After Bathing At Baxter’s – The Jefferson Airplane

The Milton town library added another angle to my education. The head librarian recognized my thirst for knowledge and allowed my taking out adult books at the age of ten. I read Nicholas Kakanzakis’ THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHIRST, Balzac’s A HARLOT HIGH AND LOW, Prescott’s CONQUEST OF MEXICO, OM BURKE’s TRAVEL AMONGST THE DERVISHES. If a book of interest had never previously been checked out, it perked my transgessional interest. My parents never questioned my choices. They had forced my attendance at a parochial hgih school. My grades were better than good, but not as good as my older brother, who always speedread my take-outs for pornography, although after never finding any titillation I went back to his comic books. Thankfully he never skimmed through HUbert Selby’s LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN or LE HISTOIRE D’O.

Sadly the musical selection was devoted to Pat Boone and Perry Como, until the appearance of After Bathing At Baxter’s by The Jefferson Airplane in 1968. I had purchased their monster hit album SURREALISTIC PILLOW the previous summer, which was more folk than rock except for the epic SOMEONE TO LOVE. The elderly desk librarian was surprised by the rock album.

“I didn’t know this was here. I loved COMING BACK TO ME in their last album.”

“Me too.” I pushed the long hair over my ears. LIFE magazine had featured the Flower Revolution in the Spring and I was in. Ready to go up country or hitchhike across the country to San Francisco and drop ACID.

“Let me know how it is.”

The old in my town were cooler than our parents and upon my return to our teaberry split-level ranch house in a suburban development lost in the Blue Hills, I went downstairs and cued up the “The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil” on side one. Jorma’s searing opening touched my soul and I turned up the volume to 10. I wished the top was 100. Marty and Grace. Her voice launched a million trips. Marty says “Armadillo.” and I was cool with it meaning nothing. Skip’s drums. Jack Cassady’s thunder bass. I listened to the LP three times in a row, until my father came down into the basement and shouted, “Turn down that noise.”

Nothing said how great this LP was better than his rejection. I was no longer trapped in the suburbs.

ps I reached the Haight in 1971.

Long past the Summer of Love.

I dropped Orange Sunshine and traveled to the where forever there.

I’m still a hippie. Where’s the LSD?

To listen to After Bathing at Baxter’s please go to the following URL

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