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|Single by Jefferson Airplane|
|from the album Volunteers|
|B-side||"We Can Be Together"|
|Studio||Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco, California|
|Jefferson Airplane singles chronology|
"Volunteers" is a Jefferson Airplane single from 1969 that was released to promote the album Volunteers two months before the album's release. It was written by Marty Balin and Paul Kantner together. Marty was woken up by a truck one morning, which happened to be a truck with Volunteers of America painted on the side. Marty started writing lyrics down and then asked Paul to help him with the music.
B-Side "We Can Be Together"
"We Can Be Together" is the B-side of the "Volunteers" 45 and the first track on Volunteers. The song's music and lyrics were written by Paul Kantner. Kantner was inspired by the Black Panther Party's use of the phrase "Up against the wall, motherfucker" and included it in the chorus. The Airplane performed "We Can Be Together" uncensored on The Dick Cavett Show on August 19, 1969.
While the word "motherfucker" was indeed sung and not censored on the 45, it was mixed lower in the mix as compared to the LP mix, which had no volume manipulation and presented the song "un-buried".
- Grace Slick – piano, vocals
- Paul Kantner – rhythm guitar, vocals
- Marty Balin – guitar, lead vocals
- Jorma Kaukonen – lead guitar
- Jack Casady – bass
- Spencer Dryden – drums, percussion
- Nicky Hopkins – piano