If I had to pick one band that was emblematic of the turbulent 1960's, it would be Jefferson Airplane.  Their album Surrealistic Pillow contained two of the biggest hits of the decade:  "Somebody To Love" and "White Rabbit".

To me, "White Rabbit" is the 60's drug culture in a nutshell: "One pill makes you taller, one pill makes you small, and the ones that mother gives you don't do anything at all.  Go ask Alice when she's ten feet tall."  Grace Slick purportedly wrote the song after an acid trip.  You think?

In 1974 after the departure of some original members of the band, Jefferson Airplane became Jefferson Starship.  (After we landed on the the moon in 1969, calling a band  "Airplane" must have seemed rather quaint.)  Grace Slick and Marty Balin handled almost all the vocals on hits like "Miracles", and "With Your Love".

Marty Balin left the group in late 1978, followed in quick succession by Slick.  So, in 1979 the band found itself without a lead vocalist.  They invited singer Mickey Thomas to audition for the role.  Thomas had been the vocalist for Elvin Bishop for much of the 70's and was best known for his vocal on the 1976 #3 hit, "Fooled Around And Fell In Love."  The band liked what it heard, and Thomas was hired.

The new lineup of Jefferson Starship recorded its first album, Freedom At Point Zero, and immediately scored a huge hit with "Jane" which showcased Thomas' soaring vocal prowess.  In 1981, Slick rejoined the band and they went on to score a number of hits in the 80's including "Find Your Way Back", "No Way Out", and "Winds Of Change".

In 1984 the last founding member of Jefferson Airplane, Paul Kantner, left the band.  Slick and Thomas wanted to continue as Jefferson Starship, but Kantner sued and the two sides reached a settlement.  The band would simply be called Starship.  In 1985 Starship released the album Knee Deep In The Hoopla and scored their two of their biggest hits with "We Built This City" and "Sara" which both reached #1.

In 1987 Starship produced another #1 hit with "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" which was featured in the movie Mannequin.  Slick left Starship and retired from music in 1988, and Thomas was left as the only vocalist which he remains today.  The band is now known as "Starship featuring Mickey Thomas" and continues to tour across the country.

Saturday, December 30, 2018, "Starship featuring Mickey Thomas" will perform live in the Paradise Theater at Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City.  Tickets start at $35 and are on sale now at Ticketmaster. Tickets are also available at the Margaritaville Retail Store.


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