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October 31, 2023

30 Candid Photographs of Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane at the Woodstock Festival in 1969

Woodstock might have been a magical, musical, drug-fuelled experience for the hundreds of thousands of young people in the crowd — but for the performers, it was a bit of a mess, said Jefferson Airplane frontwoman Grace Slick.

“The magic of it is I don’t think we realized there were that many people paying attention to the changes that were going on, and hopeful that those changes would present themselves physically through legal processes and fun stuff. Woodstock was fun. If you’re 18 and you don’t care about sitting in the mud, it’s fun.”

Slick and Jefferson Airplane took the stage at Woodstock on August 17, 1969, playing to a crowd of hundreds of thousands of people who had gathered for the now-legendary festival. Slick’s powerful vocals were on full display during the band’s set, which included hits like “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love.”

Slick’s performance was a highlight of the festival, and her captivating stage presence left a lasting impression on the audience. Her message of peace and love resonated with the crowd, and her performance helped solidify the counterculture movement of the 1960s.

“I had to stay up all night on a stage with no bathroom that I can remember, waiting to go on because something got screwed up. We’re supposed to go on at 9 and we had to be on the stage until six o’clock in the morning...

“You couldn’t see anybody because ... we were in a motel. Half an hour before you’re supposed to go on, which for us was about nine o’clock at night, a helicopter comes and picks you up, drops you off backstage, you go up, you play your set, then the helicopter takes you back to the hotel.”

In the years since Woodstock, Slick’s influence on music and culture has continued to grow. She has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, first with Jefferson Airplane and then with Jefferson Starship, and her music continues to inspire and influence generations of musicians.

Overall, Grace Slick’s performance at Woodstock ’69 remains a defining moment in music history, and her legacy as one of the greatest singers and performers of all time is cemented in the annals of rock and roll history.


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