26 macphisto 8 months ago the early JS tour would have been spring of 1975, between Dragonfly and Red Octopus with the Dragonfly band (Paul/Grace/Freiberg/Chaquico/Creach/Sears/Barbata/no Marty). i saw that tour in Chicago and it was staggeringly good, MUCH better than i'd expected since as far as the Airplane went i was always a Jorma/Jack guy. i'm pretty sure it was spring because it was warm enough out that i didn't need a jacket. i could look it up if it's really important.but enough about that, let me brag on Marty for a minute or 2. one thing i'm glad was brought out in the articles about Marty was just how much of a early adopter, entrepeneur, and business visionary he was. he opened the Matrix club in San Francisco in 1965, back when Bill Graham was still staging Mime Troupe guerrilla theater in the parks. Marty knew that to develop the Airplane he'd need a venue to nurture them, and IIRC they played the Matrix like 300 times. the Matrix also served as a valuable small club alternative to the ballrooms; famously, the Matrix hosted the Velvet Underground for a series which was audience-taped by Robert Quine a decade before the Voidoids and eventually issued as an official VU release. but i digress...Marty was not to be taken lightly. not only did he get knocked cold at Altamont, but when he came to and the Angel who'd coldcocked him--a lovely fellow called "Animal" who can be seen in the Gimme Shelter film onstage wearing what appears to be a coyote carcass on his head--tried to apologise, Marty told him "fork you" and Animal punched him out a second time. that same cussedness and drive made it very bitter when he was gradually frozen out of the Airplane by the Paul/Grace and Jorma/Jack cliques...by 10/4/70 he was saying "i need a new band" during a live show at the Winterland, and by the next April he was out, citing his estrangement from the others' coke-fuelled demeanor. when he came back for Red Octopus he came to settle scores, infamously ordering Grace to sing straight harmony parts instead of her trademark skirling improvisations. the dynamic probably didn't help Grace's alcohol issues, and winning didn't seem to make Marty any happier. i reckon he must have felt vindicated when he had two hit singles off his first solo album.Marty was a complicated picture...he could be heart-rendingly sensitive or utterly boorish, inspirational or overbearing. but my god, he could sing. my favorite Marty moment: it's simple, really. no Marty, no Airplane. no Airplane = no international exposure for the SF Sound, probably no Bill Graham and thus a very very different live music industry. no SF sound, no me, or a very bored me playing in a generic blues or soul band. that shit helped make a place in the world for me. thanks, Marty. and as Jorma said, "now, we are three..."