Grace Slick doesn’t care what you think. The Queen of Acid Rock, one of the original architects of the counter cultural revolution in the United States of the 1960s, has always done what she wanted. She follows her muse and looks for fun – and when it stops being fun, she stops doing it.
She reigned over Rock and Roll for three decades with three bands – Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship, and also enjoyed a successful solo career –notching multiple gold and platinum records and earning handfuls of top 40 hits.
Hailing from a “Leave It To Beaver” family (in her own words) in Palo Alto, CA, the former Grace Wing attended Finch College (“really just a finishing school”) before embarking on a professional career as a model in I. Magnin’s department store in San Francisco. She married Jerry Slick, the son of her mother’s best friend, in Grace Chapel in 1961 because that’s what well-bred girls did. The Slicks soon formed a band, The Great Society, with Jerry’s brother Darby, and Grace left the picture-perfect manicured lawns and nuclear family of her upbringing in her past. The Great Society often played at The Matrix, a club founded by Marty Balin, the co-founder of Jefferson Airplane. When the female vocalist of The Airplane, Signe Anderson, left to pursue motherhood, Grace left The Great Society – and her first marriage – to join Jefferson Airplane. The rest, as they say, is history (though it should be noted that Grace and Jerry remain amicable to this day.)
Grace’s exploits as a rock and roller are well documented. Grace devoutly followed the “Free Love” ethos of her generation, and pursued affairs with, well, anyone she wanted. Except Jimi Hendrix. Somehow, that one got away. If you want all the dirty details, please read her autobiography Somebody to Love?
Just as Grace was rarely a one-man woman, she was neither a single medium artist. Grace Slick knows that music is just one medium, and she has always been a talented painter as well. In the 1990s, Slick retired from touring to turn her focus to painting full time. Alice in Wonderland is a favorite subject of her art; she identifies with Alice’s need to follow her curiosity, whether it leads her into trouble or not. But her subjects range from satirical political pieces to portraits of other pop culture figures that she admires, including her friends and contemporaries, to animals both real and fantastic, cityscapes, landscapes, nudes, and abstracts. Her media includes oil paints, acrylics, scratchboard images, and pencil drawings. They are impossible to categorize or box in, much like the artist who created them.
Grace Slick lives by the ocean in Malibu and paints.