Darby Slick

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Dabney Roger "Darby" Slick (born 1944) is an American guitarist and songwriter, best known as a former member of The Great Society, and as the writer of the Jefferson Airplane song, "Somebody to Love". In 1965, he co-founded The Great Society with his brother Jerry Slick, Jenn Piersol, and his sister-in-law Grace Slick (David Miner and Bard Du Pont would join shortly after). Darby played lead guitar and occasionally performed backup vocals early on and less often towards the disbanding. He wrote some other songs for The Great Society, including "Free Advice" and "Darkly Smiling".[1]

"Somebody to Love"[edit]

Originally under the title "Mind Full of Bread",[2] the composition was created during Slick's process of creating a novel, which started in 1962. Slick would spend time writing and playing jam sessions with his guitar. Periodically, he spent less time writing a novel and more time writing the composition.[3] The song was complete in 1965 after Slick ended a relationship. His intent for the piece was to go against the cliche of wanting love as a theme for a song and instead giving love.[4]

The song would be released as a single under the North Beach label. It was released as "Someone to Love" with the B-side "Free Advice" but the single's distribution was limited and made little impact at the time. When Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane recorded the song, it became a top ten hit on the national charts. Darby Slick would write other compositions like "Free Advice" which were largely influenced by Indian music that he would study after the band broke up.[5]

After The Great Society[edit]

After Slick's time with the band he took an interest in Indian music. He took several trips to India to learn more about the genre. Slick published an autobiography in 1991 titled Don't You Want Somebody to Love detailing his time with the band and lessons while on trips to India.[6]


In addition to his work with The Great Society, in the 1990s Darby worked on an album with his son Jor Slick (Sandoland, Taxim Records) and a solo album (King of the Fretless Guitar (1998), Taxim Records).[7]


  1. ^ "Bay Area, Darby Slick". bay-area-bands.com. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  2. ^ "Original Lyrics For Sale". jambands.com. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  3. ^ "Darby Slick Interview". famousinterview.com. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  4. ^ Grace Slick. "Somebody to Love?". Google.com. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  5. ^ "Darby Slick - Biography". allmusic.com. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  6. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Biography: Darby Slick". Allmusic. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  7. ^ http://www.taxim.com Taxim Records site
  • Slick, Darby. Don't You Want Somebody To Love: Reflections on the San Francisco Sound.