History of the song "White Rabbit" - Jefferson Airplane
April '71 was marked by a scandal: the state of Illinois officially added "White Rabbit" to the list of "drug-oriented rock records." The list includes many hits of that time. And after decades, the band's business card received an honorary place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "White Rabbit" was included in the ranking of the best tracks of all time. It became a landmark for the soloist Grace Slick, the author of music and lyrics, who performed this composition on stage during her performances with The Great Society. But the track was recorded with Jefferson Airplane.
The song's lyrics refer to Lewis Carroll's character Alice, one of Grace's favorites. What this song is about is clear to anyone who has read Carroll's books - there are a lot of allusions. Many of them describe the drug state in a very transparent way. And, of course, there are reasons for this - there is no smoke without fire.
Like many representatives of the rock music of the 60s, Grace belonged to the generation of "progressive youth". Speaking about the creation of the song, she confessed to a journalist:
I took acid and listened to Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain for 24 hours until it burned into my brain.
The singer herself admitted at the same time: the rhythm of the melody was inspired by the “Bolero” by Maurice Ravel. As Grace commented, the main character of the song strives to learn new things, and this encourages you to leave everything familiar behind. It should be noted that the Grace generation considered psychedelic drugs like LSD to be a good way to achieve an altered state of consciousness and expand the boundaries of perception. This was the real taste of life.
From an interview with Grace:
We all know these stories where you accept something - and here's an adventure for you. Alice is a prime example of this. She's just stoned, getting too big for the room while the caterpillar sits on a psychedelic mushroom and smokes opium. In The Wizard of Oz, they find themselves in an opium poppy field, after which they see the Emerald City. "Peter Pan"? Sprinkle a little bit of cocaine on your head and you're off.
Achievements "White Rabbit" and Woodstock
In June 1967, the legendary composition was released as a single from the album Surrealistic Pillow. It peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Jefferson Airplane's second top 10 track.
This song is a real hit of the "summer of love", in 1969 it was brilliantly played by the band at the Woodstock festival. Earlier mention was made of the composition's recognition in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And she was also included in the "500 Greatest in History", according to Rolling Stone magazine.