Various Go Ride The Music & West Pole

Various Go Ride The Music & West Pole
The late Ralph Gleason is better known as a co-founder of Rolling Stone and an early rock journalist than a San Fran-based chronicler of culture. Yet Go Ride the Music, shot in ’70, is a valuable document of life long before MTV and the bottom line. A supporter of Bay Area musicians, we eavesdrop on Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver Messenger Service in the prime of their creativity, if not the peak of their popularity. The images of a beautiful Grace Slick contrast with an intense Marty Balin, while the genius of Kantner, Kaukonen and Casady is clearly in evidence across the audience-free studio rehearsals used here. Likewise, Quicksilver’s Valenti, Cipollina and Frieberg masterminded the band’s loose, trippy spirit that rises so well over the crowd at this outdoor concert festival. On the second disc is West Pole, upping the nostalgia quotient with rare, live footage of such ’60s bands as the Grateful Dead, an all-female Ace of Cups, early Steve Miller (with Boz in tow) and the Sons of Champlin. Another Bay Area exposé replete with hippy charm, this is a fascinating glimpse into a period of time that was as naïve and innocent as it was creatively passionate. (Eagle Vision)