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Somebody to Love?: A Rock-and-Roll Memoir

3.9 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0446607834
ISBN-10: 0446607835
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Grace Slick looks back on a lifetime of sex, drugs and rock & roll in Somebody to Love?, a wisecracking memoir featuring cameos by some mighty famous faces. As the lead singer of Jefferson Airplane (later Jefferson Starship and, still later, Starship), Slick had a ringside seat for some of the decade's most notorious high jinks--Haight-Ashbury, Woodstock, the sexual revolution, and of course, '60s drug culture. Put it this way: if the dormouse said feed your head, Slick did--again and again and again. Which leads to this memoir's principal shortcoming: it's hard to document the most important decade of your life if you can't remember it. Still, even if she's a little fuzzy on some of the details, the anecdotes alone are worth the price of admission, from the time Slick and Abbie Hoffman plotted to dose Richard Nixon to her surreal sexual encounter with a nearly autistic-seeming Jim Morrison: "Although I knew there was some pattern of events going on in his head that connected what I'd just said to what he was thinking, it never made sense." Now sober and nearing her 60s, Slick frets over her aging body, campaigns against biomedical research, and feeds the raccoons in her back yard. But she hasn't lost any of her famous feistiness. This is the same woman who flashed her breasts at photographers, pulled her skirt over her head at concerts, and even once, "having ingested the entire contents of the minibar in my hotel room," stuck her fingers up an audience member's nose. Grace Slick may have mellowed, but bless her heart, she's still running off her mouth. --Mary Park --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Rock chanteuse Grace Slick was a sophomore at the University of Miami when, in 1958, a friend from her Bay-area hometown sent her an article about the new San Francisco scene?a world of "marijuana, rock music and strange but pleasantly artistic beatnik behavior." Intrigued, Slick returned home and threw herself into a counterculture that was distinctly at odds with her post-war middle-class upbringing. After playing in a popular local band for a few years, she joined the front ranks of '60s rock icons when she was invited to sing for the already-prominent band Jefferson Airplane, recording hits like "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love" that helped to define the kaleidoscopic rock world of the 1960s. Here, Slick unabashedly details her long flirtation with psychedelic drugs; her dalliances with Jim Morrison ("like making love to a floating art form with eyes") and lesser rock luminaries; her many run-ins with the law; and her experiences of marriage and motherhood as her band evolved from rebellious trailblazers into the florid mainstream radio acts Jefferson Starship and Starship. Her present-day dedication to animal-rights causes, visual art and spirituality are also recounted. There are few revelations here, and Slick's penchant for elliptical, hippie-ish pronouncements ("Life, the constantly mutating funeral party") won't win her many new fans. But the appealingly wry good humor she brings to her own life story makes this an engaging trip through two turbulent decades of rock 'n' roll. Photos. Editor, Rich Horgan; agent, Maureen Regan. Audio rights to Warner.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (December 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446607835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446607834
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Grace Slick was always one of the more quotable rock stars. Even well past the point where Rolling Stone would even consider giving one of her records (solo or with Jefferson Whatever...) anything remotely like a positive review, they'd still run little blurbs on her from time to time, usually with one or two "outrageous" quotes.
She could be counted on for that. Funny, sarcastic, but also endearingly self-deprecating, her take on the world in general and the absurdities of rock stardom in particular were always worth a look. Once when asked about all the attention she received as the sole female member of a six-"man" band, she pooh-poohed it all by saying, "Well, if you had five cows and a pig, you'd look at the pig, right?" Well, yeah, although Grace was scarcely a pig, and I don't know about how her bandmates may have felt about being called cows, but you get the idea.
Often described by people as an "ice queen"--at least by people who had never heard of Nico--Grace was actually pretty down to earth and anything but self-serious. On the other hand, her penchant for wisecracking and sheer outrageousness often detracted from her more reflective, artsy side. Her own compositions, with their often elliptical lyrics and exotic arrangements, hinted at an artistic ambition that was very real--if never fully realized. Still "rejoyce," "Two Heads" and "Hyperdrive" remain real dazzlers, suggesting that if Grace had been less given to epataying the old bourgeoisie (and ribbing the counter-culture too, much to her credit) she might have pulled off something even more remarkable than what she (with and without her various bands) actually did achieve.
The book is, for the most part, a fun breezy read, the funny, quotable, outrageous Grace.
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Format: Hardcover
I read the book in two days and while it contained a few items of interest, I was disappointed in the lack of detail in many areas. I would have been really interested to hear Grace Slick talk about the Haight Ashbury days, how the Airplane dealt with the record company business, or the sessions and live appearances that led to some of their great songs. One would think that a woman whose songs were inspired by the likes of Lewis Carroll and James Joyce would have a deeper perspective than this book shows, but maybe not. I think a lot of the blame has to go to Andrea Cagan who most likely told her to make sure to tell her sexual experiences with famous rock stars if nothing else. In any case the editing should have been a lot better; the book is kind of a rambling mess. But for fans of Grace and the Airplane and '60s rock music in general, it's still an interesting read for all its faults.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have loved Grace Slick for such a long time that when this memoir first came out, I immediately bought it and read it with much glee. It is just what I expected from her and I am not disappointed at all. In fact, I am a little surprised, but not really shocked, that many did not give it better ratings. I wanted to learn more about Grace and her viewpoints and she was more than generous with her humour, wit and outlook. Honest too. What I love about Grace is the way she followed her own outlook on things. She side-stepped being defined by others and really didn't care too much about what others thought of her. In this.... she will have my love and admiration forever. True...... she didn't go deep into the personalities of the 60's icons much. She didn't give much insight into her songs and what they meant. What true artist does? But, she IS a hoot - and I bought the book because she is such a character. In fact..... I was so enamoured with this book that I wrote her publisher to say how much I enjoyed it. A few months later, I received an 8X10 signed glossy in the mail from her - postage due of course. I laughed. "That's my Grace" I thought.

If you people out there can put your egos and expectations on the shelf and read this expose from a true 60's San Francisco survivor, I think you will find many things to like. Leave your morality, your preconceived notions and your judgemental placards at the door. After all, this is Grace's world - not yours. And, thank-you Grace for all those great tunes. I still listen. And thanks for just being yourself.
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Format: Hardcover
Bad review title aside, I really had a lot of misconceptions about the former female vocalist of Jefferson Airplane/Starship until deciding to read this book. I know that some autobiographies can be very disappointing, or you know far more than you ever wanted to know ad nauseum about some entertainers. Grace tells you exactly what you'd expect, and then some without overdoing it. It's a fun read all about her wild, free-spirited past, and her ability to move on with her life without having any regrets about it. She reveals a strong person who is funny, tells it like it is, and is bluntly honest if often self-deprecating. If she wasn't readers would probably come to dispise her attitude as so many who read Bebe Buell's book did.

Written in a conversational style as if she is sitting down in the same room talking to you, it is a comfy and candid read that never ceases to entertain and, quite honestly, is very surprising in that she can remember so much about her younger days! I guess she had her act more together than the press ever gave her credit for, plus she has gotten past all that to being a bright, funny, mature woman who has her act tightly together, so look who's having the last laugh. Right on, Grace!
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