The Summer of Love isn’t just a memory for Paul Kantner; it was an integral part of the Jefferson Airplane/Starship leader’s life trajectory.
“It was the most amazing, exuberant, illuminating, elevating — can I think of any more adjectives? — time of life,” Kantner, 66, says of the period in 1967 that defined the youth counterculture — even though, as he points out, “it was already going on in San Francisco in 1966. It just took everybody a year to figure it out and come join us.
“And me coming out of a Catholic, all-male boarding school,” Kantner adds, “it was a perfect antidote and balance to all things considered.”
Kantner, whose latest edition of Jefferson Starship includes Airplane co-founder Marty Balin, says that he “never has flashbacks” to that period in time. But he is pleased that the Summer of Love’s 40th anniversary is being commemorated and feels that the impact what transpired then is still being felt now.
“We just established a new way of doing things that was different from the normal way of doing things,” Kantner notes. “And it resulted in enterprises that still go on today, such as the environmental movement, the healthy food movement, the women’s movement, the gay rights movement ...
“And there was all the music and art and poetry, and the ephemeral arts like poster art and fashion were amplified to the Nth degree. The whole idea was, ‘Let’s take care of the world around us as best we can.’ I thought that was a great moment, and it continues today.”
The Summer of Love 40th Anniversary Tour with Jefferson Starship, Jerry Miller and “The Music of Moby Grape,” Big Brother & the Holding Co. and Quicksilver Messenger Service plays at 7 p.m. Sunday (July 15th) at DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road north of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $32.50 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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