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Spencer Dryden dies at age 66
January 14, 2005 9:37 AM   Subscribe

Jorma Kaukonen shares his thoughts on his former bandmate's recent death
Drummer Spencer Dryden of Airplane dies. Dryden recorded on a number of the Airplane's most famous albums, "Surrealistic Pillow"; "After Bathing At Baxter's"; the live "Bless Its Pointed Little Head"; "Crown Of Creation"; and "Volunteers." Read the CNN article.
posted by turtlegirl (10 comments total)

Spencer's driving intro to "She Has Funny Cars," the first track of the Airplane's Surrealistic Pillow, is kick-ass for the ages. And Jorma's elegaic thoughts are lovely. RIP.
posted by digaman at 9:47 AM on January 14, 2005

I was fortunate enough to work for a company whose office is located in the basement of 2400 Fulton Street. The owner had been friends with the band in her younger days, and years later had the opportunity and means to purchase the house, which she is restoring.

The basement was the rehearsal space in the Airplane days, and you could still see the gouges on the wood floors from moving equipment around.
posted by padraigin at 9:51 AM on January 14, 2005

Considering this, ands the fate that befell Skip Spence, drumming for the Airplane seems to be a dangerous proposition.

But I'll miss him, he played a part in some great music. "Volunteers," and "Mexico," are still among my all time faves.
posted by jonmc at 9:52 AM on January 14, 2005

Considering this, ands the fate that befell Skip Spence, drumming for the Airplane seems to be a dangerous proposition.

Life is the dangerous proposition.
posted by digaman at 9:59 AM on January 14, 2005

they lost something when they replaced him ... he had a feel to his drumming that joey covington and johnny barbata didn't ... it seemed to compliment their style nicely

that drum intro to she has funny cars is right from swing records ... you can tell dryden listened to a lot of that stuff
posted by pyramid termite at 10:26 AM on January 14, 2005

posted by LouReedsSon at 10:50 AM on January 14, 2005

Good bio of Airplane-era Dryden here.

I remember reading that he wasn't always the most, uh, positive influence in that band...

Early in 1967, Spencer began having an affair with Grace Slick, herself a newcomer to the band. They formed a faction, and exerted tremendous influence once the group became famous. According to most accounts, Spencer bullied the others into getting his way by routinely threatening to quit.
posted by kgasmart at 12:31 PM on January 14, 2005

Sad news. On the other hand, it reminded me that it's been awhile since I last listened to Jefferson Airplane. So I have been, for about an hour, loud.

posted by interrobang at 4:01 PM on January 14, 2005

...hours later, I actually went out and re-bought "Bless its Pointed Little Head". Listen to "3/5ths of a Mile in 10 Seconds" and tell me that this guy wasn't one of the greatest drummers of all time.
posted by interrobang at 10:13 PM on January 14, 2005

Hey, a MF thread on a band I 've actually seen.
posted by HTuttle at 10:37 PM on January 14, 2005

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