrific contribution to rock and roll). 

 

Saturday, January 20, 2007 Glen Boyd Take Me To A Circus Tent: The
Jefferson Airplane Flight Manual
 

“The object of this book was not to reinvent the wheel, or in this case reinvent the Plane,” author Craig Fenton explained to me earlier this week, describing his remarkable new book on the Jefferson Airplane. 

“The aim was rather to help the spread the word, and to keep the torch going of one of the greatest bands ever.” 

Amen Brother. 

Make no mistake. Craig Fenton’s Take Me To A Circus Tent: The Jefferson Airplane Flight Manual is not just any rock book. It is in fact, the final, definitive word on the music of the band which most defined the so-called psychedelic acid-rock “San Francisco” sound of the late sixties (the very sound which would define an entire generation). 

The fact is, this may be the most extensive, meticulously researched account of the music of any rock and roll band ever. Period. From a purely historical, and especially from a musical standpoint, Take Me To A Circus Tent delves as deeply into the sixties phenomenon that was the Jefferson Airplane as any rock and roll book ever has. 

But let’s get one thing straight right up front. This is a book which focuses strictly on the music. 

If you are looking for one of those sex, drugs, and rock and roll exposes, you’d best look elsewhere. You are not going to find any tales of band members lying face down in a pool of their own vomit. Nor will you find the sort of acid-fueled sex-orgies which have characterized the written accounts of other rock stars from the sixties, fallen and otherwise. 

Not that Craig Fenton didn’t have his chance however. In the extensive research that went into this book, Fenton was given what amounted to an all-access pass, resulting in rare footage such as this, a great clip from the Dick Cavett show in 1969 of the Airplane performing “Somebody To Love,” with David Crosby sitting in:There are complete interviews (and opportunities to dish the dirt) with no less than 32 Jefferson Airplane insiders contained within the 543 pages of this book. These include everybody from original members Paul Kantner and Marty Balin (who says that Fenton “knows so much about the Jefferson Airplane family I had to ask him the questions”), to guys who were there like Moby Grape’s Jerry Miller and Big Brother And The Holding Company’s Peter Albin (who remembers the late JA drummer Spencer Dryden). 

These interviews make up the latter half of the book. For the first part, Fenton exhaustively and extensively recounts the complete history of every single song written, recorded or performed by the Jefferson Airplane, as well as it off-shoots such as Hot Tuna and the various Jefferson Starship aggregations. 

The result is the sort of scholarly work that could have only come from the pen of a true music obsessive. Craig Fenton is basically an Airplane archivist. From his roots as a fan who discovered the Airplane after hearing “The Ballad Of You Me & Pooneil” on progressive rock station WNEW in the sixties, to his own career in rock radio, he has meticulously documented the evolution –the flight path if you will– of the Jefferson Airplane.In Take Me To A Circus Tent, no less than 121 Jefferson Airplane shows are broken down song by song. There are also some 93 photos, many of which have never been seen before. But we are not just talking about photos and setlists here. Fenton breaks down everything from the first and final performances of individual songs; who played what and when; to songs never before officially documented at all. 

On page 149 for example, we learn of an incredible show performed in San Bernadino where the songs “Wooden Ships,” and “Volunteers” were performed for the very first time. Later, we learn of a show in 1969 at
San Francisco’s

Golden Gate
Park days later where “Good Shepherd” is debuted, but sung by Grace Slick, rather than the version sung by Jorma Kaukonen on the Volunteers album.
 

That’s the type of detail we are talking about here. 

However, Take me To A Circus Tent is by no means complete. How could it be?By his own yardstick, Craig Fenton refused to include any information on shows or performances that he could not confirm either through interviews or tapes from his own rather extensive archives. 

For example, I had no luck finding my own point of reference to a 1969 show in
Honolulu, Hawaii where I had my first exposure to the powers of Jefferson Airplane’s live performances myself. As a thirteen year old attending that show at Honolulu’s Civic Auditorium, I met the band on a day that also saw one of Hot Tuna’s earliest performances opening for JA. Paul Kantner was also busted for marijuana posession that very day in
Honolulu near
Diamond Head.
 

Still, this book is about as complete as rock books get. 

Word to the wise though. It is also laid out as something of a master thesis. This is definitely a book intended more to be painstakingly analyzed then it is to be read from cover to cover. 

Regardless, I would consider Take Me To A Circus Tent: The Jeferson Airplane Flight Manual your personal reference guide to one of the greatest rock bands ever.As rock and roll books go, this truly is as complete as it gets. 

 

Hi all Airplaners:

Normally it is about info on my book Take Me To A Circus Tent on the Jefferson Airplane.  Today it is all about for th first time in 4 months dad is home!

May he be well forever,

CF

Hello all in Airplane and Starship land: Jefferson Airplane author CRAIG FENTON Interview THE ACOUSTIC RECORD With “Java” John Thursday January 18th, 11am eastern time. http://www.theacousticrecord.com http://www.tropicwaveradio.net Jefferson Airplane book “Take Me To A Circus Tent” and some rare songs promised. This can be heard anywhere in the world with a computer. Thank you so much, Craig The Airplane Man

Hi there from Airplane Land:

Hope the weekend was great.  I am thrilled and honored that at 7:23AM eastern time on the Jim Kerr/Shelli Sonstein Rock And Roll Morning Show on 104.3 WAXQ, New York City they mentione my book “Take Me To A Circus Tent” The Jefferson Airplane Flight Manual!  Jim said “Take Me To A Circus Tent is for the real Airplane fan.  Many photos and many rare ones.”

Great to soar to new heights.  Thanks for your support and now the book is available in Europe through Amazon U.K. and Amazon Germany, to go with the USA/Canada.

Have a great flight on Monday,

Craig The Airplane Man

Hi all Airplaners:

Dad is doing better, thanks for the emails.  Maybe he comes home in 8 days!! That would be the best winter present ever, the 2nd best, no winter at all.

Thanks to Bob Buchman from WAXQ 104.3

Classic Rock in New York City for telling me “Good job on the book- Take Me To A Circus Tent (The Jefferson Airplane Flight Manual).”  To Bob at Q104.3, great job on being the most listened to rock station in the USA and a person of class,

All the best,
CF

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