Jefferson Airplane - Old school band naming

Certified psychedelic rock pioneers, coming from San Francisco, California and also the first band from SF that was commercially successful.

Jefferson Airplane - Blind Lemon JeffersonThe origins of the band name are being disputed. Jefferson Airplane seems to be the nickname of an ingenious tool that can be made at home, consisting of a lucifer split at one end, burnt or not. In such a do-it-yourself roach clip one can stick one’s joint, so that it can be smoked to the bitter end.

Former band member Jorma Kaukonen however rejects this explanation. The name supposedly was invented by his friend Steve Talbot, as a kind of parody of the names of blues artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson (photo). 

In 2007 Kaukonen apparently said the following: 

‘I had this friend [Talbot] in Berkeley who came up with funny names for people. His name for me was Blind Thomas Jefferson Airplane. 

When the guys were looking for band names and nobody could come up with something, I remember saying: you want a silly band name? I got a silly band name for you!’

See also Blind Melon.

Active: 1965-1974; 1989, USA



Michedelic said...

That bit about JA being the first commercially successful band from SF is such crap. They might have been the first successful band of the hippie/Fillmore era, but two years before that was the Beau Brummels, who managed to have a handful of respectably-sized hits, still heard on oldies radio even now. Emerging at a time when American bands were scrambling to appear ‘British’ in the wake of the Beatles(like the Sir Douglas Quintet and The Buckinhams, among others)their sound was more along the lines of the folk-rock of the Byrds, but more melancholy. Their early singles were produced by one Sylvester Stewart; you might know him as Sly Stone. They went on to dabble in country rock.

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