J A C K
C A S A D Y
J E F F E R S O N A I R P L A N E
H O T T U N A
ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME MEMBER
JACK CASADY INTERVIEW
CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN IN ITS ENTIRELY
As a Founding member of the Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, Jack Casady’s full driving tone and innovative melodic bass work has defined the role of bass guitar in Rock and Roll for decades. Liberating the bass from its traditional role as part of the rhythm section, Jack s pioneering approach has brought the instrument to the forefront. With sweeping chords and stormy melodic lines Jack’s bass distinguished not only Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna but also a variety of side projects and recordings with artists including Jimi Hendrix, David Crosby,David Crosby, Warren Zevon, Country Joe and The Fish, SVT, Rusted Root and Gov’t Mule.
In September of 1965, Casady received a fateful call from his old friend Jorma Kaukonen, who had transferred from Antioch College to Santa Clare University in San Francisco and became immersed in a new music scene developing there. As Jack recalls, “Jorma told me he had joined a band called Jefferson Airplane and I kind of laughed at the name. He asked me what I was doing and seemed surprised to hear that I was playing the bass. Then he says, ‘Wait a minute. I’ve got a bass player in this band that I’m not fond of. It’s not working out, in my opinion.’ So then he says, ‘Let me call you back.’ A few minutes later he calls back and says, ‘We got this band. We got a manager. And the manager promises to pay us $50 a week whether we “work or not.” ‘ And I said, You’re on!’”
When the original singer Signe Anderson left the band to have a baby, it was Jack who convinced Grace Slick, then performing with her own band the Great Society, to join the group. The roster complete, Jefferson Airplane rocketed to superstardom in 1967 on the initial strength of their hits “Somebody To Love” and “White Rabbit,” making them a cornerstone of San Francisco’s burgeoning rock scene. Jack’s ground-breaking basswork was a highlight of Surrealistic Pillow, the Airplane’s 1967 breakthrough album. “That album was really a unique statement,” says Casady in retrospect. “There were a lot of different styles of songs contributed by everybody, including an instrumental acoustic fingerpicking original tune by Jorma called ‘Embryonic Journey.’It was quite an eclectic album and I think it still holds up today.” Jefferson Airplane subsequently released a string of acclaimed recordings –After Bathing At Baxter’s (late ’67), Crown of Creation (’68), the live Bless Its Pointed Little Head (’69), Volunteers (’70), Bark (’71), Long John Silver (’72) and the live Thirty Seconds Over Winterland (1973). The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.
In 1970, Casady and Kaukonen found time between Airplane gigs to put together another uniquely named aggregation, the blues-influenced Hot Tuna. “We formed Hot Tuna basically because we were young and had endless energy,” says Casady, “and there was so much material going into the Airplane from everybody it ended up that you’d only get a couple of songs per session.
Hot Tuna shows are an opportunity to witness two lifelong friends coming together to make extraordinary music. “I can’t remember having so much fun,” says Casady, “but also musically being so in touch and in the moment with the music as I am now; where every minute, every note counts on stage. And I find it really unique that I have a situation with a partner of over 42 years now where we can just really enjoy the craft of making music together.”
Purchase the most recent release
THE BASS GUITAR
OF JACK CASADY
OF JACK CASADY
Jack Casady shares his ideas and techniques with learning bassists. In an informal and delightful session (Jorma provides vocals and guitar along with companionable commentary), Jack analyzes his bass parts for classic tunes from the Hot Tuna repertoire, and discusses the musical concepts that make up his unique style -- melodic lines, tonal variety, chordal work and improvisational solos. You'll see all of Jack's tricks: the use of partial chords, sustained notes, tremolos, trilling, tonal variety and many other fascinating devices.
Songs include "Ninety-Nine Year Blues," "Blues in A," "San Francisco Bay Blues," "Been So Long," "Mann's Fate" and "Water Song."
For more information
J A C K C A S A D Y
Facebook: Jack Casady
Jorma’s Fur Peace Ranch YouTube channel:
Fur Peace YouTube Channel - Over 3,000,000 views!
Many renowned artists from live concerts at Fur Peace Station.
MY NEW BOOK IS FINALLY OUT!
ROCK STAR CHRONICLES
CHRONICLES, TRUTHS, CONFESSIONS AND WISDOM FROM THE MUSIC LEGENDS THAT SET US FREE
…Order yours today on Hardcover or E-book at bookbaby.com
Featuring over 45 intimate conversations with some of the greatest rock legends the world will ever know.
CHRIS SQUIRE... DR. JOHN... GREG LAKE... HENRY MCCULLOUGH... JACK BRUCE … JOE LALA… JOHNNY WINTER... KEITH EMERSON... PAUL KANTNER... RAY THOMAS... RONNIE MONTROSE... TONY JOE WHITE... DAVID CLAYTON-THOMAS… MIKE LOVE... TOMMY ROE... BARRY HAY... CHRIS THOMPSON... JESSE COLIN YOUNG... JOHN KAY... JULIAN LENNON... MARK LINDSAY... MICKY DOLENZ… PETER RIVERA ...TOMMY JAMES… TODD RUNDGREN... DAVE MASON... EDGAR WINTER... FRANK MARINO... GREGG ROLIE... IAN ANDERSON... JIM “DANDY” MANGRUM... JON ANDERSON... LOU GRAMM... MICK BOX... RANDY BACHMAN… ROBIN TROWER... ROGER FISHER... STEVE HACKETT... ANNIE HASLAM… ‘MELANIE’ SAFKA... PETULA CLARK... SUZI QUATRO... COLIN BLUNSTONE… DAVE DAVIES... JIM McCARTY... PETE BEST
THE ROCK STAR CHRONICLES
-By Literary Titan (5) STARS
The Rock Star Chronicles, by Ray Shasho, is a splendid book written by a music enthusiast who has poured their heart and soul into it. It’s a story of a boy who loved rock music, and his obsessive passion of it earned himself the name Rock Raymond. He went to school but instead was schooled in all matters of music while his peers were buried chin-deep in coursework. He then became a radio DJ and has now compiled a book on all interviews he held with Rock gods who raided the airwaves back in the 70s and 80s. It’s a compilation of interviews with outstanding vocalists, legendary guitarists and crazy drummers in the rock music scene. Each interview gives a reader an in-depth view into their personal lives and the philosophies that guide their lives which all serve to humanize these great icons. For readers who are old enough to call themselves baby boomers this book will bring old memories back to life. Millennials, on the other hand, may think of this book as a literal work of the Carpool Karaoke show.
The Rock Star Chronicles is a book I didn’t know I was waiting for. To come across a book that will talk me into trying something new. One brave enough to incite me to venture into new frontiers. This book made me a believer- I am now a bona fide Rock and Roll music fan.
Ray Shasho masterfully gets the interviewees talking. He smartly coaxes answers from them with crafty questions designed to get a story rolling out of them. The artists talk about diverse issues ranging from music, politics, and their social engagements. Having been on the music seen all his life, Ray Shasho knows the buttons to press, how to get them comfortable about talking about their lives.
The book’s cover is befitting of its subject matter with the leather look offering a royal background to the golden letter print. It speaks to how high a level rock music holds in the pecking order- arguably, modern music as we know it has originated from blues and rock music. The second noteworthy thing is the use of high definition pictures to reference the musician being interviewed in every sub-chapter. This ensures that the book is for both original rock and roll lovers and aspiring new ones. Together is makes for a refreshing and consistently enjoyable read.
I recommend this book to rock music enthusiasts, aspiring musicians wondering what it takes and all readers curious to learn new things by going back in time.
By Literary Titan
The Rock Star Chronicles uses your interviews with rock legends to humanize them and preserve their contribution to the genre. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I was fortunate to have lived through two of the greatest decades for music. It was a time when radio played incredible music and rock concerts were a bargain and a happening thing to do. Rock groups featured incredibly talented musicians with guitarists and lead singers in the spotlight. There has never been a generation to match that period of music expertise and staying power. I wanted the reader to understand and realize how great a talent they really were and still are. Especially to wannabe musicians and the young. Many of the artists I have interviewed have passed on and others nearing retirement. It was important to me to tell their stories at a vulnerable period in their lives and be recognized as the greatest music legends the world will ever know.
What is one interview in this book that stands out as the most exciting one you had?
Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull has always been a rock hero to me. He has written and performed complex music and always had an incredible stage presence. Going to a Tull concert back in the day was a huge event. I will admit the first time I interviewed Ian Anderson I was quite nervous. I remember when the phone rang for the interview, I thought, that’s Jethro Tull calling me! During the second interview I got him to chat about politics, religion, ancestry, and world events. I tried not to ask the same mundane music questions that have been asked of him many hundreds of times. He was intellectual and I was on my best game that day.
What do you think is one thing modern musicians have to learn from the icons of the rock and roll genre?
Bands must perform live. All the legends started performing at school dances, bars, clubs, and anywhere they could be seen by an audience big or small. If they are talented eventually someone will give them a break, but it will not be easy. Having a You Tube video with a lot of page views is a start, but it will never have the impact of playing in front of live audiences.
What do you find is a common misconception people have about music?
People that pay big money to watch an artist lip sync on stage and still call it a great show. Music lovers who go see a legendary rock band and there are no original members in the band. Ringo Starr would never bill himself as The Beatles, instead he created an All-Starr band. All generations need to do a little homework before purchasing expensive tickets to concerts nowadays. My book will certainly help identify who the real legends are.
Music is a universal language that we all share and cherish.