The Great Society Biography

The Great Society was formed in August 1965 by Grace Slick (Grace Barnett Wing, 30 October 1939, Evanston, Illinois, USA; vocals, piano, recorder, guitar), her husband Jerry (drums) and his brother Darby Slick (lead guitar). David Minor (rhythm guitar) and Bard DuPont (bass) completed the line-up having replaced Bill and Jean Piersol, although DuPont was replaced by Peter van Gelder, who also doubled on saxophone. One of the first San Franciscan rock groups, the quintet was active for 13 months, during which they issued one single, ‘Someone To Love’ (later known as ‘Somebody To Love’) on Tom Donahue’s Autumn Records/Northbeach label. This intriguing Darby Slick composition achieved fame when it was adopted by Jefferson Airplane, the group Grace joined in October 1966. The Great Society broke up on her departure, but two live collections, released solely in the wake of the singer’s subsequent fame, show a group of rare imagination. The first album features ‘White Rabbit’, another composition Grace introduced to her new-found companions, which is preceded by a lengthy instrumental passage performed in a raga style that typified the Great Society’s approach to many of their songs. Indeed, on the dissolution of the group, Darby Slick, Vandergelder and Minor went to study music in India, while Jerry was briefly a member of Final Solution before returning to film work.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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