Jefferson Starship Keyboardist David Freiberg Talks New Album, Living with David Crosby and Janis Joplin, and the 45th Anniversary of Red Octopus
Jefferson Starship is back with their first record in 12 years, “Mother of the Sun,” and keyboardist David Freiberg called in to 1071 The Boss to dish the details.
The first single, “It’s About Time,” is co-written by Grace Slick and singer Cathy Richardson. The record also includes a song co-written by original member Marty Balin. Original Jefferson Starship bassist Pete Sears plays on three tracks.
“It’s About Time” is a socially conscious song that Slick was inspired to write after watching the Women’s March in 2017 with Richardson at her house, and the lyrics are a call to action.
“I believe in that wholly, and it’s time the women get some of that power,” Freiberg told mid-day host Michele Amabile. “It’s about time.”
Freiberg also touched on what it was like living in the same house with David Crosby, Janis Joplin, and the late Paul Kantner.
“Paul and I went down to Los Angeles and got a house in Venice Beach, and we were going to become a folk duo. We were in Venice Beach, and we were so close to the beach we never bothered,” he laughed. “All we did was smoke dope and go to the beach, and David Crosby was there to egg us on…I always got along with him. He’s my buddy.”
To celebrate the 45th Anniversary of “Red Octopus,” Freiberg listened to the whole record in on sitting.
“I actually listened to the album all the way through, which I hadn’t done in a long time,” he said. “That was a good album. It was different, and it was a good time when Marty Balin decided to become part of the band. I joined Jefferson Airplane taking his place, and he sang one song “Dragonfly,” which was the first Jefferson Startship album and then he joined the band after that. It was a really positive time, I remember that. “
Recording the hit, “Miracles,” was a magic moment, he said.
“My fingers kind of played that little lick at the beginning of ‘Miracles,’ I was playing organ on that part, on that tune, and luckily my fingers just decided to play the hook. The whole album was like that.”
Freiberg -who saw the group through it’s harder rock era with the banger “Jane” (“Her name really wasn’t Jane..we changed the name to protect the innocent or guilty, whichever it was”) shortly after Kantner’s departure, and right before the release of “Knee Deep in the Hoopla,” which included the hit, “We Built This City,” written by Bernie Taupin, Martin Page, Dennis Lambert and Peter Wolf.
“Lots of people feel very strong about that song, for some reason, and that’s been very hard for me to figure out,” he said. “Even though I wasn’t in the band, I kind of dug it a little bit. And we will play it now, because Donny Baldwin, our drummer, was in that band, so he played that and the fans want to hear a couple of songs from that album, and we’ll play it because they came to hear their wedding song. We do a medley of “Sara” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” for the people who want wedding songs.”
Listen to the interview below, as Freiberg talks about the new album, his thoughts on drive-in concerts, and what Grace Slick is doing now.