Podcasts about Greenwich Village

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Latest podcast episodes about Greenwich Village

Here’s The Scenario
#106 - Ian Fidance and Jordan Jensen Got Called by the Police

Here’s The Scenario

Play Episode Listen Later Feb 1, 2023 70:31


The "Bein' Ian with Jordan" crew joins us today and we set our PR for "Least Scenarios Read." We share prank calls gone wrong and Jordan tells us the most insane thing that's ever happened to her. Also in this episode, we get the Dervla updates everyone's been dying to hear. Ian Fidance is an offbeat yet upbeat New York City comic, actor, and writer originally from Wilmington, Delaware. An absolute force on stage, his act is insanely positive and positively insane. Equal parts thoughtful, explicit, and silly, he can be seen performing nightly at the iconic Comedy Cellar in the heart of New York City's Greenwich Village. He co-starred in multiple sketches on the latest season of the “Gilly and Keeves” sketch show, “The Last OG” with Tracy Morgan, and more. His wildly popular podcast “Bein Ian with Jordan” is available on YouTube, iTunes, and Spotify. Jordan Jensen started comedy in upstate NY before moving to Nashville TN, where she spent a year working for clubs and taking her comedy on the road in her pickup truck. Most recently, she was was featured on "The Late Late Show with James Corden". In 2021, Jordan was named the first female comic to win “NY's Funniest Stand Up” at the NY Comedy Festival. She now lives in Brooklyn NY and is a regular at the renowned Comedy Cellar. Her comedy consists of tales of her bizarre upbringing, highly unconventional family, and filterless confessions of her time on this filthy planet. SUPPORT IAN: Instagram: @ianimal69 SUPPORT JORDAN: Instagram: @jordanjensenlolstop BEIN' IAN PODCAST: YouTube: @BeinIanPod  Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/BeinIanpod *** GET TICKETS TO SEE CANNON AT GRAMERCY THEATRE: https://concerts.livenation.com/event/00005D62A92F2DCF?f_use_ras_unavailability=true&f_ras_manifest_attributes=true&f_tmol_prefix=true MERCH: https://thelaughbutton.merchtable.com/heres-the-scenario Want to work with us? Email scenariopodproducer@gmail.com. FOLLOW THE SHOW: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heresthescenariopod/ Twitter: ​https://twitter.com/ScenarioPod Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ScenarioPod Website: https://thelaughbutton.com/podcasts/heres-the-scenario FOLLOW THE HOSTS: Mike Feeney Instagram, Twitter, TikTok: @iammikefeeney Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/nyfreshmaker YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/MikeFeeneyComedy Website: https://www.mikefeeneycomedy.com Mike Cannon Instagram, Twitter, TikTok: @iammikecannon YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/MikeCannonComedy Website: https://www.mikecannoncomedy.com Brendan Sagalow Instagram, Twitter, TikTok: @brendansagalow Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/sags2riches YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BrendanSagalow Website: https://brendansagalow.com Produced by Nicole Lyons Instagram: @nicoleclyons Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Andrew Talks to Chefs
Fine Dining in the Crosshairs with Angie Mar (An Andrew Talks to Chefs Special Conversation)

Andrew Talks to Chefs

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 25, 2023 49:20


With this episode, we introduce a new recurring feature on the pod: Andrew Talks to Chefs Special Conversations. In these freestanding, short-form episodes, we'll be discussing news and topics that are on the minds of the industry with chefs, owner-operators, cooks, farmers, platform providers, and others. Our goal is a free, open, and honest exchange of ideas. In this inaugural episode, Angie Mar, chef and owner of Les Trois Chevaux in Greenwich Village, New York City, sits down to share her thoughts about the state of fine dining and whether or not the media's antipathy towards it aligns with the dining public, chefs, and cooks. Andrew Talks to Chefs is a fully independent podcast and no longer affiliated with our former host network; please visit and bookmark our official website for all show updates, blog posts, personal and virtual appearances, and related news.  

Elvis Duran Presents: Celebrity Buzz
What is With the Accent?

Elvis Duran Presents: Celebrity Buzz

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 23, 2023 20:47


Hilaria Baldwin was ripped on social media for using her “fake” Spanish accent so herhusband could escape their Greenwich Village apartment. T.J. Holmes appears to becompletely unfazed that his future at ABC is in jeopardy over his alleged affairs with co-workers. When Meghan Markle moved to London, she had to give up many aspects ofher old life – including her dog —Bogart.”See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Naughty But Nice with Rob Shuter
Boston-born Hilaria Baldwin slammed for using ‘fake' Spanish accent when deflecting reporters. T.J. Holmes can't stop grinning despite ongoing affair accusations. The Kardashians are concerned about Kanye West's marriage.

Naughty But Nice with Rob Shuter

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 23, 2023 20:47


Hilaria Baldwin was ripped for using her “fake” Spanish accent so her husband could escape their Greenwich Village apartment. T.J. Holmes appears to be completely unfazed that his future at ABC is in jeopardy. The Kardashians are concerned and confused about how Kanye West marriage will impact the children. Rob is joined by his dear pal Garrett Vogel from Elvis Duran and the Morning Show with all the scoop. Don't forget to vote in today's poll on Twitter at @naughtynicerob or in our Facebook group.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

New Books in Biography
Dick Weissman, "Bob Dylan's New York: A Historic Guide" (SUNY Press, 2022)

New Books in Biography

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 22, 2023 38:59


New York has long been a city where people go to reinvent themselves. And since the dawn of the twentieth century, New York City's Greenwich Village has been at the center of that alchemy of reinvention. Its side streets, squares and coffeehouses have nurtured generations of artists, writers, and musicians, among them Bob Dylan. Dylan first set foot in the Village in 1961, and even as he continues to make music, you can argue that his Greenwich Village years in the 1960s were a formative period in his life and work. Dick Weissman's new book, Bob Dylan's New York: A Historic Guide (SUNY Press, 2022) helps fans and students of Dylan walk the streets where his career took off. Weissman-- musician, author, veteran of the folk scene, and associate professor emeritus at the University of Colorado Denver—emphasizes the Village but also takes in the midtown Manhattan offices that ran the music industry in Dylan's early days and the backroads of Woodstock, NY where Dylan found refuge from the big city. The result is a book that situates Dylan's New York years in a rich context. Bob Dylan's New York is organized as a series of mapped walking tours--covering Bleecker Street, MacDougal Street, Washington Square and more—that convey the people and institutions that nurtured Dylan's early career. Individual stops on the tour—such as Dylan's apartment building at 161 West Fourth Street and the sites of Izzy Young's Folklore Center on MacDougal Street and Sixth Avenue—are covered in well-researched entries. The book also lists the homes and addresses of other famous Village inhabitants such as the journalist John Reed, the artist Jackson Pollock, the singer Barbra Streisand, and the political activist Eleanor Roosevelt, suggesting the cultural and political ferment of the Village in the twentieth century. Bob Dylan's New York is generously illustrated with photographs, many of them from folklore collections at the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, that capture famous and not-so-famous inhabitants of the Village folk scene in the 1960s. The gentrification that has transformed the Village in recent decades has shoved aside much of the grass-roots folk music scene that made the neighborhood so interesting. Nevertheless, many of the cafes and clubs where Dylan and his contemporaries honed their craft are still there, hidden in plain sight. This folkie, former Village resident and long-time Dylan fan went out for a two-hour walk with Bob Dylan's New York in hand. I made many discoveries on streets that I thought I knew, and I barely scratched the surface of what the book has to offer. Robert W. Snyder, Manhattan Borough Historian and professor emeritus of American Studies and Journalism at Rutgers University. Email: rwsnyder@rutgers.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/biography

New Books in Music
Dick Weissman, "Bob Dylan's New York: A Historic Guide" (SUNY Press, 2022)

New Books in Music

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 22, 2023 38:59


New York has long been a city where people go to reinvent themselves. And since the dawn of the twentieth century, New York City's Greenwich Village has been at the center of that alchemy of reinvention. Its side streets, squares and coffeehouses have nurtured generations of artists, writers, and musicians, among them Bob Dylan. Dylan first set foot in the Village in 1961, and even as he continues to make music, you can argue that his Greenwich Village years in the 1960s were a formative period in his life and work. Dick Weissman's new book, Bob Dylan's New York: A Historic Guide (SUNY Press, 2022) helps fans and students of Dylan walk the streets where his career took off. Weissman-- musician, author, veteran of the folk scene, and associate professor emeritus at the University of Colorado Denver—emphasizes the Village but also takes in the midtown Manhattan offices that ran the music industry in Dylan's early days and the backroads of Woodstock, NY where Dylan found refuge from the big city. The result is a book that situates Dylan's New York years in a rich context. Bob Dylan's New York is organized as a series of mapped walking tours--covering Bleecker Street, MacDougal Street, Washington Square and more—that convey the people and institutions that nurtured Dylan's early career. Individual stops on the tour—such as Dylan's apartment building at 161 West Fourth Street and the sites of Izzy Young's Folklore Center on MacDougal Street and Sixth Avenue—are covered in well-researched entries. The book also lists the homes and addresses of other famous Village inhabitants such as the journalist John Reed, the artist Jackson Pollock, the singer Barbra Streisand, and the political activist Eleanor Roosevelt, suggesting the cultural and political ferment of the Village in the twentieth century. Bob Dylan's New York is generously illustrated with photographs, many of them from folklore collections at the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, that capture famous and not-so-famous inhabitants of the Village folk scene in the 1960s. The gentrification that has transformed the Village in recent decades has shoved aside much of the grass-roots folk music scene that made the neighborhood so interesting. Nevertheless, many of the cafes and clubs where Dylan and his contemporaries honed their craft are still there, hidden in plain sight. This folkie, former Village resident and long-time Dylan fan went out for a two-hour walk with Bob Dylan's New York in hand. I made many discoveries on streets that I thought I knew, and I barely scratched the surface of what the book has to offer. Robert W. Snyder, Manhattan Borough Historian and professor emeritus of American Studies and Journalism at Rutgers University. Email: rwsnyder@rutgers.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/music

New Books Network
Dick Weissman, "Bob Dylan's New York: A Historic Guide" (SUNY Press, 2022)

New Books Network

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 22, 2023 38:59


New York has long been a city where people go to reinvent themselves. And since the dawn of the twentieth century, New York City's Greenwich Village has been at the center of that alchemy of reinvention. Its side streets, squares and coffeehouses have nurtured generations of artists, writers, and musicians, among them Bob Dylan. Dylan first set foot in the Village in 1961, and even as he continues to make music, you can argue that his Greenwich Village years in the 1960s were a formative period in his life and work. Dick Weissman's new book, Bob Dylan's New York: A Historic Guide (SUNY Press, 2022) helps fans and students of Dylan walk the streets where his career took off. Weissman-- musician, author, veteran of the folk scene, and associate professor emeritus at the University of Colorado Denver—emphasizes the Village but also takes in the midtown Manhattan offices that ran the music industry in Dylan's early days and the backroads of Woodstock, NY where Dylan found refuge from the big city. The result is a book that situates Dylan's New York years in a rich context. Bob Dylan's New York is organized as a series of mapped walking tours--covering Bleecker Street, MacDougal Street, Washington Square and more—that convey the people and institutions that nurtured Dylan's early career. Individual stops on the tour—such as Dylan's apartment building at 161 West Fourth Street and the sites of Izzy Young's Folklore Center on MacDougal Street and Sixth Avenue—are covered in well-researched entries. The book also lists the homes and addresses of other famous Village inhabitants such as the journalist John Reed, the artist Jackson Pollock, the singer Barbra Streisand, and the political activist Eleanor Roosevelt, suggesting the cultural and political ferment of the Village in the twentieth century. Bob Dylan's New York is generously illustrated with photographs, many of them from folklore collections at the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, that capture famous and not-so-famous inhabitants of the Village folk scene in the 1960s. The gentrification that has transformed the Village in recent decades has shoved aside much of the grass-roots folk music scene that made the neighborhood so interesting. Nevertheless, many of the cafes and clubs where Dylan and his contemporaries honed their craft are still there, hidden in plain sight. This folkie, former Village resident and long-time Dylan fan went out for a two-hour walk with Bob Dylan's New York in hand. I made many discoveries on streets that I thought I knew, and I barely scratched the surface of what the book has to offer. Robert W. Snyder, Manhattan Borough Historian and professor emeritus of American Studies and Journalism at Rutgers University. Email: rwsnyder@rutgers.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/new-books-network

New Books in American Studies
Dick Weissman, "Bob Dylan's New York: A Historic Guide" (SUNY Press, 2022)

New Books in American Studies

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 22, 2023 38:59


New York has long been a city where people go to reinvent themselves. And since the dawn of the twentieth century, New York City's Greenwich Village has been at the center of that alchemy of reinvention. Its side streets, squares and coffeehouses have nurtured generations of artists, writers, and musicians, among them Bob Dylan. Dylan first set foot in the Village in 1961, and even as he continues to make music, you can argue that his Greenwich Village years in the 1960s were a formative period in his life and work. Dick Weissman's new book, Bob Dylan's New York: A Historic Guide (SUNY Press, 2022) helps fans and students of Dylan walk the streets where his career took off. Weissman-- musician, author, veteran of the folk scene, and associate professor emeritus at the University of Colorado Denver—emphasizes the Village but also takes in the midtown Manhattan offices that ran the music industry in Dylan's early days and the backroads of Woodstock, NY where Dylan found refuge from the big city. The result is a book that situates Dylan's New York years in a rich context. Bob Dylan's New York is organized as a series of mapped walking tours--covering Bleecker Street, MacDougal Street, Washington Square and more—that convey the people and institutions that nurtured Dylan's early career. Individual stops on the tour—such as Dylan's apartment building at 161 West Fourth Street and the sites of Izzy Young's Folklore Center on MacDougal Street and Sixth Avenue—are covered in well-researched entries. The book also lists the homes and addresses of other famous Village inhabitants such as the journalist John Reed, the artist Jackson Pollock, the singer Barbra Streisand, and the political activist Eleanor Roosevelt, suggesting the cultural and political ferment of the Village in the twentieth century. Bob Dylan's New York is generously illustrated with photographs, many of them from folklore collections at the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, that capture famous and not-so-famous inhabitants of the Village folk scene in the 1960s. The gentrification that has transformed the Village in recent decades has shoved aside much of the grass-roots folk music scene that made the neighborhood so interesting. Nevertheless, many of the cafes and clubs where Dylan and his contemporaries honed their craft are still there, hidden in plain sight. This folkie, former Village resident and long-time Dylan fan went out for a two-hour walk with Bob Dylan's New York in hand. I made many discoveries on streets that I thought I knew, and I barely scratched the surface of what the book has to offer. Robert W. Snyder, Manhattan Borough Historian and professor emeritus of American Studies and Journalism at Rutgers University. Email: rwsnyder@rutgers.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

New Books in History
Dick Weissman, "Bob Dylan's New York: A Historic Guide" (SUNY Press, 2022)

New Books in History

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 22, 2023 38:59


New York has long been a city where people go to reinvent themselves. And since the dawn of the twentieth century, New York City's Greenwich Village has been at the center of that alchemy of reinvention. Its side streets, squares and coffeehouses have nurtured generations of artists, writers, and musicians, among them Bob Dylan. Dylan first set foot in the Village in 1961, and even as he continues to make music, you can argue that his Greenwich Village years in the 1960s were a formative period in his life and work. Dick Weissman's new book, Bob Dylan's New York: A Historic Guide (SUNY Press, 2022) helps fans and students of Dylan walk the streets where his career took off. Weissman-- musician, author, veteran of the folk scene, and associate professor emeritus at the University of Colorado Denver—emphasizes the Village but also takes in the midtown Manhattan offices that ran the music industry in Dylan's early days and the backroads of Woodstock, NY where Dylan found refuge from the big city. The result is a book that situates Dylan's New York years in a rich context. Bob Dylan's New York is organized as a series of mapped walking tours--covering Bleecker Street, MacDougal Street, Washington Square and more—that convey the people and institutions that nurtured Dylan's early career. Individual stops on the tour—such as Dylan's apartment building at 161 West Fourth Street and the sites of Izzy Young's Folklore Center on MacDougal Street and Sixth Avenue—are covered in well-researched entries. The book also lists the homes and addresses of other famous Village inhabitants such as the journalist John Reed, the artist Jackson Pollock, the singer Barbra Streisand, and the political activist Eleanor Roosevelt, suggesting the cultural and political ferment of the Village in the twentieth century. Bob Dylan's New York is generously illustrated with photographs, many of them from folklore collections at the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, that capture famous and not-so-famous inhabitants of the Village folk scene in the 1960s. The gentrification that has transformed the Village in recent decades has shoved aside much of the grass-roots folk music scene that made the neighborhood so interesting. Nevertheless, many of the cafes and clubs where Dylan and his contemporaries honed their craft are still there, hidden in plain sight. This folkie, former Village resident and long-time Dylan fan went out for a two-hour walk with Bob Dylan's New York in hand. I made many discoveries on streets that I thought I knew, and I barely scratched the surface of what the book has to offer. Robert W. Snyder, Manhattan Borough Historian and professor emeritus of American Studies and Journalism at Rutgers University. Email: rwsnyder@rutgers.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/history

New Books in Dance
Dick Weissman, "Bob Dylan's New York: A Historic Guide" (SUNY Press, 2022)

New Books in Dance

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 22, 2023 38:59


New York has long been a city where people go to reinvent themselves. And since the dawn of the twentieth century, New York City's Greenwich Village has been at the center of that alchemy of reinvention. Its side streets, squares and coffeehouses have nurtured generations of artists, writers, and musicians, among them Bob Dylan. Dylan first set foot in the Village in 1961, and even as he continues to make music, you can argue that his Greenwich Village years in the 1960s were a formative period in his life and work. Dick Weissman's new book, Bob Dylan's New York: A Historic Guide (SUNY Press, 2022) helps fans and students of Dylan walk the streets where his career took off. Weissman-- musician, author, veteran of the folk scene, and associate professor emeritus at the University of Colorado Denver—emphasizes the Village but also takes in the midtown Manhattan offices that ran the music industry in Dylan's early days and the backroads of Woodstock, NY where Dylan found refuge from the big city. The result is a book that situates Dylan's New York years in a rich context. Bob Dylan's New York is organized as a series of mapped walking tours--covering Bleecker Street, MacDougal Street, Washington Square and more—that convey the people and institutions that nurtured Dylan's early career. Individual stops on the tour—such as Dylan's apartment building at 161 West Fourth Street and the sites of Izzy Young's Folklore Center on MacDougal Street and Sixth Avenue—are covered in well-researched entries. The book also lists the homes and addresses of other famous Village inhabitants such as the journalist John Reed, the artist Jackson Pollock, the singer Barbra Streisand, and the political activist Eleanor Roosevelt, suggesting the cultural and political ferment of the Village in the twentieth century. Bob Dylan's New York is generously illustrated with photographs, many of them from folklore collections at the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, that capture famous and not-so-famous inhabitants of the Village folk scene in the 1960s. The gentrification that has transformed the Village in recent decades has shoved aside much of the grass-roots folk music scene that made the neighborhood so interesting. Nevertheless, many of the cafes and clubs where Dylan and his contemporaries honed their craft are still there, hidden in plain sight. This folkie, former Village resident and long-time Dylan fan went out for a two-hour walk with Bob Dylan's New York in hand. I made many discoveries on streets that I thought I knew, and I barely scratched the surface of what the book has to offer. Robert W. Snyder, Manhattan Borough Historian and professor emeritus of American Studies and Journalism at Rutgers University. Email: rwsnyder@rutgers.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/performing-arts

WCBS 880 All Local
The New York City Nurses Strike is Over, George Santos Refuses to Resign, and a Series of Attacks in Greenwich Village Have Civilians on Alert

WCBS 880 All Local

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 12, 2023 4:32


Wayne Cabot and Paul Murnane have the morning's top stories from the WCBS newsroom.

The WCBS 880 Morning News Roundup
WCBS 880 Morning News Roundup - Thursday, January 12th, 2023

The WCBS 880 Morning News Roundup

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 12, 2023 9:17


Wayne Cabot and Paul Murnane have the top stories from the WCBS newsroom, including the end of the Nurses strike at two NYC Hospitals, the opening of Newark airports new Terminal A, and an string of random attacks in Greenwich Village have the police and the public on high alert. 

Famous & Gravy
Viva Bojangles

Famous & Gravy

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 11, 2023 69:13


This person died in 2020, age 78. He grew up in Oneonta, New York. He began his career in the 1960s, hitchhiking and busking around the country before establishing himself in Greenwich Village. Mainstream radio programmers didn't play his music, perhaps because of his gruff, braying singing voice and his reputation for being intoxicated onstage. He became a mainstay of the Texas Outlaw movement that catapulted Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings to fame, years after his best known composition, Mr. Bojangles. Today's dead celebrity is Jerry Jeff Walker. Famous & Gravy is created and co-hosted by Amit Kapoor and Michael Osborne. This episode was produced by Jacob Weiss. For updates on the show, please sign up for our mailing list at famousandgravy.com. Also, play our mobile quiz game at deadoraliveapp.com If you enjoyed this episode, you may also like Episode 19 “Singing Mailman” (John Prine) and Episode 23 “Book Rancher” (Larry McMurtry).   Transcript of this episode New York Times Obituary for Jerry Jeff Walker Famous & Gravy official website Famous & Gravy on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Dead or Alive Quiz Game Jerry Jeff Walker official website Purchase the OK Buckaroos DVD Jerry Jeff performs on Austin City Limits in 1976 Homer Simpson sings Mr. Bojangles “Jerry Jeff Walker, Remembered By…” in Texas Monthly “The Long, Lonesome Roads of Jerry Jeff Walker” in The New Yorker Django Walker official website Gypsy Songman autobiography HPB.com

History is Gay
0.16. Undoing Silence: Hugh Ryan & The Women's House of Detention

History is Gay

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 9, 2023 50:02


In this interview episode, Leigh sits down for a conversation with historian and writer Hugh Ryan about his landmark book The Women's House of Detention: A Queer History of a Forgotten Prison. The Women's House of Detention is the story of one building: the people it caged, the neighborhood it changed, and the resistance it inspired. Listen for an extremely enlightening conversation on the unlikely queer community found in a space of incarceration in the heart of New York's Greenwich Village, the ways in which the carceral state specifically targets queer women and transmasculine people, and the case for abolition as prioritizing of systems of care.  Where To Find Hugh Ryan Online: www.hughryan.org  @hughryan on mastodon.lol @hugh_ryan on twitter @hughoryan on instagram Want to help us continue to make the show? Support us on Patreon and get awesome goodies, behind-the-scenes access, special minisodes, and more! We have a Discord server for everyone to hang out in, exclusive O.G. Lesbian Sappho t-shirts, Pop-Culture Tie-In movie watches, and some really fun extras coming your way! You can also get merch in our store! Shirts, hoodies, totes, mugs, magnets, and other neat things! If you'd like to help us transcribe the show for our d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing fans, please head on over to www.historyisgaypodcast.com/transcribe to join the team of volunteers! Find our full list of sources and bonus content at www.historyisgaypodcast.com. Find us on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts! Don't forget to rate and review so more folks can see the show!  

The Bowery Boys: New York City History
#402 Treasures from the World's Fair

The Bowery Boys: New York City History

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 6, 2023 65:30 Very Popular


Flushing-Meadows Corona Park in the borough of Queens is the home of the New York Mets, the U.S. Open, the Queens Zoo, the New York Hall of Science and many other recreational delights. But it will always be forever known as the launching pad for the future as represented in two extraordinary 20th century world's fairs.There is so much nostalgia today for the 1939-1940 World's Fair and its stranger, more visually chaotic 1964-65 World's Fair. And that nostalgia has fueled a thriving market for collectables from these fairs -- the souvenirs and other common household items branded with the two fairs' striking visual symbols.The Trylon and Perisphere represented the dreams of 1930s America after the Great Depression, the strange symbols of "the World of Tomorrow." A quarter century later the Unisphere depicted its theme -- "Peace Through Understanding" -- as a space-age fantasy.Millions of souvenirs were manufactured and sold at these two fairs. And those very treasured items which survive -- in the hands of collectors, at flea markets and antique shops -- are nearly all that remain of these special, ephemeral events.In this show, Greg is joined by design and cultural historian Kyle Supley, recorded at Brooklyn's City Reliquary where Supley's own collection of World's Fair has found a permanent home.How do such souvenirs allow us to visit the past? And what do they say about our world today?FURTHER LISTENING:-- The Crystal Palace: America's First World Fair-- 1939-1940 World's Fair-- 1964-65 World's Fair-- Ruins of the World's Fair (about the New York State Pavilion)_________Kyle Supley is a historian, curator and preservationist with a focus on Mid-Century American culture, consumer products, architecture, and design.He is the creator and host of the TV show Kyle Supley's Out There! on Ovation's Journy Network, a NYC tour guide for Bowery Boys Walks, and a DJ of music from the golden age of disco, at the landmarked NYC gay bar Julius' in Greenwich Village.Follow him on Instagram hereFollow the Bowery Boys Podcast on Instagram, Facebook,Twitter and Post 

Cannabis Legalization News
New York Dispensaries Open Days Before 2023 - Cannabis Legalization News

Cannabis Legalization News

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 2023 33:11


In a major victory for cannabis legalization advocates, #dispensaries in #New #York are set to open before 2023. This video takes a closer look at the news and what it could mean for the future of cannabis in the state. Kenneth Woodin, a stay-at-home dad from Houston who had been previously arrested on a weed charge, was first in line at the cannabis dispensary in Manhattan's Greenwich Village to make history. After eagerly queuing for more than four hours, he entered the dispensary, proceeded to purchase two bags of smokable flower called Gorilla Glue each containing eighth of an ounce for approximately $90. Prior to this historic purchase embarked upon by Mr. Woodin and the many other courageous individuals taking part, cannabis sales were one that took place in secrecy and angst due to laws in place which criminalized them. Despite coming to terms with his past making oversight decisions and recognizing majority public opinion had shifted so drastically as it regards Cannabis use, Mr. Woodin confessed "This is part of history" speaking regarding his monumental purchases made on December 3rd 2020 which marked New York's legalization of recreational cannabis. In doing so, the 33 year old brought closure for himself and helped progress trajectory of further disruptive social change surrounding Marijuana Marijuana usage/legality worldwide by exclaiming "I don't want to feel like I'm a criminal anymore." Read all about it: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/29/nyregion/ny-weed-sales.html Connect with us:

Armchair MBA
Rita Gigante | The Godfathers Daughter | Exclusive Interview

Armchair MBA

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2022 46:56


Vincent Gigante was born on March 29, 1928 in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA. He was previously married to Olympia Grippa. He died on December 19, 2005 in Springfield, Missouri, USA. The current "family" was founded by Charles "Lucky" Luciano and was known as the Luciano crime family from 1931 to 1957, when it was renamed after boss Vito Genovese. Originally in control of the waterfront on the West Side of Manhattan as well as the docks and the Fulton Fish Market on the East River waterfront, the family was run for years by "The Oddfather", Vincent "The Chin" Gigante, who feigned insanity by shuffling unshaven through New York's Greenwich Village wearing a tattered bath robe and muttering to himself incoherently to avoid prosecution. The Genovese family is the oldest and the largest of the "Five Families". Finding new ways to make money in the 21st century, the family took advantage of lax due diligence by banks during the housing bubble with a wave of mortgage frauds. Prosecutors say loan shark victims obtained home equity loans to pay off debts to their mob bankers. The family found ways to use new technology to improve on illegal gambling, with customers placing bets through offshore sites via the Internet. Join this channel to get access to perks: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgPw... Tom chats with Rita about growing up as Vincent "the Chin" Gigante's daughter. Learn more about Rita here: https://www.ritagigante.net/ Get a copy of Rita's Book: https://www.amazon.com/Godfathers-Dau... Day 1 of the 30 for 30 series. #RitaGigante #armchairmba #mobstersinc #mafia #genovese #truecrime #spirituality

Born Or Made
James Kent: The Recipe For Kindness In Leadership

Born Or Made

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2022 45:18


A Greenwich Village native, James Kent started his culinary career as a summer apprentice at Bouley when he was fifteen years old. After taking classes at Le Cordon Bleu in London and Paris then graduating from Johnson and Wales, James moved back to New York where he spent time in the kitchens of some of New York's most storied restaurants including Babbo and Jean-Georges. In the spring of 2007, James joined the team at Eleven Madison Park as a line cook and was quickly promoted to sous chef. In 2010, James placed first in the Bocuse d'Or USA Competition; he then represented the United States at the international finals of the Bocuse D'Or in Lyon, France the following year where he placed 10th in the world. When he returned to New York, James was named chef de cuisine of Eleven Madison Park. Under his leadership, EMP received nearly every accolade bestowed on a restaurant including four stars from the New York Times, three Michelin stars, and a coveted spot on the San Pellegrino list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants. James was promoted to Executive Chef of the NoMad in the fall of 2013, the same year that it received one Michelin Star. He left The NoMad in 2017 to pursue his first solo project, an ambitious pair of restaurants in the landmark Art Deco building at 70 Pine Street in New York's Financial District. James opened Crown Shy, the first of those restaurants, in March 2019. Just six months after opening, the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star. After 18 months of pandemic-related delays, the pair opened SAGA – a fine-dining restaurant in the tiered spire of the building–in August of 2021. In October 2022, SAGA was awarded two Michelin stars. James is an active supporter of a number of charities working to eradicate childhood hunger in New York City including No Kid Hungry and ReThink Food, for which he sits on the Chef's Council. James has twice co-chaired the annual Chef's Benefit dinner for Cookies for Kids Cancer, a nationally-recognized organization that provides funding for pediatric cancer research. And he's a mentor for Ment'Or organization devoted to inspiring culinary excellence in young professionals and preserving the traditions and quality of cuisine in America. In this episode, Michael and James discuss the mindset of leading a team in a high-stress environment, the key to establishing a positive company culture, and how to carve out time for yourself every single day.

Local Switchboard NYC
Voices Raised In Song & Protest

Local Switchboard NYC

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 20, 2022


It's the holidays: friends, family, gifts and gelt, tree lightings, and ‘good will towards men.' Not so fast. Our brief show for this season does indeed include an uplifting tree lighting in Greenwich Village's Abingdon Square, but also two divisive issues. The sound of the picket line at the New School's flagship University Center building at 5th and 13th Street bore witness to month-long strike by the University's part-time faculty over a host of issues including better wages and health care benefits. And a proposed ferry dock demolition and reconstruction project has Long Island City residents worried about crowds, pollution and trading an cherished view for an eyesore.

ChabDog Sports Talk Show
The You're always Young enough for a good hit job CDST NFL Week 15 Show

ChabDog Sports Talk Show

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 19, 2022 144:49


Having a tough time getting those creaky bones out of bed on a cold winter morning? We'll inspire with the, "You're always Young enough for a good hit job" CDST NFL Week 15 Show.Suck it up, grab that inhaler, and get ready to fight like rabid dogs on the frozen tundra in mid-December. The playoffs are coming and there's simply no tomorrow. Who knows, there could be a Sister Golden Hair surprise.... and the Raiders actually win as favorites.We preview the action for this Sunday, as the weather turns frigid and the lines start to fall toward zero. Brace for some spirited hand to hand combat as Baltimore scraps with the Browns, Dallas tangles with the suddenly stoked Jags, the Jets lay in wait for the Lions, Falcons look for something solid to grab hold off against the struggling Saints, and the Panthers plan to pounce on Pittsburgh.Plus there's something like 7 bowl games to ponder (how did Jimmy Kimmel get his name on one), and we may well check in on the World Cup final (Vive La France, or watch out for The Fez?). And playing in the background, we have more than enough Burt Young to go around, including the Bacala Sr. demolition of Mustang Sally, a serious infestation of Bed Bug Eddie in Pope of Greenwich Village, and Lou from Back to School, who sometimes gets carried away with phys. ed. Brought you by Law Offices of Brandon S. Chabner and ChabDog Sports Blog.

Media Path Podcast
Folk Rock Heroes & Multi-Instrumental Mastery featuring John Sebastian

Media Path Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 15, 2022 64:18


John Sebastian's rich musical catalogue reflects a life deeply steeped in craft, cultural resonance and history. John's career has taken him from The Lovin' Spoonful to Bob Dylan to Mama Cass to Woodstock to movie soundtracks and beyond. John joins us to share stories of his creatively colorful Greenwich Village childhood, surrounded by folk and classical luminaries, his harmonica virtuoso father, his screenwriting mother and his Godmother, Vivian Vance!His talent and experiences inspired him to write and record an ecclectic array of hits including: Summer In The City, Darlin' Be Home Soon, Welcome Back, Nashville Cats, You Didn't Have To Be So Nice, Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind, Do You Believe In Magic and a bunch more.And John comes to us brining word of his newest album with Arlen Roth called John and Arlen Explore The Lovin' Spoonful Songbook.Plus, Fritz and Weezy are recommending Harry and Meghan on Netflix and Harry Chapin: When In Doubt, Do Something, on Prime Video. Also, we introduce our first Helping Folks Help charity partner, Children's Burn Foundation.Path Points of Interest:John SebastianJohn and Arlen Revisit The Lovin' Spoonful SongbookJohn Sebastion in The Songwriters' Hall of FameJ.B.s Harmonica by John SebastianDarlin' Be Home Soon Live On The Ed Sullivan ShowHarry and Meghan - Netflix Harry Chapin: When In Doubt, Do SomethingChildren's Burn Foundation

Takin A Walk
One man's mission to celebrate the music scene of Greenwich Village

Takin A Walk

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2022 36:02


Richard Barone is the author of the terrific book "Music and Revolution-Greenwich Village in the 60's" and he joins Buzz Knight for this episode. Richard is a musician and professor and he is passionate about the village music scene. Show Notes here to learn more. One Man's Mission to Share his Love of the Greenwich Village Music Scene with Richard Barone When we think of the term “musical range,” I think you have to actually think of Greenwich village in the sense that in the 60s, the village was such a hotbed of styles and personalities. The village is accorded the backbone of singers, song writing, and folk singing, because of this incredible range of poets and a live feeling of what was going on. You still feel it today, but it is different from the 60s. So, it's rather fitting that our guest today, on taking a walk, is not a stranger to the musical range.   Richard Barone is an acclaimed recording artist, performer, producer, and author. Since pioneering the indie rock scene in Hoboken, NJ, as frontman of The Bongos and then helping to launch the chamber pop movement with his solo debut “cool blue halo,” Barone has produced countless studio recordings and worked with artists in every musical genre. Richard has spent decades navigating the musical neurons of the village with his great new book, Music and Revolution. This book is about Greenwich Village in the 60s. By the end, Richard will transport you in time. You will feel as if you are going through a meditation, you are part of. Get the experience of this amazing village with Richard Barone.   Tune in!   Key Highlights from the Episode [00:01] Meet Richard Barone from Greenwich Village [01:45] Richard's inspiration for authoring his book, Music+Revolution [03:21] Save the village movement [04:47] How a Sunday afternoon in a restaurant felt like in the 1960s at the village [06:43] Big poets at Greenwich Village in the 50s [11:00] A lunch Richard had with Barry Kornfeld [12:30] Several musical figures that you should know, as Barone mentions in his book [12:50] Richard Farina [19:51] Janis Ian [23:31] José Monserrate Feliciano [25:10] Fred Neil [28:09] Philip David Ochs [32:44] Comparing the music of the 1960s to that of 2020 [35:34] Ending the show and call to action Notable Quotes Compared to the 1960s, many songs do not address anything. Older songs were guided by a message or theme. Many people sing songs in 20222, but it does not bring togetherness of people to enjoy and feel it. In the 60s, concerts were packed with people of all races and ages. Get Richard's Book Music + Revolution: Greenwich Village in the 1960s: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0B4FDSY5B/ Connect With Richard Barone Website: http://www.richardbarone.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/richardbarone/ Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/RichardBarone Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RichardBaroneOfficial Email: rbm@richardbarone.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/richardbarone                                    

Takin A Walk
Promo/One man's mission to share his love of the Greenwich Village music scene.

Takin A Walk

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2022 1:12


Promo for episode releasing later this week with musician/author/professor Richard Barone.

The Lunar Society
Edward Glaeser - Cities, Terrorism, Housing, & Remote Work

The Lunar Society

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2022 57:08


Edward Glaeser is the chair of the Harvard department of economics, and the author of the best books and papers about cities (including Survival of the City and Triumph of the City).He explains why:* Cities are resilient to terrorism, remote work, & pandemics,* Silicon Valley may collapse but the Sunbelt will prosper, * Opioids show UBI is not a solution to AI* & much more!Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here.Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.If you enjoy this episode, I would be super grateful if you shared it. Post it on Twitter, send it to your friends & group chats, and throw it up wherever else people might find it. Can't exaggerate how much it helps a small podcast like mine.A huge thanks to Graham Bessellieu for editing this podcast and Mia Aiyana for producing its transcript.Timestamps(0:00:00) - Mars, Terrorism, & Capitals (0:06:32) - Decline, Population Collapse, & Young Men (0:14:44) - Urban Education (0:18:35) - Georgism, Robert Moses, & Too Much Democracy? (0:25:29) - Opioids, Automation, & UBI (0:29:57) - Remote Work, Taxation, & Metaverse (0:42:29) - Past & Future of Silicon Valley (0:48:56) - Housing Reform (0:52:32) - Europe's Stagnation, Mumbai's Safety, & Climate ChangeTranscriptMars, Terrorism, & CapitalsDwarkesh Patel 0:00:00Okay, today, I have the pleasure of speaking with Professor Edward Glaeser, who is the chair of the Harvard Department of Economics, and author of some of the best books and papers about cities. Professor Glazer, thanks for coming on The Lunar Society.Edward Glaeser 0:00:25Oh, thank you so much for having me on! Especially given that The Lunar Society pays homage to one of my favorite moments in urban innovation in Birmingham during the 18th century.Dwarkesh Patel 0:00:26Oh wow, I didn't even catch that theme, but that's a great title. My first question is, What advice would you give to Elon Musk about building the first cities on Mars?Edward Glaeser 0:00:35[laughs] That's a great question. I think that demand for urbanism in Mars is going to be relatively limited. Cities are always shaped by the transportation costs that are dominant in the era in which they're created. That both determines the micro-shape of the city and determines its macro future. So cities on Mars are, of course, going to be limited by the likely prohibitive cost of traveling back and forth to the mother planet. But we also have to understand what cars people are going to be using on Mars. I assume these are all going to be Teslas, and everyone is going to be driving around in some appropriate Tesla on Mars. So it's going to be a very car-oriented living experience. I think the best strategy would be to create a fairly flexible plan, much like the 1811 grid plan in New York, that allows entrepreneurs to change land use over time and put a few bets on what's necessary for infrastructure and then just let the city evolve organically. Usually, the best way is to put more trust in individual initiative than central planning–– at least in terms of micromanaging what goes where. Dwarkesh Patel 0:01:58Gotcha. Now, since 9/11, many terrorist groups have obviously intended to cause harm to cities. But by and large, at least in Western countries, they haven't managed to kill off thousands of people like they were able to do during 9/11. What explains this? Do you think cities are just more resilient to these kinds of attacks than we would have otherwise thought? Or are the terrorists just not being creative enough?Edward Glaeser 0:02:20I don't know. There's also the question of what the objectives are. Even for the 9/11 terrorists, their end game was not to kill urbanites in America. It was to effect change in Saudi Arabia or in the Middle East more generally. We've also protected our cities better. If you think about it, two things go on simultaneously when you collect economic activity in one place in terms of defense: one of which is they become targets–– and of course, that's what we saw on 9/11; it's hard to think of a symbol that's clearer than those twin towers. But at the same time, they're also a defensible space. The origin of the urban agglomeration and use for cities and towns was the fact that they could be walled settlements. Those walls that brought together people collectively for defense are the ultimate reason why these towns came about. The walls provided protection.I think the same thing has been playing out with cities over the past 20 years. Just as New York was a target, it was also a place where post-2001, the city ramped up its anti-terrorism efforts. They put together a massive group as London had previously done. The cameras that implemented congestion pricing in London were the same cameras that used against the Irish terrorists. So both effects went on. I think we've been fortunate and that we've shown the strength of cities in terms of protecting themselves.Dwarkesh Patel 0:03:52If you look throughout ancient world history, there are so many examples of empires that are basically synonymous with their capital cities (ex. Rome or Athens, or Sparta). But today, you would never think of America as the ‘Washingtonian Empire.' What is the explanation for why the capital city has become much less salient in terms of the overall nation? Is there a Coasian answer here?Edward Glaeser 0:04:20There are specific things that went on with English offshoot colonies where in many cases, because they recognized the tendency of the capital city to attract lots of excess goodies that had been taken from elsewhere in the country, they located the capital city in a remote place. It's actually part of the story of the Hamilton musical in The Room Where it Happens. Part of the deal was about moving the capital of the US to a relatively remote Virginia location rather than having it be in Philadelphia, New York. That was partially to reflect the fact that the South needed to be protected against all of the extra assets going to New York and Philadelphia.So, whether or not this is Canberra or Ottawa, you see all of these English offshoot places without their capitals in the big metropoles. Whereas traditionally, what's happened in these places that have been around for centuries, is that even if the capital didn't start off as the largest city, it became the largest city because centuries of French leaders thought their business was to take wealth from elsewhere in France and make Paris great. I think the French Empire was as synonymous with Paris as most of those ancient empires were with their capital city. I guess the question I could throw back to you is, what are places where this is not true? Moscow, St. Peter's, and Beijing are examples. Do we think that Beijing is less synonymous with China than the Roman Empire is with Rome? Maybe a little–– possibly just because China is so big and Beijing is a relatively small share of the overall population of China. But it's more so certainly than Washington, D.C. is with the U.S. Decline, Population Collapse, & Young MenDwarkesh Patel 0:06:32That's a really interesting answer. Once a city goes through a period of decline (maybe an important industry moved out, or maybe it's had a sequence of bad governance), are you inclined to bet that there will be some sort of renewal, or do you think that things will continue to get worse? In other words, are you a momentum trader, or are you a reversion to the mean trader when it comes to cities?Edward Glaeser 0:06:54I can tell you different answers for different outcomes. For housing prices, I can tell you exactly what we know statistically about this, which is at higher frequencies, let's say one year, housing prices show wickedly large levels of momentum. For five years or more, they show very significant levels of mean reversion. It's a short-term cycle in housing prices followed by decline. Population just shows enormous persistence on the downside. So what happens is you typically will have an economic shock. Detroit used to be the most productive place on the planet in 1950, but a bunch of shocks occurred in transportation technology which made it no longer such a great place to make cars for the world. It takes a century for the city to respond in terms of its population because the housing is sticky. The housing remains there. So between the 50s and 60s, the population declines a little bit, and prices drop. They drop sufficiently far that you're not going to build a lot of new housing, but people are going to still stay in the houses. They're not going to become vacant. So, the people are still there because the houses are still there. During the 60s to 70s, the population drops a  little bit further and prices kind of stay constant, but still it's not enough to build new housing. So the declines are incredibly persistent, and growth is less so. So on the boom side, you have a boom over a 10-year period that's likely to mean revert and it's not nearly as persistent because it doesn't have this sticky housing element to it. In terms of GDP per capita, it's much more of a random walk there in terms of the straight income stuff. It's the population that's really persistent, which is, in fact, the reality of a persistent economy.Dwarkesh Patel 0:08:44Interesting. Why don't Americans move as much as they used to a century ago? So you have a paper from 2018 titled Jobs in the Heartland, where you talk about how there's increasing divergence between the unemployment rates between different parts of America. Why don't Americans just move to places where there are better economic circumstances? Edward Glaeser 0:09:04I want to highlight one point here, which is that you said “unemployment rate”, and I want to replace that with non-employment rate. That's partially what we're seeing now. It looks like America's labor force couldn't be better in terms of the low levels of unemployment, but what's happened over the last 50 years is there has been a very large rise in the share of prime-age men who are not in the labor force. So they've stopped looking for work, and those guys are miserable. It's not that those guys are somehow rather productive and happy,–– this is a very bad outcome for prime-age men. I'm separating men from women, not to say that the female labor markets aren't just as important, just as fascinating, just as critical. But labor force participation means something different for many women than it does for men. There are many women who are not in the labor force who are doing things that are enormously productive socially, like caring for their children and caring for their families.I wish it were symmetric across the genders. It just isn't true. I mean, there just are very few men not in the labor force who are doing anything much other than watching television. It's just a very different thing. So yes, there are big differences in the non-employment rate. There are some parts of America where, for much of the past decade, one in four prime-age men have been jobless. It's an enormous gap. The question is, why don't they get out?I think the answer is really twofold: one of which is the nature of how housing markets have frozen up. Historically, the differences in housing costs in the US weren't that huge across places. Most parts of America had some kind of affordable housing, and it was relatively easy to put up. At the dawn of the 20th century, these were kit helms sold by Sears and Roebuck that sprung up by the thousand. You bought the kit from Sears and Roebuck, and you just built it yourself. After World War II, it was mass-produced homes in places like Levittown.For most of the last 50 years, in places like coastal California or the East Coast, building has just become far more difficult. With the decline of mass-produced housing, it's become far more expensive, and it becomes harder and harder for relatively low-income people to find opportunities in places that have high levels of income, and high levels of opportunity. That's partially why there's not just a general decline in mobility, there's a decline in directed mobility for the poor. Historically, poor people moved from poor areas to rich areas. That's pretty much stopped. In part, that's because rich areas just have very, very expensive housing. The other thing is the rising importance of the informal safety net.So if you think about most particularly prime-aged men, they're not receiving significant handouts from the government except if they're on disability. But they will typically have some form of income, some form of housing that's being provided for them by someone other than themselves. A third of them are living in their parent's homes. That informal safety net is usually very place dependent. Let's say you're living in Eastern Kentucky; it's not like your parents were going to buy you a condo in San Francisco. You can still have your own bedroom, but you can't go anywhere else and still get that level of support. And so that's, I think, another reason why we're increasingly stuck in place.The third you mentioned, is that a third of the non-employed population of young men or is that a third of all young men? Non-employed is a third of non-employed prime aged men. So that's 25 to 54. There are a lot of 45 year olds who are living on their parents' couches or in their old bedroom. It's a fairly remarkable thing.Dwarkesh Patel 0:12:49Now, we'll get to housing in just a second, but first, I want to ask you: If the fertility trends in East Asia and many other places continue, what will the impact on cities be if the average age gets much older and the possible eventuality of depopulation?Edward Glaeser 0:12:53That's a really interesting question.The basic age fact on cities is that within the bracket of the sort of high-income or middle-income, for prime-aged parents, cities tend to be relatively bad for them. Once you're in the sort of high end of the upper middle class, the distrust of our public school systems, merited or not, means that that group tends to leave. You have plenty of parents with kids who are lower income, and then you have groups who are part of a demographic barbell that like cities. So this is partially about people who don't feel like they need the extra space and partially because if they're young, they're looking to find prospective mates of various forms.Cities are good for that. Urban proximity works well in the dating market. And they've got time on their hands to enjoy the tremendous amenities and consumption advantages that cities have. For older people, it's less about finding a mate typically, but the urban consumption amenity still has value. The ability to go to museums, the ability to go to concerts, and those sorts of activities continue to draw people in.Going forward, I would have continued to expect the barbell dimension to persist until we actually get around to solving our urban schools and declining population levels. If anything, I would have thought that COVID skews you a bit younger because older people are more anxious and remember that cities can also bring pandemics. They remember that it can be a nice thing to have a suburban home if you have to shelter in place. So that might lead some people who would have otherwise relocated to a dense urban core to move out, to stay out.Urban EducationDwarkesh Patel 0:14:44You just mentioned urban schools, and I'm curious because you've written about how urban schools are one of the reasons people who have children might not want to stay in cities. I'm curious why it's the case that American cities have some of the best colleges in the world, but for some reason, their K-to-12 is significantly worse, or it can be worse than the K-to-12 in other parts of the country. Why is it that the colleges are much better in cities, but K to 12 is worse? Edward Glaeser 0:15:19So it's interesting. It's not as if, I don't think there's ever been an Englishman who felt like they had to leave London to get better schools for the kids, or a Frenchman who thought they needed to leave Paris. It's not like there's something that's intrinsic to cities, but I've always thought it's a reflection of the fact that instead of allowing all of the competition and entrepreneurship that thrives in cities and that makes cities great, in the case of K to 12 public education, that's vanished.And your example of colleges is exactly right. I'm in this industry; I'm a participant in this industry and let me tell you, this industry is pretty competitive. Whether or not we're competing for the best students, at our level we go through an annual exercise of trying to make sure we get Ph.D. students to come to our program instead of our competitors, whether it's by hiring faculty members or attracting undergraduates, we occupy a highly competitive industry where we are constantly aware of what we need to do to make ourselves better. It doesn't mean that we're great along every dimension, but at least we're trying. K through 12 education has a local monopoly.So it's like you take the great urban food, leisure and hospitality, and food industries, and instead of having in New York City by a hyper-competitive world where you constantly have entry, you say, “You know what? We're going to have one publicly managed canteen and it's going to provide all the food in New York City and we're not going to allow any competitors or the competitors are going to have to pay a totally different thing.” That canteen is probably going to serve pretty crappy food. That's in some sense what happens when you have a large-scale public monopoly that replaces private competition.Dwarkesh Patel 0:16:50But isn't that also true of rural schools? Why are urban schools often worse? Edward Glaeser 0:17:46There's much more competition in suburban schools. So in terms of the suburban schools, typically there are lots of suburbs, and people are competing amongst them. The other thing that's actually important is (I don't want to over exaggerate this, but I think it is something that we need to think a little bit about) the role of public sector unions and particularly teachers unions in these cases. In the case of a suburban school district, the teachers union is no more empowered on the management side than they would be in the private sector.Dwarkesh Patel 0:17:30So in a normal private sector, you've got a large company, you've got a union, and they're arguing with each other. It's a level playing field. It's all kind of reasonable. I'm not saying management has done awful things, and that unions have done foolish things. I'm not saying that either are perfect, but it's kind of well-matched. It's matched that way in the suburbs as well. You've got highly empowered parents who are highly focused on their kids and they're not dominated.It's not like the teachers union dominates elections in Westchester County. Whereas if you go into a big city school district, you have two things going on. One of which is the teachers tend to be highly involved politically and quite capable of influencing management essentially, because they are an electoral force to be reckoned with, not just by the direct votes, but also with their campaign spending. On top of this, you're talking about a larger group of disparate parents, many of whom have lots of challenges to face and it becomes much harder for them to organize effectively on the other side. So for those reasons, big urban schools can do great things and many individual teachers can be fantastic, but it's an ongoing challenge. Georgism, Robert Moses, & Too Much Democracy?Dwarkesh Patel 0:18:35What is your opinion on Georgism? Do cities need a land value tax? Would it be better if all the other taxes are replaced by one?Edward Glaeser 0:18:41Okay. So Henry George, I don't know any economist who doesn't think that a land value tax is an attractive idea. The basic idea is we're going to tax land rather than taxing real estate values. And you would probably implement this in practice by evaluating the real estate and then subtracting the cost of construction, (at least for anything that was built up, meaning you'd form some value of the structures and you just subtract it).The attractive thing from most of our perspectives is it doesn't create the same disincentive to build that a real estate tax does. Real estate tax says, “Oh, you know what? I might want to keep this thing as a parking lot for a couple of years so I don't have to pay taxes on it.”If it were a land value tax, you're going to pay the same tax, whether or not it's a parking lot or whether or not you're going to put a high rise on it, so you might as well put the high rise on it and we could use the space. So I think by and large, that's a perfectly sensible idea. I'd like to see more places using land value taxes or using land value taxes in exchange for property taxes.Where George got it wrong is the idea that a land value tax is going to solve all the problems of society or all the problems of cities. That is ludicrously not true.One could make an argument that in those places that just have a property tax, you could replace it with a land value tax with little loss, but at the national level, it's not a particularly progressive tax in lots of ways. It would be hard to figure out how to fund all the things you want to fund, especially since there are lots of things that we do that are not very land intensive. I think George was imagining a world in which pretty much all value-creating enterprises had a lot of land engaged. So it's a good idea, yes. A panacea, no. Dwarkesh Patel 0:20:20No, that's a good point. I mean, Google's offices in San Francisco are probably generating more value than you would surmise just from the quantity of land they have there. Do American cities need more great builders like Robert Moses?Edward Glaeser 0:20:36Robert Caro's The Power Broker is one of the great biographies of the past 100 years, unquestionably. The only biography that I think is clearly better is Robert Caro's biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson, right? I mean, it's Caro is truly amazing. That being said, I would not exactly call it a fair and balanced view of Robert. I mean, it is true that Robert Moses was high handed, and it is true that there are things that he did that were terrible, that you never want to do again. But on the other hand, the man got stuff built. I mean, I think of myself as a child growing up in New York City, and whether or not it was the public pool that I swam in or the parks that I played in, or the roads that I traveled on, they were all delivered by Robert Moses. There's got to be a middle ground, which is, no, we're not going to run roughshod over the neighborhood as Robert Moses did, but we're still going to build stuff. We're still going to deliver new infrastructure and we're not going to do it for 10 times more than every other country in the world does it.Dwarkesh Patel 0:21:37We're actually going to have sensible procurement policies that bring in things at a reasonable cost, and I think we need to balance a little bit back towards Robert Moses in order to have slightly more empowered builders who actually are able to deliver American cities the infrastructure they need at an affordable cost. Dwarkesh Patel 0:21:57Do we have too much democracy at the local level? You wrote a paper in 2017 titled The Political Economy of Transportation Investments and one of the points you make there is that the local costs are much more salient to people for new construction than the public benefits, and the benefits to newcomers would be. Does that mean we have too much federalism? Should we just have far less power at the city level and not universally? There are lots of good things that local control does.Edward Glaeser 0:22:25I do think we have too much local ability to say no to new housing projects. So that's a particular case that I'm focused on. I think it's exactly right that the near neighbors to a project internalize all of the extra noise and perhaps extra traffic that they're going to have due to this project. They probably overestimate it because they are engaging in a bit of status quo bias and they think the present is great and can't imagine any change.By contrast, none of the people who would benefit from the new project are able to vote. All of the families that would love to move into this neighborhood are being zoned out by the insiders who get a say. I think the goal is to make sure that we have more ability to speak for outsiders. Cities at their best, are places where outsiders can find opportunities. That's part of what's so great about them. It's a tragic thing that we make that so hard. Now I'm not sure exactly that I'm claiming that I want less democracy, but I do want more limitations on how much regulations localities can do. So I think there are certain limitations on local power that I think are fine.I would prefer to call this not a limitation on local democracy, but an increase in the protection of individual rights or the individual rights of landowners to do what they want with their land. Which in effect, is a limit on democracy. But the Bill of Rights is a limit on democracy! The Bill of Rights says that they don't care if 51% of your voters want to take away your right to free assembly. They're not allowed to do that. So in some sense, what I'm just arguing for is more property owners' rights so that they can actually allow more housing in their building.In terms of transportation projects, it's a little bit dicier because here the builder is the government itself. I think the question is you want everyone to have a voice. You don't want every neighborhood to have a veto over every potential housing project or potential transportation project. So you need something that is done more at the state level with representation from the locality, but without the localities getting the ultimate sayDwarkesh Patel 0:24:33I wonder if that paper implies that I should be shorting highly educated areas, at least in terms of real estate. One of the things you mentioned in the paper was that highly educated areas that had much higher opposition were able to foment much more opposition. Edward Glaeser  0:24:49Okay. So here's the real estate strategy, which I have heard that actually there are buyers who do this. You take an area that has historically been very pro-housing. So it's got lots of housing, and it's affordable right now because supply is good. But lots of educated people have moved in. Which means that going forward, they're going to build much less, which means that going forward, they're likely to become much more expensive. So you should, in fact, buy options on that stuff rather than shorting it. You should short if you have a security that is related to the population level in that community. You should short that because the population growth is going to go down, but the prices are likely to go up. Opioids, Automation, & UBIDwarkesh Patel 0:25:29So you wrote a paper last year on the opioid epidemic. One of the points that you made there was that the opioid epidemic could be explained just by the demand side stuff about social isolation and joblessness. I wonder how this analysis makes you think about mass-scale automation in the future. What impact do you think that would have? Assume it's paired with universal basic income or something like that. Do you think it would cause a tremendous increase in opioid abuse?Edward Glaeser 0:26:03I would have phrased it slightly differently–– which is as opposed to the work of two amazing economists, Anne Case and Angus Deaton, who really emphasized the role of deaths of despair; we are much more focused on the supply side. WIth the demand side, meaning just the way that we handled the distribution of large-scale pain relieving medicines, we tell a story where every 30 to 50 years, someone comes up with the same sort of idea, which is we know that human beings love opioids in different forms. We also know they're highly addicted and lead to a terrible cycle. So all of a sudden comes along this innovator says, you know what? I've got a new opioid and it's safe. You don't have to worry about getting addicted to this one. It's magical.It won't work. 100 years ago, that thing was called heroin. 200 years ago, that thing was called morphine. 300 years ago, that thing was called Meldonium. We have these new drugs which have come in, and they've never been safe. But in our case, it was OxyContin and the magic of the time relief was supposed to make it safe, and it wasn't safe.Dwarkesh Patel 0:27:30There's a lot of great work that just shows that the patterns of opioid use was related to the places that just had a lot of pain 30 years ago. Those places came with a lot of tendency to prescribe various things for pain. So when opioids came in, when OxyContin came in, those were the places that got addicted most. Now it's also true that there are links between these economic issues. There are links with joblessness, and I basically do believe that things that create joblessness are pretty terrible and are actually much worse than income inequality. I push back against the universal basic income advocates who I think are basically engaging in a materialist fallacy of thinking that a human being's life is shaped by their take home pay or their unearned pay. I think for most people, a job is much more than that. A job is a sense of purpose. A job is a sense of social connection. When you look at human misery and opioid use, you look at the difference between high-income earners, mid-income earners. There are differences, but they're small. You then look at the difference between low-income earners and the jobless, then unhappiness spikes enormously, misery spikes enormously, family breakups spike enormously. So things like universal basic income, which the negative income tax experimented on in the 1970s, are the closest thing we have for its large-scale experiments in this area, which had very large effects on joblessness by just giving people money. They feel quite dangerous to me because they feel like they're going to play into rising joblessness in America, which feels like a path for its misery. I want to just quickly deviate and some of the UBI advocates have brought together UBI in the US and UBI in the developing world. So UBI in the developing world, basically means that you give poor farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa fairly modest amounts of money. This is a totally sensible strategy.These people are not about to live life permanently not working. They're darn poor. It's very efficient relative to other ways of giving.  I am in no sense pushing back on UBI with modest amounts of money in the poorest parts of the world. By all means, it's been deemed to be effective. It's just a very different thing if you're saying I'm going to give $100 to a poor Congolese farmer, or I'm going to give $10,000 to a long-term jobless person in Eastern Kentucky. You're not buying a PS5 for $100 in Congo.Remote Work, Taxation, & MetaverseDwarkesh Patel 0:29:57I want to ask you about remote work. You write in The Survival of the City, that improvements in information technology can lead to more demand for face-to-face contact because FaceTime complements time spent communicating electronically. I'm curious, what distinguishes situations where FaceTime substitutes for in-person contact from situations where it complements FaceTime complements virtual contact?Edward Glaeser 0:30:25So there's not a universal rule on this. I wrote a paper based on this in the 1990s about face-to-face contact complements or substitutes for electronic contacts. It was really based on a lot of anxiety in the 1970s that the information technology of their day, the fax machine, the personal computer was going to make face-to-face contact in the cities that enable that contact obsolete. That discussion has reappeared amazingly in the past two and a half years because of Zoom, and all of those questions still resonate. I think in the short run, typically these things are substitutes.Typically you don't necessarily need to meet some person who's your long-term contact. You can actually just telephone them, or you can connect with them electronically. In the long run, they seem to be much more likely to be complements, in part because these technologies change our world. The story that I tell over the last 40 years is that, yes, there were some face-to-face contacts that were made unnecessary because of electronic interactions. But it's not just that cities did well over the past 40 years–– business travel went through the roof over the past 40 years. You'd think that that would have been made unnecessary by all these electronic interactions, but I think what just happened was that these new technologies and globalization created a more interconnected world, a world in which knowledge was more important, and we become smart by interacting with people face-to-face. This world became more knowledge and information intensive and more complicated, and as things get more complicated, it's easier for ideas to get lost in translation. So we have these wonderful cues for communicating comprehension or confusion that are lost when we're not in the same room with one another. So I think over the longer time, they tend to complements, and over the shorter term, they tend to be substitutes.One of the things I think was helpful in my earlier work on this was looking at the history of information technology innovations. I think probably the first one is the book. It's hard to imagine an innovation that did more to flatten distance. Now you can read stuff that people are saying hundreds of miles away. Yet there's not a shred of evidence that the book led to less urbanization in Europe or to less connection. It helped create a totally different world in which people were passionate about ideas and wanted to talk to each other. They wanted to talk to each other about their books.Flash forward 350 years when we have the telephone. Telephones started being used more in cities, and they were used mostly by people who were going to meet face-to-face. There's no evidence that this has created a decline in the demand for face-to-face contact or a decline in the demand for cities. So I think if we look at Zoom, which unquestionably has allowed a certain amount of long-distance contact, that's very, very useful. In the short run, it certainly poses a threat to urban office markets. My guess is in the long run; it's probably going to be likely to be neutral at worst for face-to-face contact in the cities that enable that contact. Dwarkesh Patel 0:33:37I think that my podcast has been a great example for me about this. I mean, right now we're talking virtually. So maybe, in a way it's substituted, and perhaps I would have interviewed in person without the podcast. However, in another way, I've also met so many people that I've interviewed on the podcast or who have just connected with me because of the podcast in person. The amount of in-person interactions I've had because of a virtual podcast is a great anecdote to what you're talking about, so that makes total sense.Edward Glaeser 0:34:05Absolutely.Dwarkesh Patel 0:34:06Why do even the best software engineers in India or in Europe make so much less when they're working remotely from those locations than remote engineers working in America make? I mean, why don't employers just pay them more until the price discrepancy goes away?Edward Glaeser 0:34:23That's interesting. I don't fully know the answer to that question. I would suspect some of it just has to do with the nature of supply and demand. There are some things that are just very hard to be done remotely. Either because you have very precise informational needs that you have that are easier to communicate to people who are nearby or the person who's nearby has evolved in ways in terms of their mind that they actually know exactly what you want and they have exactly the product that you need. So even though the remote call center worker and the local one may be totally equivalent on raw programming talent, you may still end up in equilibrium and be willing to pay a lot more to the local one just because, right?So there's a slightly differentiated skill the local one has, and look, there's just a lot of competition for the remote ones, so the price is going to be pretty low. There's not that much supply of the one guy who's down the hall and knows exactly what you're looking for. So that guy gets much higher wages, just because he can offer you something that no one else can exactly reproduce.Dwarkesh Patel 0:35:27Let me clarify my question. Even remote engineers in America will make more than remote engineers in Europe or in India. If somebody is working remotely but he just happens to live in the US, is that just because they can communicate in English in the same way? Edward Glaeser 0:35:54I would take the same stance. I would say that they're likely to have just skills that are somewhat idiosyncratic and are valued in the US context.Dwarkesh Patel 0:35:56Are you optimistic about the ability of the metaverse and VR to be able to better puncture whatever makes in-person contact so valuable?Edward Glaeser 0:36:19No, I do not think the metaverse is going to change very much. I do think that there will be a lot of hours spent on various forms of gaming over the next 20 years, but I don't think it ultimately poses much of a threat to real-world interactions. In some sense, we saw this with the teenage world over the last three years. We saw a lot of America spend an awful lot of time, 15, 16-year-olds, 17-year-olds, gaming and connecting entirely virtually during the whole time of the pandemic lockdowns.Every single person that I've seen in that cohort, when you allowed them to interact with real members of their group live, leaped at the opportunity. They leaped at the opportunity of meeting and actually hanging out with real people until three o'clock in the morning and arguing over whatever it is–– whether or not it's football or Kant. I think particularly for the young, living life live just beats the alternative.Dwarkesh Patel 0:37:05That sounds like a very Harvard scenario, having to argue over football or Kant, those two topics. [laughs] Are you predicting lower taxes over the coming decades in places like California and New York, specifically because of how remote work sets a sort of maximum bar of how much you can tax highly productive people before they will just leave? Edward Glaeser 0:37:29This is a great question. It's a central issue of our day. Here's how I think about it. In part, it's why I wrote my recent book, Survival of the City. It's because I was worried about this. Two things happened simultaneously. One, as you correctly say, Zoom has made it easier to connect anywhere. I don't think that Zoom is going to cause our tech startup currently in Silicon Valley to say, oh, you know what? We're just going to go home to our Orange County suburban homes and never meet live again. I think that's a low-probability event.But what seems to be a perfectly high probability event is saying, “Oh, we can Zoom with our VCs, we can Zoom with our lawyers. Why don't we just relocate to Austin, Texas, not pay taxes, or relocate to Boulder, Colorado, so we can have beautiful scenery, or relocate to Honolulu so we can surf?” That seems like we've made the ability for smart people to relocate much easier, even if they're going to keep on seeing each other in the office three or four days a week. That collides with this very fervent desire to deal with festering social inequities at the local level. Be this limited upward mobility for poorer people, be this high housing costs, be this the rise of mass incarceration and police brutality towards particularly minority groups. There's this progressive urge which runs up against the fact that the rich guys can run away.If your model, which says, “Oh, the local governments are going to realize the rich guys can run away, so they will seamlessly lower tax rates in order to make sure that they attract those people,” that's running up against the fact that there's a whole lot of energy on the progressive side, which says, “No! Massachusetts just passed a millionaire's tax. For the first time ever, we have the possibility to have a progressive tax, which feels extraordinarily dangerous given this time period.”I think we may need to see a bunch of errors in this area before we start getting things right. We went through a lot of pain in the 1970s as cities first tried to deal with their progressive goals and rich people and companies ran away, and it wasn't until the 1980s that people started realizing this was the path to local bankruptcy and that we had real city limits on what the locality could do.Dwarkesh Patel 0:39:44You cited research on the survival of the city, which said that firms like Microsoft were much less willing to hire new people once they went online because of the pandemic. What do you make of the theory that this is similar to when industrialization first hit and we hadn't figured out exactly how to make the most use of it to be most productive, but over the long run, somebody will do to remote work what Henry Ford did to the factory floor and in fact, just make it much more effective and efficient than in-person contact just because we'll have better ways of interacting with people through remote work, since we'll have better systems?Dwarkesh Patel 0:40:17It's entirely possible. I never like betting against the ingenuity of humanity. On the other hand, you need a lot of technology to override 5 million years of evolution. We have evolved to be an in-person species, not just because we're productive and learn a lot face-to-face, but also because we just like it. A world of hyper-efficient remote work where you basically are puttering around your apartment doing things very quickly and getting things done, doesn't sound particularly joyful to me.Workplaces are not just places of productivity; they're also places of pleasure, particularly at the high end. Remember in 2019 and earlier, Google, and Yahoo, the companies that should have had the biggest capacity to do remote stuff, weren't sending their workers home; they were building these paradises for high-skilled workers, stuffed with foosball tables and free snacks and whatever else they had in these giant campuses in the Google lex. So they were certainly betting on the power of face-to-face and creativity rather than on the ability of remote work to make everything work. I think the most reasonable view, let's say that of Nick Bloom of Stanford, is that for those types of workers, 20% of your week being hybrid, maybe 40%, seems quite possible.That seems like a thing, particularly for workers who have families who really value that degree of flexibility. But fully remote, I guess that's a pretty niche thing. There's some jobs like call center workers where you could imagine it being the norm, but in part, that's just because it's just hard to learn the same amount remotely that you do face-to-face. This came out both in the earlier Bloom study on remote call center workers in China and on more recent work by Natalia Emmanuel and Emma Harrington. Both studies found the same thing, which is in these call centers, are plenty productive when they're remote, but the probability of being promoted drops by 50%.The entrepreneur may make it very efficient to do things in the short run remotely, but they're going to turn off this tendency that we have to be able to learn things from people around us, which is just much harder to duplicate remotely.Past & Future of Silicon ValleyDwarkesh Patel 0:42:29Now, I'm curious why Silicon Valley became the hub of technology. You wrote a paper in 2018 about where pioneer and non-pioneer firms locate. So, I was hoping you had insight on this. Does it stand for it? Is it where Fairchild Semiconductor is located? What is the explanation?Edward Glaeser 0:42:48So, we take it as being earlier. It is Stanford. I traced through this, I think in Triumph. Yeah, it was a company called Federal Telegraph Company that was founded by a guy called Cyril Frank Elwell, who was a radio pioneer, and he was tapped by his teacher to head this radio company. The story was, as I remember it, there'd been this local genius in San Francisco who had attracted all these investors and was going to do this wireless telegraphy company. Then he died in a freak carriage accident.These investors wanted to find someone else, and they went to Stanford's nearby factory and asked, who should we hire? It was this guy Elwell who founded Federal Telegraph. Federal Telegraph then licensed, I think Danish technology which was originally the Poulsen Telegraph Company. They then hired some fairly bright people like Lee DeForest and they did incredibly well in World War I off of federal Navy contracts, off of Navy contracts. They then did things like providing jobs for people like the young Fred Terman, whose father was a Stanford scientist. Now, Fred Terman then plays an outsized role in this story because he goes to MIT, studies engineering there, and then comes back to become Dean of Stanford's engineering program.He really played an outsized role in setting up the Stanford Industrial Park which attracting Fairchild Semiconductor. Then there's this sort of random thing about how the Fairchild Semiconductor attracts these people and then repels them because you have this brilliant guy Shockley, right? He's both brilliant and sort of personally abhorrent and manages to attract brilliant people and then repel all of them. So they all end up dispersing themselves into different companies, and they create this incredibly creative ecosystem that is the heart of Silicon Valley.In its day, it had this combination of really smart people and really entrepreneurial ethos, which just made it very, very healthy. I think the thing that many of us worry about is that Silicon Valley more recently, feels much more like it's a one-industry town, which is dangerous. It feels more like it's a bunch of industrial behemoths rather than a bunch of smart and scrappy startups. That's a recipe that feels much more like Detroit in the 1950s than it does like Silicon Valley in the 1960s.Dwarkesh Patel 0:45:52Speaking of startups, what does your study of cities imply about where tech startups should locate and what kind of organization in person or otherwise they should have? I think there's a lot to like about in person, certainly. Relying too much on remote feels quite dangerous if you're a scrappy startup. But I like a lot the Sunbelt smart cities.I sort of have a two-factor model of economic growth, which is it's about education, and it's about having governments that are pro-business. If you think about sort of the US, there's a lot of heterogeneity in this. If you think about the US versus other countries, it's heterogeneity. So the US has historically been better at being pro-business than, let's say, the Northern European social democracies, but the Northern European social democracies are great on the education front.So places like Sweden and the Netherlands, and Germany are also very successful places because they have enough education to counter the fact that they may not necessarily be as pro-business as the US is. Within the US, you also have this balance, whereas places like Massachusetts, and California are certainly much less pro-business, but they're pretty well-educated. Other parts of the country may be more pro-business, but they're less so. The real secret sauce is finding those places that are both highly educated and pro-business.So those are places like Charlotte and Austin and even Atlanta, places in the Sun Belt that have attracted lots of skilled people. They've done very, very well during COVID. I mean, Austin, by most dimensions, is the superstar of the COVID era in terms of just attracting people. So I think you had to wait for the real estate prices to come down a bit in Austin, but those are the places that I would be looking at. Dwarkesh Patel 0:47:46I don't know if you know, but I live in Austin, actually.Edward Glaeser 0:47:50I did not know that. [laughs]Dwarkesh Patel 0:47:54Well, actually, I'm surprised about what you said about education because you write in the paper, “general knowledge measured as average years of schooling is not a strong determinant of the survival of a pioneer firm, but relatedness of knowledge between past and present activities is.” So I'm surprised that you think education is a strong determinant for pioneer firms.Edward Glaeser 0:48:15No, I'm a big human capital determinist. So I tend to believe that individuals, cities, and nations rise and fall based on their skill levels. Certainly, if you look over the last 40 or 50 years, skills are very predictive of which cities (particularly colder cities) manage to do well versus poorly. If you ask yourself why Detroit and Seattle look different, more than 50% of Seattle's adults have college degrees, and maybe 14, 15% of Detroit's adults do.That's just a huge, huge gap. Certainly, when we think about your punitive startup, you're going to be looking for talent, right? You're going to be looking to hire talent, and having lots of educated people around you is going to be helpful for that.Housing ReformDwarkesh Patel 0:48:56Let's talk about housing. Houston has basically very little to no zoning. Why is it not more of interesting today? Nobody goes to Houston for tourism.Edward Glaeser 0:49:07I have. [laughs] I have, in fact, gone to Houston for tourism. Although part of it, I admit, was to look at the housing and to go to the woodlands and look at that. Interesting has a lot to do with age in this country. So the more that a city has… Boston is good for tourism just because it's been around for a long time, and it hasn't changed all that much. So it has this sort of historical thing. Houston's a new place, not just in the sense that the chronological age is lower but also in the sense that it's just grown so much, and it's dominated by new stuff, right?That new stuff tends to be more homogenous. It tends to have less history on it. I think those are things that make new cities typically less interesting than older cities. As witnessed by the fact that Rome, Jerusalem, London, are great tourist capitals of the world because they've just accreted all this interesting stuff over the millennium. So I think that's part of it. I'm not sure that if we look at more highly zoned new cities, we're so confident that they're all that more interesting.I don't want to be particularly disparaging any one city. So I'm not going to choose that, but there's actually a bunch that's pretty interesting in Houston, and I'm not sure that I would say that it's any less interesting than any comparably aged city in the country.Dwarkesh Patel 0:50:35Yeah. I'm visiting Houston later this month. I asked my friend there, should I stay here longer? I mean, is there anything interesting to do here? And then he responds, “Well, it's the fourth biggest city in the country, so no.”Dwarkesh Patel 0:50:47Many people, including many economists, have said that we should drastically increase US population through immigration to a figure like 1 billion. Do you think that our cities could accommodate that? We have the infrastructure, and I mean, let's say we reformed housing over a decade or so. Could we accommodate such a large influx of people? Edward Glaeser 0:51:24A billion people in a decade? I love the vision. Basically, in my heart, I'm an open borders person, right? I mean, it's a moral thing. I don't really like the idea that I get to enjoy the privileges of being an American and think that I'm going to deny that opportunity to anyone else. So I love this vision. A billion people over 10 years is an unimaginably large amount of people over a relatively short period of time. I'd love to give it a shot. I mean, it's certainly not as if there's any long-term reason why you couldn't do it.I mean, goodness knows we've got more than enough space in this country. It would be exciting to do that. But it would require a lot of reform in the housing space and require a fair amount of reform in the infrastructure space as well to be able to do this at some kind of large scale affordability.Dwarkesh Patel 0:52:05What does the evidence show about public libraries? Do they matter?Dwarkesh Patel 0:52:09My friend Eric Kleinberg has written a great book about… I think it's called Palaces for the People about all the different functions that libraries have played. I've never seen anything statistically or systematically about this, but you're not going to get a scholar to speak against books. It's not a possible thing.Europe's Stagnation, Mumbai's Safety, & Climate Change Dwarkesh Patel 0:52:32Why do European cities seem so much more similar to what they look like decades or even centuries ago than American cities, even American cities that are old, obviously not as old as European cities, but they seem to change much more over time. Edward Glaeser 0:52:46Lower population growth, much tougher zoning, much tougher historic preservation. All three of these things are going on. So it's very difficult to build in European cities. There's a lot of attention to caring about history. It's often part of the nationalist narrative. You often have huge amounts of national dollars going to preserve local stuff and relatively lower levels of population growth.An extreme example of this is Warsaw, where central Warsaw is completely destroyed during World War II, and they built it up to look exactly like it looked before the bombing. So this is a national choice, which is unlikely that we would necessarily make here in the US. Dwarkesh Patel 0:53:27Yeah. I was in Mumbai earlier this year, and I visited Dharavi, which is the biggest slum in Asia. And it's a pretty safe place for a slum. Why are slums in different countries? Why do they often have different levels of how safe they are? What is the reason?Edward Glaeser 0:53:45I, too, have been in Dharavi and felt perfectly safe. It's like walking around Belgravia and London in terms of it. I think my model of Dharavi is the same model as Jane Jacobs's model of Greenwich Village in 1960, which is this is just a well-functioning community.People have eyes on the street. If you're a stranger in these areas, they're going to be looking at you, and it's a community that just functions. There are lots of low-income communities throughout the world that have this. It requires a certain amount of permanence. So if the community is too much in flux, it becomes hard to enforce these norms and hard to enforce these sort of community rules. It's really helpful if there aren't either a massive number of guns floating around or an unbelievably lucrative narcotics trade, which is in the area. Those are both things that make things incredibly hard. Furthermore, US drug policy has partially been responsible for creating violence in some of the poor parts of Latin American cities.Dwarkesh Patel 0:54:43Maybe you don't play video games enough to know the answer to this question. But I'm curious, is there any video game, any strategic video game like Civilization or Europa that you feel does a good job representing the economics of cities? Edward Glaeser 0:55:07No, I will say that when I was in graduate school, I spent a few hours playing something called Sim City. I did think that was very fun. But I'm not going to claim that I think that it got it right. That was probably my largest engagement with city-building video games.Dwarkesh Patel 0:55:12What would you say we understand least about how cities work? Edward Glaeser 0:55:18I'm going to say the largest unsolved problem in cities is what the heck we're going to do about climate change and the cities of the developing world. This is the thing I do not feel like I have any answer for in terms of how it is that we're going to stop Manila or Mumbai from being leveled by some water-related climate event that we haven't yet foreseen.We think that we're going to spend tens of billions of dollars to protect New York and Miami, and that's going to happen; but the thing I don't understand and something we really need to need to invest in terms of knowledge creation is what are we going to do with the low-lying cities of the developing world to make them safe. Dwarkesh Patel 0:55:54Okay. Your most recent book is Survival of the City. And before that Triumph of the City, both of which I highly recommend to readers. Professor Glaeser, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. This was very interesting.Edward Glaeser 0:56:05I enjoyed this a lot. Thank you so much for having me on. I had a great deal of fun. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.dwarkeshpatel.com

Cracks in Postmodernity
Glenn and Stephen do postmodernity

Cracks in Postmodernity

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2022 60:50


Glenn Belverio joins the pod to talk about his public access program Glennda and Friends, his friendship with Camille Paglia, the successes and failures of the Sexual Revolution, the future of Gen Z, the changing landscape of Greenwich Village, and the NYC crime wave. Follow him on Instagram @glennbelverio And watch Glennda and Camille Do Downtown here. $upport CracksInPomo by clicking on this link And follow CracksInPomo on Substack, Instagram, and Twitter. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stephen-adubato/support

Reason Video
Growing Up Underground With Steven Heller

Reason Video

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2022


As a teenager growing up in Greenwich Village in the late 1960s, Steven Heller improbably became the art director of... The post Growing Up Underground With Steven Heller appeared first on Reason.com.

A History Of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs
Episode 158: “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane

A History Of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2022


Episode one hundred and fifty-eight of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “White Rabbit”, Jefferson Airplane, and the rise of the San Francisco sound. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a twenty-three-minute bonus episode available, on "Omaha" by Moby Grape. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt's irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ Erratum I refer to Back to Methuselah by Robert Heinlein. This is of course a play by George Bernard Shaw. What I meant to say was Methuselah's Children. Resources I hope to upload a Mixcloud tomorrow, and will edit it in, but have had some problems with the site today. Jefferson Airplane's first four studio albums, plus a 1968 live album, can be found in this box set. I've referred to three main books here. Got a Revolution!: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane by Jeff Tamarkin is written with the co-operation of the band members, but still finds room to criticise them. Jefferson Airplane On Track by Richard Molesworth is a song-by-song guide to the band's music. And Been So Long: My Life and Music by Jorma Kaukonen is Kaukonen's autobiography. Some information on Skip Spence and Matthew Katz also comes from What's Big and Purple and Lives in the Ocean?: The Moby Grape Story, by Cam Cobb, which I also used for this week's bonus. Patreon This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of my backers on Patreon. Why not join them? Transcript Before I start, I need to confess an important and hugely embarrassing error in this episode. I've only ever seen Marty Balin's name written down, never heard it spoken, and only after recording the episode, during the editing process, did I discover I mispronounce it throughout. It's usually an advantage for the podcast that I get my information from books rather than TV documentaries and the like, because they contain far more information, but occasionally it causes problems like that. My apologies. Also a brief note that this episode contains some mentions of racism, antisemitism, drug and alcohol abuse, and gun violence. One of the themes we've looked at in recent episodes is the way the centre of the musical world -- at least the musical world as it was regarded by the people who thought of themselves as hip in the mid-sixties -- was changing in 1967. Up to this point, for a few years there had been two clear centres of the rock and pop music worlds. In the UK, there was London, and any British band who meant anything had to base themselves there. And in the US, at some point around 1963, the centre of the music industry had moved West. Up to then it had largely been based in New York, and there was still a thriving industry there as of the mid sixties. But increasingly the records that mattered, that everyone in the country had been listening to, had come out of LA Soul music was, of course, still coming primarily from Detroit and from the Country-Soul triangle in Tennessee and Alabama, but when it came to the new brand of electric-guitar rock that was taking over the airwaves, LA was, up until the first few months of 1967, the only city that was competing with London, and was the place to be. But as we heard in the episode on "San Francisco", with the Monterey Pop Festival all that started to change. While the business part of the music business remained centred in LA, and would largely remain so, LA was no longer the hip place to be. Almost overnight, jangly guitars, harmonies, and Brian Jones hairstyles were out, and feedback, extended solos, and droopy moustaches were in. The place to be was no longer LA, but a few hundred miles North, in San Francisco -- something that the LA bands were not all entirely happy about: [Excerpt: The Mothers of Invention, "Who Needs the Peace Corps?"] In truth, the San Francisco music scene, unlike many of the scenes we've looked at so far in this series, had rather a limited impact on the wider world of music. Bands like Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, and Big Brother and the Holding Company were all both massively commercially successful and highly regarded by critics, but unlike many of the other bands we've looked at before and will look at in future, they didn't have much of an influence on the bands that would come after them, musically at least. Possibly this is because the music from the San Francisco scene was always primarily that -- music created by and for a specific group of people, and inextricable from its context. The San Francisco musicians were defining themselves by their geographical location, their peers, and the situation they were in, and their music was so specifically of the place and time that to attempt to copy it outside of that context would appear ridiculous, so while many of those bands remain much loved to this day, and many made some great music, it's very hard to point to ways in which that music influenced later bands. But what they did influence was the whole of rock music culture. For at least the next thirty years, and arguably to this day, the parameters in which rock musicians worked if they wanted to be taken seriously – their aesthetic and political ideals, their methods of collaboration, the cultural norms around drug use and sexual promiscuity, ideas of artistic freedom and authenticity, the choice of acceptable instruments – in short, what it meant to be a rock musician rather than a pop, jazz, country, or soul artist – all those things were defined by the cultural and behavioural norms of the San Francisco scene between about 1966 and 68. Without the San Francisco scene there's no Woodstock, no Rolling Stone magazine, no Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, no hippies, no groupies, no rock stars. So over the next few months we're going to take several trips to the Bay Area, and look at the bands which, for a brief time, defined the counterculture in America. The story of Jefferson Airplane -- and unlike other bands we've looked at recently, like The Pink Floyd and The Buffalo Springfield, they never had a definite article at the start of their name to wither away like a vestigial organ in subsequent years -- starts with Marty Balin. Balin was born in Ohio, but was a relatively sickly child -- he later talked about being autistic, and seems to have had the chronic illnesses that so often go with neurodivergence -- so in the hope that the dry air would be good for his chest his family moved to Arizona. Then when his father couldn't find work there, they moved further west to San Francisco, in the Haight-Ashbury area, long before that area became the byword for the hippie movement. But it was in LA that he started his music career, and got his surname. Balin had been named Marty Buchwald as a kid, but when he was nineteen he had accompanied a friend to LA to visit a music publisher, and had ended up singing backing vocals on her demos. While he was there, he had encountered the arranger Jimmy Haskell. Haskell was on his way to becoming one of the most prominent arrangers in the music industry, and in his long career he would go on to do arrangements for Bobby Gentry, Blondie, Steely Dan, Simon and Garfunkel, and many others. But at the time he was best known for his work on Ricky Nelson's hits: [Excerpt: Ricky Nelson, "Hello Mary Lou"] Haskell thought that Marty had the makings of a Ricky Nelson style star, as he was a good-looking young man with a decent voice, and he became a mentor for the young man. Making the kind of records that Haskell arranged was expensive, and so Haskell suggested a deal to him -- if Marty's father would pay for studio time and musicians, Haskell would make a record with him and find him a label to put it out. Marty's father did indeed pay for the studio time and the musicians -- some of the finest working in LA at the time. The record, released under the name Marty Balin, featured Jack Nitzsche on keyboards, Earl Palmer on drums, Milt Jackson on vibraphone, Red Callender on bass, and Glen Campbell and Barney Kessell on guitars, and came out on Challenge Records, a label owned by Gene Autry: [Excerpt: Marty Balin, "Nobody But You"] Neither that, nor Balin's follow-up single, sold a noticeable amount of copies, and his career as a teen idol was over before it had begun. Instead, as many musicians of his age did, he decided to get into folk music, joining a vocal harmony group called the Town Criers, who patterned themselves after the Weavers, and performed the same kind of material that every other clean-cut folk vocal group was performing at the time -- the kind of songs that John Phillips and Steve Stills and Cass Elliot and Van Dyke Parks and the rest were all performing in their own groups at the same time. The Town Criers never made any records while they were together, but some archival recordings of them have been released over the decades: [Excerpt: The Town Criers, "900 Miles"] The Town Criers split up, and Balin started performing as a solo folkie again. But like all those other then-folk musicians, Balin realised that he had to adapt to the K/T-event level folk music extinction that happened when the Beatles hit America like a meteorite. He had to form a folk-rock group if he wanted to survive -- and given that there were no venues for such a group to play in San Francisco, he also had to start a nightclub for them to play in. He started hanging around the hootenannies in the area, looking for musicians who might form an electric band. The first person he decided on was a performer called Paul Kantner, mainly because he liked his attitude. Kantner had got on stage in front of a particularly drunk, loud, crowd, and performed precisely half a song before deciding he wasn't going to perform in front of people like that and walking off stage. Kantner was the only member of the new group to be a San Franciscan -- he'd been born and brought up in the city. He'd got into folk music at university, where he'd also met a guitar player named Jorma Kaukonen, who had turned him on to cannabis, and the two had started giving music lessons at a music shop in San Jose. There Kantner had also been responsible for booking acts at a local folk club, where he'd first encountered acts like Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions, a jug band which included Jerry Garcia, Pigpen McKernan, and Bob Weir, who would later go on to be the core members of the Grateful Dead: [Excerpt: Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions, "In the Jailhouse Now"] Kantner had moved around a bit between Northern and Southern California, and had been friendly with two other musicians on the Californian folk scene, David Crosby and Roger McGuinn. When their new group, the Byrds, suddenly became huge, Kantner became aware of the possibility of doing something similar himself, and so when Marty Balin approached him to form a band, he agreed. On bass, they got in a musician called Bob Harvey, who actually played double bass rather than electric, and who stuck to that for the first few gigs the group played -- he had previously been in a band called the Slippery Rock String Band. On drums, they brought in Jerry Peloquin, who had formerly worked for the police, but now had a day job as an optician. And on vocals, they brought in Signe Toley -- who would soon marry and change her name to Signe Anderson, so that's how I'll talk about her to avoid confusion. The group also needed a lead guitarist though -- both Balin and Kantner were decent rhythm players and singers, but they needed someone who was a better instrumentalist. They decided to ask Kantner's old friend Jorma Kaukonen. Kaukonen was someone who was seriously into what would now be called Americana or roots music. He'd started playing the guitar as a teenager, not like most people of his generation inspired by Elvis or Buddy Holly, but rather after a friend of his had shown him how to play an old Carter Family song, "Jimmy Brown the Newsboy": [Excerpt: The Carter Family, "Jimmy Brown the Newsboy"] Kaukonen had had a far more interesting life than most of the rest of the group. His father had worked for the State Department -- and there's some suggestion he'd worked for the CIA -- and the family had travelled all over the world, staying in Pakistan, the Philippines, and Finland. For most of his childhood, he'd gone by the name Jerry, because other kids beat him up for having a foreign name and called him a Nazi, but by the time he turned twenty he was happy enough using his birth name. Kaukonen wasn't completely immune to the appeal of rock and roll -- he'd formed a rock band, The Triumphs, with his friend Jack Casady when he was a teenager, and he loved Ricky Nelson's records -- but his fate as a folkie had been pretty much sealed when he went to Antioch College. There he met up with a blues guitarist called Ian Buchanan. Buchanan never had much of a career as a professional, but he had supposedly spent nine years studying with the blues and ragtime guitar legend Rev. Gary Davis, and he was certainly a fine guitarist, as can be heard on his contribution to The Blues Project, the album Elektra put out of white Greenwich Village musicians like John Sebastian and Dave Van Ronk playing old blues songs: [Excerpt: Ian Buchanan, "The Winding Boy"] Kaukonen became something of a disciple of Buchanan -- he said later that Buchanan probably taught him how to play because he was such a terrible player and Buchanan couldn't stand to listen to it -- as did John Hammond Jr, another student at Antioch at the same time. After studying at Antioch, Kaukonen started to travel around, including spells in Greenwich Village and in the Philippines, before settling in Santa Clara, where he studied for a sociology degree and became part of a social circle that included Dino Valenti, Jerry Garcia, and Billy Roberts, the credited writer of "Hey Joe". He also started performing as a duo with a singer called Janis Joplin. Various of their recordings from this period circulate, mostly recorded at Kaukonen's home with the sound of his wife typing in the background while the duo rehearse, as on this performance of an old Bessie Smith song: [Excerpt: Jorma Kaukonen and Janis Joplin, "Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out"] By 1965 Kaukonen saw himself firmly as a folk-blues purist, who would not even think of playing rock and roll music, which he viewed with more than a little contempt. But he allowed himself to be brought along to audition for the new group, and Ken Kesey happened to be there. Kesey was a novelist who had written two best-selling books, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and Sometimes A Great Notion, and used the financial independence that gave him to organise a group of friends who called themselves the Merry Pranksters, who drove from coast to coast and back again in a psychedelic-painted bus, before starting a series of events that became known as Acid Tests, parties at which everyone was on LSD, immortalised in Tom Wolfe's book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Nobody has ever said why Kesey was there, but he had brought along an Echoplex, a reverb unit one could put a guitar through -- and nobody has explained why Kesey, who wasn't a musician, had an Echoplex to hand. But Kaukonen loved the sound that he could get by putting his guitar through the device, and so for that reason more than any other he decided to become an electric player and join the band, going out and buying a Rickenbacker twelve-string and Vox Treble Booster because that was what Roger McGuinn used. He would later also get a Guild Thunderbird six-string guitar and a Standel Super Imperial amp, following the same principle of buying the equipment used by other guitarists he liked, as they were what Zal Yanovsky of the Lovin' Spoonful used. He would use them for all his six-string playing for the next couple of years, only later to discover that the Lovin' Spoonful despised them and only used them because they had an endorsement deal with the manufacturers. Kaukonen was also the one who came up with the new group's name. He and his friends had a running joke where they had "Bluesman names", things like "Blind Outrage" and "Little Sun Goldfarb". Kaukonen's bluesman name, given to him by his friend Steve Talbot, had been Blind Thomas Jefferson Airplane, a reference to the 1920s blues guitarist Blind Lemon Jefferson: [Excerpt: Blind Lemon Jefferson, "Match Box Blues"] At the band meeting where they were trying to decide on a name, Kaukonen got frustrated at the ridiculous suggestions that were being made, and said "You want a stupid name? Howzabout this... Jefferson Airplane?" He said in his autobiography "It was one of those rare moments when everyone in the band agreed, and that was that. I think it was the only band meeting that ever allowed me to come away smiling." The newly-named Jefferson Airplane started to rehearse at the Matrix Club, the club that Balin had decided to open. This was run with three sound engineer friends, who put in the seed capital for the club. Balin had stock options in the club, which he got by trading a share of the band's future earnings to his partners, though as the group became bigger he eventually sold his stock in the club back to his business partners. Before their first public performance, they started working with a manager, Matthew Katz, mostly because Katz had access to a recording of a then-unreleased Bob Dylan song, "Lay Down Your Weary Tune": [Excerpt: Bob Dylan, "Lay Down Your Weary Tune"] The group knew that the best way for a folk-rock band to make a name for themselves was to perform a Dylan song nobody else had yet heard, and so they agreed to be managed by Katz. Katz started a pre-publicity blitz, giving out posters, badges, and bumper stickers saying "Jefferson Airplane Loves You" all over San Francisco -- and insisting that none of the band members were allowed to say "Hello" when they answered the phone any more, they had to say "Jefferson Airplane Loves You!" For their early rehearsals and gigs, they were performing almost entirely cover versions of blues and folk songs, things like Fred Neil's "The Other Side of This Life" and Dino Valenti's "Get Together" which were the common currency of the early folk-rock movement, and songs by their friends, like one called "Flower Bomb" by David Crosby, which Crosby now denies ever having written. They did start writing the odd song, but at this point they were more focused on performance than on writing. They also hired a press agent, their friend Bill Thompson. Thompson was friends with the two main music writers at the San Francisco Chronicle, Ralph Gleason, the famous jazz critic, who had recently started also reviewing rock music, and John Wasserman. Thompson got both men to come to the opening night of the Matrix, and both gave the group glowing reviews in the Chronicle. Record labels started sniffing around the group immediately as a result of this coverage, and according to Katz he managed to get a bidding war started by making sure that when A&R men came to the club there were always two of them from different labels, so they would see the other person and realise they weren't the only ones interested. But before signing a record deal they needed to make some personnel changes. The first member to go was Jerry Peloquin, for both musical and personal reasons. Peloquin was used to keeping strict time and the other musicians had a more free-flowing idea of what tempo they should be playing at, but also he had worked for the police while the other members were all taking tons of illegal drugs. The final break with Peloquin came when he did the rest of the group a favour -- Paul Kantner's glasses broke during a rehearsal, and as Peloquin was an optician he offered to take them back to his shop and fix them. When he got back, he found them auditioning replacements for him. He beat Kantner up, and that was the end of Jerry Peloquin in Jefferson Airplane. His replacement was Skip Spence, who the group had met when he had accompanied three friends to the Matrix, which they were using as a rehearsal room. Spence's friends went on to be the core members of Quicksilver Messenger Service along with Dino Valenti: [Excerpt: Quicksilver Messenger Service, "Dino's Song"] But Balin decided that Spence looked like a rock star, and told him that he was now Jefferson Airplane's drummer, despite Spence being a guitarist and singer, not a drummer. But Spence was game, and learned to play the drums. Next they needed to get rid of Bob Harvey. According to Harvey, the decision to sack him came after David Crosby saw the band rehearsing and said "Nice song, but get rid of the bass player" (along with an expletive before the word bass which I can't say without incurring the wrath of Apple). Crosby denies ever having said this. Harvey had started out in the group on double bass, but to show willing he'd switched in his last few gigs to playing an electric bass. When he was sacked by the group, he returned to double bass, and to the Slippery Rock String Band, who released one single in 1967: [Excerpt: The Slippery Rock String Band, "Tule Fog"] Harvey's replacement was Kaukonen's old friend Jack Casady, who Kaukonen knew was now playing bass, though he'd only ever heard him playing guitar when they'd played together. Casady was rather cautious about joining a rock band, but then Kaukonen told him that the band were getting fifty dollars a week salary each from Katz, and Casady flew over from Washington DC to San Francisco to join the band. For the first few gigs, he used Bob Harvey's bass, which Harvey was good enough to lend him despite having been sacked from the band. Unfortunately, right from the start Casady and Kantner didn't get on. When Casady flew in from Washington, he had a much more clean-cut appearance than the rest of the band -- one they've described as being nerdy, with short, slicked-back, side-parted hair and a handlebar moustache. Kantner insisted that Casady shave the moustache off, and he responded by shaving only one side, so in profile on one side he looked clean-shaven, while from the other side he looked like he had a full moustache. Kantner also didn't like Casady's general attitude, or his playing style, at all -- though most critics since this point have pointed to Casady's bass playing as being the most interesting and distinctive thing about Jefferson Airplane's style. This lineup seems to have been the one that travelled to LA to audition for various record companies -- a move that immediately brought the group a certain amount of criticism for selling out, both for auditioning for record companies and for going to LA at all, two things that were already anathema on the San Francisco scene. The only audition anyone remembers them having specifically is one for Phil Spector, who according to Kaukonen was waving a gun around during the audition, so he and Casady walked out. Around this time as well, the group performed at an event billed as "A Tribute to Dr. Strange", organised by the radical hippie collective Family Dog. Marvel Comics, rather than being the multi-billion-dollar Disney-owned corporate juggernaut it is now, was regarded as a hip, almost underground, company -- and around this time they briefly started billing their comics not as comics but as "Marvel Pop Art Productions". The magical adventures of Dr. Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts, and in particular the art by far-right libertarian artist Steve Ditko, were regarded as clear parallels to both the occult dabblings and hallucinogen use popular among the hippies, though Ditko had no time for either, following as he did an extreme version of Ayn Rand's Objectivism. It was at the Tribute to Dr. Strange that Jefferson Airplane performed for the first time with a band named The Great Society, whose lead singer, Grace Slick, would later become very important in Jefferson Airplane's story: [Excerpt: The Great Society, "Someone to Love"] That gig was also the first one where the band and their friends noticed that large chunks of the audience were now dressing up in costumes that were reminiscent of the Old West. Up to this point, while Katz had been managing the group and paying them fifty dollars a week even on weeks when they didn't perform, he'd been doing so without a formal contract, in part because the group didn't trust him much. But now they were starting to get interest from record labels, and in particular RCA Records desperately wanted them. While RCA had been the label who had signed Elvis Presley, they had otherwise largely ignored rock and roll, considering that since they had the biggest rock star in the world they didn't need other ones, and concentrating largely on middle-of-the-road acts. But by the mid-sixties Elvis' star had faded somewhat, and they were desperate to get some of the action for the new music -- and unlike the other major American labels, they didn't have a reciprocal arrangement with a British label that allowed them to release anything by any of the new British stars. The group were introduced to RCA by Rod McKuen, a songwriter and poet who later became America's best-selling poet and wrote songs that sold over a hundred million copies. At this point McKuen was in his Jacques Brel phase, recording loose translations of the Belgian songwriter's songs with McKuen translating the lyrics: [Excerpt: Rod McKuen, "Seasons in the Sun"] McKuen thought that Jefferson Airplane might be a useful market for his own songs, and brought the group to RCA. RCA offered Jefferson Airplane twenty-five thousand dollars to sign with them, and Katz convinced the group that RCA wouldn't give them this money without them having signed a management contract with him. Kaukonen, Kantner, Spence, and Balin all signed without much hesitation, but Jack Casady didn't yet sign, as he was the new boy and nobody knew if he was going to be in the band for the long haul. The other person who refused to sign was Signe Anderson. In her case, she had a much better reason for refusing to sign, as unlike the rest of the band she had actually read the contract, and she found it to be extremely worrying. She did eventually back down on the day of the group's first recording session, but she later had the contract renegotiated. Jack Casady also signed the contract right at the start of the first session -- or at least, he thought he'd signed the contract then. He certainly signed *something*, without having read it. But much later, during a court case involving the band's longstanding legal disputes with Katz, it was revealed that the signature on the contract wasn't Casady's, and was badly forged. What he actually *did* sign that day has never been revealed, to him or to anyone else. Katz also signed all the group as songwriters to his own publishing company, telling them that they legally needed to sign with him if they wanted to make records, and also claimed to RCA that he had power of attorney for the band, which they say they never gave him -- though to be fair to Katz, given the band members' habit of signing things without reading or understanding them, it doesn't seem beyond the realms of possibility that they did. The producer chosen for the group's first album was Tommy Oliver, a friend of Katz's who had previously been an arranger on some of Doris Day's records, and whose next major act after finishing the Jefferson Airplane album was Trombones Unlimited, who released records like "Holiday for Trombones": [Excerpt: Trombones Unlimited, "Holiday For Trombones"] The group weren't particularly thrilled with this choice, but were happier with their engineer, Dave Hassinger, who had worked on records like "Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones, and had a far better understanding of the kind of music the group were making. They spent about three months recording their first album, even while continually being attacked as sellouts. The album is not considered their best work, though it does contain "Blues From an Airplane", a collaboration between Spence and Balin: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "Blues From an Airplane"] Even before the album came out, though, things were starting to change for the group. Firstly, they started playing bigger venues -- their home base went from being the Matrix club to the Fillmore, a large auditorium run by the promoter Bill Graham. They also started to get an international reputation. The British singer-songwriter Donovan released a track called "The Fat Angel" which namechecked the group: [Excerpt: Donovan, "The Fat Angel"] The group also needed a new drummer. Skip Spence decided to go on holiday to Mexico without telling the rest of the band. There had already been some friction with Spence, as he was very eager to become a guitarist and songwriter, and the band already had three songwriting guitarists and didn't really see why they needed a fourth. They sacked Spence, who went on to form Moby Grape, who were also managed by Katz: [Excerpt: Moby Grape, "Omaha"] For his replacement they brought in Spencer Dryden, who was a Hollywood brat like their friend David Crosby -- in Dryden's case he was Charlie Chaplin's nephew, and his father worked as Chaplin's assistant. The story normally goes that the great session drummer Earl Palmer recommended Dryden to the group, but it's also the case that Dryden had been in a band, the Heartbeats, with Tommy Oliver and the great blues guitarist Roy Buchanan, so it may well be that Oliver had recommended him. Dryden had been primarily a jazz musician, playing with people like the West Coast jazz legend Charles Lloyd, though like most jazzers he would slum it on occasion by playing rock and roll music to pay the bills. But then he'd seen an early performance by the Mothers of Invention, and realised that rock music could have a serious artistic purpose too. He'd joined a band called The Ashes, who had released one single, the Jackie DeShannon song "Is There Anything I Can Do?" in December 1965: [Excerpt: The Ashes, "Is There Anything I Can Do?"] The Ashes split up once Dryden left the group to join Jefferson Airplane, but they soon reformed without him as The Peanut Butter Conspiracy, who hooked up with Gary Usher and released several albums of psychedelic sunshine pop. Dryden played his first gig with the group at a Republican Party event on June the sixth, 1966. But by the time Dryden had joined, other problems had become apparent. The group were already feeling like it had been a big mistake to accede to Katz's demands to sign a formal contract with him, and Balin in particular was getting annoyed that he wouldn't let the band see their finances. All the money was getting paid to Katz, who then doled out money to the band when they asked for it, and they had no idea if he was actually paying them what they were owed or not. The group's first album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, finally came out in September, and it was a comparative flop. It sold well in San Francisco itself, selling around ten thousand copies in the area, but sold basically nothing anywhere else in the country -- the group's local reputation hadn't extended outside their own immediate scene. It didn't help that the album was pulled and reissued, as RCA censored the initial version of the album because of objections to the lyrics. The song "Runnin' Round This World" was pulled off the album altogether for containing the word "trips", while in "Let Me In" they had to rerecord two lines -- “I gotta get in, you know where" was altered to "You shut the door now it ain't fair" and "Don't tell me you want money" became "Don't tell me it's so funny". Similarly in "Run Around" the phrase "as you lay under me" became "as you stay here by me". Things were also becoming difficult for Anderson. She had had a baby in May and was not only unhappy with having to tour while she had a small child, she was also the band member who was most vocally opposed to Katz. Added to that, her husband did not get on well at all with the group, and she felt trapped between her marriage and her bandmates. Reports differ as to whether she quit the band or was fired, but after a disastrous appearance at the Monterey Jazz Festival, one way or another she was out of the band. Her replacement was already waiting in the wings. Grace Slick, the lead singer of the Great Society, had been inspired by going to one of the early Jefferson Airplane gigs. She later said "I went to see Jefferson Airplane at the Matrix, and they were making more money in a day than I made in a week. They only worked for two or three hours a night, and they got to hang out. I thought 'This looks a lot better than what I'm doing.' I knew I could more or less carry a tune, and I figured if they could do it I could." She was married at the time to a film student named Jerry Slick, and indeed she had done the music for his final project at film school, a film called "Everybody Hits Their Brother Once", which sadly I can't find online. She was also having an affair with Jerry's brother Darby, though as the Slicks were in an open marriage this wasn't particularly untoward. The three of them, with a couple of other musicians, had formed The Great Society, named as a joke about President Johnson's programme of the same name. The Great Society was the name Johnson had given to his whole programme of domestic reforms, including civil rights for Black people, the creation of Medicare and Medicaid, the creation of the National Endowment for the Arts, and more. While those projects were broadly popular among the younger generation, Johnson's escalation of the war in Vietnam had made him so personally unpopular that even his progressive domestic programme was regarded with suspicion and contempt. The Great Society had set themselves up as local rivals to Jefferson Airplane -- where Jefferson Airplane had buttons saying "Jefferson Airplane Loves You!" the Great Society put out buttons saying "The Great Society Really Doesn't Like You Much At All". They signed to Autumn Records, and recorded a song that Darby Slick had written, titled "Someone to Love" -- though the song would later be retitled "Somebody to Love": [Excerpt: The Great Society, "Someone to Love"] That track was produced by Sly Stone, who at the time was working as a producer for Autumn Records. The Great Society, though, didn't like working with Stone, because he insisted on them doing forty-five takes to try to sound professional, as none of them were particularly competent musicians. Grace Slick later said "Sly could play any instrument known to man. He could have just made the record himself, except for the singers. It was kind of degrading in a way" -- and on another occasion she said that he *did* end up playing all the instruments on the finished record. "Someone to Love" was put out as a promo record, but never released to the general public, and nor were any of the Great Society's other recordings for Autumn Records released. Their contract expired and they were let go, at which point they were about to sign to Mercury Records, but then Darby Slick and another member decided to go off to India for a while. Grace's marriage to Jerry was falling apart, though they would stay legally married for several years, and the Great Society looked like it was at an end, so when Grace got the offer to join Jefferson Airplane to replace Signe Anderson, she jumped at the chance. At first, she was purely a harmony singer -- she didn't take over any of the lead vocal parts that Anderson had previously sung, as she had a very different vocal style, and instead she just sang the harmony parts that Anderson had sung on songs with other lead vocalists. But two months after the album they were back in the studio again, recording their second album, and Slick sang lead on several songs there. As well as the new lineup, there was another important change in the studio. They were still working with Dave Hassinger, but they had a new producer, Rick Jarrard. Jarrard was at one point a member of the folk group The Wellingtons, who did the theme tune for "Gilligan's Island", though I can't find anything to say whether or not he was in the group when they recorded that track: [Excerpt: The Wellingtons, "The Ballad of Gilligan's Island"] Jarrard had also been in the similar folk group The Greenwood County Singers, where as we heard in the episode on "Heroes and Villains" he replaced Van Dyke Parks. He'd also released a few singles under his own name, including a version of Parks' "High Coin": [Excerpt: Rick Jarrard, "High Coin"] While Jarrard had similar musical roots to those of Jefferson Airplane's members, and would go on to produce records by people like Harry Nilsson and The Family Tree, he wasn't any more liked by the band than their previous producer had been. So much so, that a few of the band members have claimed that while Jarrard is the credited producer, much of the work that one would normally expect to be done by a producer was actually done by their friend Jerry Garcia, who according to the band members gave them a lot of arranging and structural advice, and was present in the studio and played guitar on several tracks. Jarrard, on the other hand, said categorically "I never met Jerry Garcia. I produced that album from start to finish, never heard from Jerry Garcia, never talked to Jerry Garcia. He was not involved creatively on that album at all." According to the band, though, it was Garcia who had the idea of almost doubling the speed of the retitled "Somebody to Love", turning it into an uptempo rocker: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "Somebody to Love"] And one thing everyone is agreed on is that it was Garcia who came up with the album title, when after listening to some of the recordings he said "That's as surrealistic as a pillow!" It was while they were working on the album that was eventually titled Surrealistic Pillow that they finally broke with Katz as their manager, bringing Bill Thompson in as a temporary replacement. Or at least, it was then that they tried to break with Katz. Katz sued the group over their contract, and won. Then they appealed, and they won. Then Katz appealed the appeal, and the Superior Court insisted that if he wanted to appeal the ruling, he had to put up a bond for the fifty thousand dollars the group said he owed them. He didn't, so in 1970, four years after they sacked him as their manager, the appeal was dismissed. Katz appealed the dismissal, and won that appeal, and the case dragged on for another three years, at which point Katz dragged RCA Records into the lawsuit. As a result of being dragged into the mess, RCA decided to stop paying the group their songwriting royalties from record sales directly, and instead put the money into an escrow account. The claims and counterclaims and appeals *finally* ended in 1987, twenty years after the lawsuits had started and fourteen years after the band had stopped receiving their songwriting royalties. In the end, the group won on almost every point, and finally received one point three million dollars in back royalties and seven hundred thousand dollars in interest that had accrued, while Katz got a small token payment. Early in 1967, when the sessions for Surrealistic Pillow had finished, but before the album was released, Newsweek did a big story on the San Francisco scene, which drew national attention to the bands there, and the first big event of what would come to be called the hippie scene, the Human Be-In, happened in Golden Gate Park in January. As the group's audience was expanding rapidly, they asked Bill Graham to be their manager, as he was the most business-minded of the people around the group. The first single from the album, "My Best Friend", a song written by Skip Spence before he quit the band, came out in January 1967 and had no more success than their earlier recordings had, and didn't make the Hot 100. The album came out in February, and was still no higher than number 137 on the charts in March, when the second single, "Somebody to Love", was released: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "Somebody to Love"] That entered the charts at the start of April, and by June it had made number five. The single's success also pushed its parent album up to number three by August, just behind the Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and the Monkees' Headquarters. The success of the single also led to the group being asked to do commercials for Levis jeans: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "Levis commercial"] That once again got them accused of selling out. Abbie Hoffman, the leader of the Yippies, wrote to the Village Voice about the commercials, saying "It summarized for me all the doubts I have about the hippie philosophy. I realise they are just doing their 'thing', but while the Jefferson Airplane grooves with its thing, over 100 workers in the Levi Strauss plant on the Tennessee-Georgia border are doing their thing, which consists of being on strike to protest deplorable working conditions." The third single from the album, "White Rabbit", came out on the twenty-fourth of June, the day before the Beatles recorded "All You Need is Love", nine days after the release of "See Emily Play", and a week after the group played the Monterey Pop Festival, to give you some idea of how compressed a time period we've been in recently. We talked in the last episode about how there's a big difference between American and British psychedelia at this point in time, because the political nature of the American counterculture was determined by the fact that so many people were being sent off to die in Vietnam. Of all the San Francisco bands, though, Jefferson Airplane were by far the least political -- they were into the culture part of the counterculture, but would often and repeatedly disavow any deeper political meaning in their songs. In early 1968, for example, in a press conference, they said “Don't ask us anything about politics. We don't know anything about it. And what we did know, we just forgot.” So it's perhaps not surprising that of all the American groups, they were the one that was most similar to the British psychedelic groups in their influences, and in particular their frequent references to children's fantasy literature. "White Rabbit" was a perfect example of this. It had started out as "White Rabbit Blues", a song that Slick had written influenced by Alice in Wonderland, and originally performed by the Great Society: [Excerpt: The Great Society, "White Rabbit"] Slick explained the lyrics, and their association between childhood fantasy stories and drugs, later by saying "It's an interesting song but it didn't do what I wanted it to. What I was trying to say was that between the ages of zero and five the information and the input you get is almost indelible. In other words, once a Catholic, always a Catholic. And the parents read us these books, like Alice in Wonderland where she gets high, tall, and she takes mushrooms, a hookah, pills, alcohol. And then there's The Wizard of Oz, where they fall into a field of poppies and when they wake up they see Oz. And then there's Peter Pan, where if you sprinkle white dust on you, you could fly. And then you wonder why we do it? Well, what did you read to me?" While the lyrical inspiration for the track was from Alice in Wonderland, the musical inspiration is less obvious. Slick has on multiple occasions said that the idea for the music came from listening to Miles Davis' album "Sketches of Spain", and in particular to Davis' version of -- and I apologise for almost certainly mangling the Spanish pronunciation badly here -- "Concierto de Aranjuez", though I see little musical resemblance to it myself. [Excerpt: Miles Davis, "Concierto de Aranjuez"] She has also, though, talked about how the song was influenced by Ravel's "Bolero", and in particular the way the piece keeps building in intensity, starting softly and slowly building up, rather than having the dynamic peaks and troughs of most music. And that is definitely a connection I can hear in the music: [Excerpt: Ravel, "Bolero"] Jefferson Airplane's version of "White Rabbit", like their version of "Somebody to Love", was far more professional, far -- and apologies for the pun -- slicker than The Great Society's version. It's also much shorter. The version by The Great Society has a four and a half minute instrumental intro before Slick's vocal enters. By contrast, the version on Surrealistic Pillow comes in at under two and a half minutes in total, and is a tight pop song: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "White Rabbit"] Jack Casady has more recently said that the group originally recorded the song more or less as a lark, because they assumed that all the drug references would mean that RCA would make them remove the song from the album -- after all, they'd cut a song from the earlier album because it had a reference to a trip, so how could they possibly allow a song like "White Rabbit" with its lyrics about pills and mushrooms? But it was left on the album, and ended up making the top ten on the pop charts, peaking at number eight: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "White Rabbit"] In an interview last year, Slick said she still largely lives off the royalties from writing that one song. It would be the last hit single Jefferson Airplane would ever have. Marty Balin later said "Fame changes your life. It's a bit like prison. It ruined the band. Everybody became rich and selfish and self-centred and couldn't care about the band. That was pretty much the end of it all. After that it was just working and living the high life and watching the band destroy itself, living on its laurels." They started work on their third album, After Bathing at Baxter's, in May 1967, while "Somebody to Love" was still climbing the charts. This time, the album was produced by Al Schmitt. Unlike the two previous producers, Schmitt was a fan of the band, and decided the best thing to do was to just let them do their own thing without interfering. The album took months to record, rather than the weeks that Surrealistic Pillow had taken, and cost almost ten times as much money to record. In part the time it took was because of the promotional work the band had to do. Bill Graham was sending them all over the country to perform, which they didn't appreciate. The group complained to Graham in business meetings, saying they wanted to only play in big cities where there were lots of hippies. Graham pointed out in turn that if they wanted to keep having any kind of success, they needed to play places other than San Francisco, LA, New York, and Chicago, because in fact most of the population of the US didn't live in those four cities. They grudgingly took his point. But there were other arguments all the time as well. They argued about whether Graham should be taking his cut from the net or the gross. They argued about Graham trying to push for the next single to be another Grace Slick lead vocal -- they felt like he was trying to make them into just Grace Slick's backing band, while he thought it made sense to follow up two big hits with more singles with the same vocalist. There was also a lawsuit from Balin's former partners in the Matrix, who remembered that bit in the contract about having a share in the group's income and sued for six hundred thousand dollars -- that was settled out of court three years later. And there were interpersonal squabbles too. Some of these were about the music -- Dryden didn't like the fact that Kaukonen's guitar solos were getting longer and longer, and Balin only contributed one song to the new album because all the other band members made fun of him for writing short, poppy, love songs rather than extended psychedelic jams -- but also the group had become basically two rival factions. On one side were Kaukonen and Casady, the old friends and virtuoso instrumentalists, who wanted to extend the instrumental sections of the songs more to show off their playing. On the other side were Grace Slick and Spencer Dryden, the two oldest members of the group by age, but the most recent people to join. They were also unusual in the San Francisco scene for having alcohol as their drug of choice -- drinking was thought of by most of the hippies as being a bit classless, but they were both alcoholics. They were also sleeping together, and generally on the side of shorter, less exploratory, songs. Kantner, who was attracted to Slick, usually ended up siding with her and Dryden, and this left Balin the odd man out in the middle. He later said "I got disgusted with all the ego trips, and the band was so stoned that I couldn't even talk to them. Everybody was in their little shell". While they were still working on the album, they released the first single from it, Kantner's "The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil". The "Pooneil" in the song was a figure that combined two of Kantner's influences: the Greenwich Village singer-songwriter Fred Neil, the writer of "Everybody's Talkin'" and "Dolphins"; and Winnie the Pooh. The song contained several lines taken from A.A. Milne's children's stories: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil"] That only made number forty-two on the charts. It was the last Jefferson Airplane single to make the top fifty. At a gig in Bakersfield they got arrested for inciting a riot, because they encouraged the crowd to dance, even though local by-laws said that nobody under sixteen was allowed to dance, and then they nearly got arrested again after Kantner's behaviour on the private plane they'd chartered to get them back to San Francisco that night. Kantner had been chain-smoking, and this annoyed the pilot, who asked Kantner to put his cigarette out, so Kantner opened the door of the plane mid-flight and threw the lit cigarette out. They'd chartered that plane because they wanted to make sure they got to see a new group, Cream, who were playing the Fillmore: [Excerpt: Cream, "Strange Brew"] After seeing that, the divisions in the band were even wider -- Kaukonen and Casady now *knew* that what the band needed was to do long, extended, instrumental jams. Cream were the future, two-minute pop songs were the past. Though they weren't completely averse to two-minute pop songs. The group were recording at RCA studios at the same time as the Monkees, and members of the two groups would often jam together. The idea of selling out might have been anathema to their *audience*, but the band members themselves didn't care about things like that. Indeed, at one point the group returned from a gig to the mansion they were renting and found squatters had moved in and were using their private pool -- so they shot at the water. The squatters quickly moved on. As Dryden put it "We all -- Paul, Jorma, Grace, and myself -- had guns. We weren't hippies. Hippies were the people that lived on the streets down in Haight-Ashbury. We were basically musicians and art school kids. We were into guns and machinery" After Bathing at Baxter's only went to number seventeen on the charts, not a bad position but a flop compared to their previous album, and Bill Graham in particular took this as more proof that he had been right when for the last few months he'd been attacking the group as self-indulgent. Eventually, Slick and Dryden decided that either Bill Graham was going as their manager, or they were going. Slick even went so far as to try to negotiate a solo deal with Elektra Records -- as the voice on the hits, everyone was telling her she was the only one who mattered anyway. David Anderle, who was working for the label, agreed a deal with her, but Jac Holzman refused to authorise the deal, saying "Judy Collins doesn't get that much money, why should Grace Slick?" The group did fire Graham, and went one further and tried to become his competitors. They teamed up with the Grateful Dead to open a new venue, the Carousel Ballroom, to compete with the Fillmore, but after a few months they realised they were no good at running a venue and sold it to Graham. Graham, who was apparently unhappy with the fact that the people living around the Fillmore were largely Black given that the bands he booked appealed to mostly white audiences, closed the original Fillmore, renamed the Carousel the Fillmore West, and opened up a second venue in New York, the Fillmore East. The divisions in the band were getting worse -- Kaukonen and Casady were taking more and more speed, which was making them play longer and faster instrumental solos whether or not the rest of the band wanted them to, and Dryden, whose hands often bled from trying to play along with them, definitely did not want them to. But the group soldiered on and recorded their fourth album, Crown of Creation. This album contained several songs that were influenced by science fiction novels. The most famous of these was inspired by the right-libertarian author Robert Heinlein, who was hugely influential on the counterculture. Jefferson Airplane's friends the Monkees had already recorded a song based on Heinlein's The Door Into Summer, an unintentionally disturbing novel about a thirty-year-old man who falls in love with a twelve-year-old girl, and who uses a combination of time travel and cryogenic freezing to make their ages closer together so he can marry her: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "The Door Into Summer"] Now Jefferson Airplane were recording a song based on Heinlein's most famous novel, Stranger in a Strange Land. Stranger in a Strange Land has dated badly, thanks to its casual homophobia and rape-apologia, but at the time it was hugely popular in hippie circles for its advocacy of free love and group marriages -- so popular that a religion, the Church of All Worlds, based itself on the book. David Crosby had taken inspiration from it and written "Triad", a song asking two women if they'll enter into a polygamous relationship with him, and recorded it with the Byrds: [Excerpt: The Byrds, "Triad"] But the other members of the Byrds disliked the song, and it was left unreleased for decades. As Crosby was friendly with Jefferson Airplane, and as members of the band were themselves advocates of open relationships, they recorded their own version with Slick singing lead: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "Triad"] The other song on the album influenced by science fiction was the title track, Paul Kantner's "Crown of Creation". This song was inspired by The Chrysalids, a novel by the British writer John Wyndham. The Chrysalids is one of Wyndham's most influential novels, a post-apocalyptic story about young children who are born with mutant superpowers and have to hide them from their parents as they will be killed if they're discovered. The novel is often thought to have inspired Marvel Comics' X-Men, and while there's an unpleasant eugenic taste to its ending, with the idea that two species can't survive in the same ecological niche and the younger, "superior", species must outcompete the old, that idea also had a lot of influence in the counterculture, as well as being a popular one in science fiction. Kantner's song took whole lines from The Chrysalids, much as he had earlier done with A.A. Milne: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "Crown of Creation"] The Crown of Creation album was in some ways a return to the more focused songwriting of Surrealistic Pillow, although the sessions weren't without their experiments. Slick and Dryden collaborated with Frank Zappa and members of the Mothers of Invention on an avant-garde track called "Would You Like a Snack?" (not the same song as the later Zappa song of the same name) which was intended for the album, though went unreleased until a CD box set decades later: [Excerpt: Grace Slick and Frank Zappa, "Would You Like a Snack?"] But the finished album was generally considered less self-indulgent than After Bathing at Baxter's, and did better on the charts as a result. It reached number six, becoming their second and last top ten album, helped by the group's appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in September 1968, a month after it came out. That appearance was actually organised by Colonel Tom Parker, who suggested them to Sullivan as a favour to RCA Records. But another TV appearance at the time was less successful. They appeared on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, one of the most popular TV shows among the young, hip, audience that the group needed to appeal to, but Slick appeared in blackface. She's later said that there was no political intent behind this, and that she was just trying the different makeup she found in the dressing room as a purely aesthetic thing, but that doesn't really explain the Black power salute she gives at one point. Slick was increasingly obnoxious on stage, as her drinking was getting worse and her relationship with Dryden was starting to break down. Just before the Smothers Brothers appearance she was accused at a benefit for the Whitney Museum of having called the audience "filthy Jews", though she has always said that what she actually said was "filthy jewels", and she was talking about the ostentatious jewellery some of the audience were wearing. The group struggled through a performance at Altamont -- an event we will talk about in a future episode, so I won't go into it here, except to say that it was a horrifying experience for everyone involved -- and performed at Woodstock, before releasing their fifth studio album, Volunteers, in 1969: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "Volunteers"] That album made the top twenty, but was the last album by the classic lineup of the band. By this point Spencer Dryden and Grace Slick had broken up, with Slick starting to date Kantner, and Dryden was also disappointed at the group's musical direction, and left. Balin also left, feeling sidelined in the group. They released several more albums with varying lineups, including at various points their old friend David Frieberg of Quicksilver Messenger Service, the violinist Papa John Creach, and the former drummer of the Turtles, Johnny Barbata. But as of 1970 the group's members had already started working on two side projects -- an acoustic band called Hot Tuna, led by Kaukonen and Casady, which sometimes also featured Balin, and a project called Paul Kantner's Jefferson Starship, which also featured Slick and had recorded an album, Blows Against the Empire, the second side of which was based on the Robert Heinlein novel Back to Methuselah, and which became one of the first albums ever nominated for science fiction's Hugo Awards: [Excerpt: Jefferson Starship, "Have You Seen The Stars Tonite"] That album featured contributions from David Crosby and members of the Grateful Dead, as well as Casady on two tracks, but  in 1974 when Kaukonen and Casady quit Jefferson Airplane to make Hot Tuna their full-time band, Kantner, Slick, and Frieberg turned Jefferson Starship into a full band. Over the next decade, Jefferson Starship had a lot of moderate-sized hits, with a varying lineup that at one time or another saw several members, including Slick, go and return, and saw Marty Balin back with them for a while. In 1984, Kantner left the group, and sued them to stop them using the Jefferson Starship name. A settlement was reached in which none of Kantner, Slick, Kaukonen, or Casady could use the words "Jefferson" or "Airplane" in their band-names without the permission of all the others, and the remaining members of Jefferson Starship renamed their band just Starship -- and had three number one singles in the late eighties with Slick on lead, becoming far more commercially successful than their precursor bands had ever been: [Excerpt: Starship, "We Built This City on Rock & Roll"] Slick left Starship in 1989, and there was a brief Jefferson Airplane reunion tour, with all the classic members but Dryden, but then Slick decided that she was getting too old to perform rock and roll music, and decided to retire from music and become a painter, something she's stuck to for more than thirty years. Kantner and Balin formed a new Jefferson Starship, called Jefferson Starship: The Next Generation, but Kantner died in January 2016, coincidentally on the same day as Signe Anderson, who had occasionally guested with her old bandmates in the new version of the band. Balin, who had quit the reunited Jefferson Starship due to health reasons, died two years later. Dryden had died in 2005. Currently, there are three bands touring that descend directly from Jefferson Airplane. Hot Tuna still continue to perform, there's a version of Starship that tours featuring one original member, Mickey Thomas, and the reunited Jefferson Starship still tour, led by David Frieberg. Grace Slick has given the latter group her blessing, and even co-wrote one song on their most recent album, released in 2020, though she still doesn't perform any more. Jefferson Airplane's period in the commercial spotlight was brief -- they had charting singles for only a matter of months, and while they had top twenty albums for a few years after their peak, they really only mattered to the wider world during that brief period of the Summer of Love. But precisely because their period of success was so short, their music is indelibly associated with that time. To this day there's nothing as evocative of summer 1967 as "White Rabbit", even for those of us who weren't born then. And while Grace Slick had her problems, as I've made very clear in this episode, she inspired a whole generation of women who went on to be singers themselves, as one of the first prominent women to sing lead with an electric rock band. And when she got tired of doing that, she stopped, and got on with her other artistic pursuits, without feeling the need to go back and revisit the past for ever diminishing returns. One might only wish that some of her male peers had followed her example.

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