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Paul Kantner Memorial: “So pick up the cry! Got to revolution!”

February 2, 2016

I was not aware that Paul died a few days ago. I’m a belated reader of the SF Chronicle, I get my news from the radio (PBS, thank you), and evidently this news was not considered nobit there from the SF Guardianewsworthy enough, what with Trump and the Iowa caucuses, Sika virus, and what-have-you.

First thing I did on learning this news, was of course go to google for confirmation. An had links to the Airplane singing “Volunteers” at Woodstock. I know, I’m aging myself here, but not that much.

“Volunteers” was a call to revolution. Well, it was a band with a song that at least made that call. “So pick up the cry! Got to revolution!” The song spoke to me, the idea spoke to me, and it continues to speak to me. “You are not going to be able to unring the bell!” (PK in an interview)

This nation has always been on the verge of a real democratic republic—the ideal envisioned in our constitution—but has always been misled by the corporate influence on the two “parties” that pretend to policies for the people, that are in fact for the extremes of wealth which wield the political power in today’s USA.

The call to revolution is directed at the naïve and idealistic. I know, I was one of them. Maybe I still am, but with the dimming eyesight of years I see that corporate interests have coopted revolution. Because they know that what follows is inevitably chaos, and have already laid the groundwork for reaping further profit from the chaos.

This is not to say that change is not worth fighting for. But seeing Kantner’s band playing that same song in suitcoats and ties at their induction to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame is a reminder that things change. The song is not the same.

So, Paul Kantner, thanks for the memories, they go back a long long way. And more recently, catching the band and the song from a boat out in the water in Sausalito, playing that old familiar song. It still made my heart beat a little bit faster. “So pick up the cry! Got to revolution!”

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 4, 2016 11:46 am

    I look forward 2 U telling me who is this person.

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