Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra

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The roots of PER&RO go back a lot further than 1971. 1 guess it had its inception in the early years of the '60s (prior to the Airplane, the Byrds et al) when Kantner, Crosby and Freiberg used to hang out, play music, get high and rap together around Venice Beach. That was the initial bond, the start of it all. Later, when they were in bands of their own, there were occasional points of interaction - like Garcia sitting in on the 'Surrealistic Pillow' sessions, like Crosby giving "Triad" to the Airplane when he couldn't get the Byrds to record it, like Kantner, Crosby and Stills writing "Wooden Ships". Then, as the '60s drew to a close, two sets of circumstances combined to bring the Planet Earth Rock And Roll Dream a whole lot nearer. One was the opening of Wally Heider's studio in San Francisco - because now the local SF musicians (Airplane, Quicksilver, Dead) had a place on their doorstep where they could record. This gave item freedom from the corporate studios to record and produce as they saw fit, to come and go more as they pleased and to invite the musical neighborhood in if they chose. (It hadn't been so easy when they were holed up at RCA's or Warner's studios in Hollywood.) The other catalyst was the state of flux that a lot of bands were falling into by 1969/1970, for Crosby had left the Byrds, the Airplane was a less cohesive force with Dryden out and Hot Tuna splitting off, and Dino Valenti's arrival had unsettled QMS. Things had come pretty much full circle by the end of the decade. Kantner was again hanging out with Crosby (quite often on the latter's yacht) and with David Freiberg - and, when Paul came to assemble musicians to record 'Blows Against The Empire', it wasn't just to his Airplane cohorts that he turned but also to Crosby and Garcia and even Graham Nash - who'd just bought a house in Frisco and ended up producing the whole second side of the 'Blows...' album at Heider's studio. 'Blows..." was the first album by that collection of musicians whom Paul liked to term the Planet Earth Rock And Roll Orchestra.

The fact that he billed the album as being by Jefferson Starship shouldn't mislead anyone. Kantner, Crosby, Slick, Freiberg, Nash, Garcia, Kaukonen, Lesh, Casady, Kreutzmann, Hart - these people were the Planet Earth Rock And Roll Orchestra, supporting each other on key projects..

Rehearsal Tapes Personnel[edit]

PERRO Discography[edit]

Year Title Chart positions Certification
US
1970 Blows Against the Empire by Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship 20 Gold (RIAA)
1971 If I Could Only Remember My Name by David Crosby 12 Gold (RIAA)
Songs for Beginners by Graham Nash 15 Gold (RIAA)
Sunfighter by Paul Kantner and Grace Slick 89
1972 Graham Nash David Crosby by Graham Nash and David Crosby 4 Gold (RIAA)
Rolling Thunder by Mickey Hart 190
1973 Baron von Tollbooth & the Chrome Nun by Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, and David Freiberg 120
1983 Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra by Paul Kantner
"—" denotes release did not chart and/or not certified.

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