[ ]   [ ]   [ ]                        [ ]      [ ]   [ ]
Jefferson Airplane — Lather
Album: Crown of Creation
Avg rating:
5.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1077









Released: 1968
Length: 2:55
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Lather was thirty years old today,
They took away all of his toys.
His mother sent newspaper clippings to him,
About his old friends who'd stopped being boys.
There was Harwitz E. Green, just turned thirty-three,
His leather chair waits at the bank.
And Seargent Dow Jones, twenty-seven years old,
Commanding his very own tank.
But Lather still finds it a nice thing to do,
To lie about nude in the sand,
Drawing pictures of mountains that look like bumps,
And thrashing the air with his hands.

But wait, oh Lather's productive you know,
He produces the finest of sound,
Putting drumsticks on either side of his nose,
Snorting the best licks in town,
But that's all over...

Lather was thirty years old today,
And Lather came foam from his tongue.
He looked at me eyes wide and plainly said,
Is it true that I'm no longer young?
And the children call him famous,
what the old men call insane,
And sometimes he's so nameless,
That he hardly knows which game to play...
Which words to say...
And I should have told him, "No, you're not old."
And I should have let him go on...smiling...babywide.
Comments (153)add comment
 NotShakespeare wrote:
Every now and again, I'll hear a song on RP that I don't like. This is the only one that makes me actually use the skip button.
 

Not their best work. 
Every now and again, I'll hear a song on RP that I don't like. This is the only one that makes me actually use the skip button.
2 > 1
I retired (unknowingly) to a rather strange, very remote and sparsely populated community in the Ozarks that was overrun with hippies in the late 60's/early 70's. There were several communes here, some as large as 40 people. Land was very cheap and beautiful.  It was a popular destination for those returning from Vietnam who wanted to drop out, and those hiding so as not to go.  The area became known for the heavy drug traffic and pot farms until the cops came down hard in the 80's.  Over time, most of the hippies left to find jobs and get on with their lives. Hard to make a decent living here. What remained were mostly trust fund babies. Lather reminds me of my trust fund hippy dropout neighbors.  
I just want to go on record that I hate this song with most of my heart.

Thank you. 
 deepwoodskev wrote:

 

Would you say this is a parody of Fairport Convention and their folky sincerity?
I like an awful lot of Jefferson Airplane, but this... no!!!
I admit to liking the f-you sensibilities of the 60s counter culture, but the simple-minded caricaturing of the society that wasn't them, is tiresome and just plain wrong.  As bad as those who branded them all 'dirty hippies'.
This was always one of my favourites (eh) off the Crown of Creation album but I do have some feel for why so many don't like it.  I'm not a great believer in the "you had to be there" school of musical appreciation, perhaps I should be ...
Perfectly unpleasant.
 njswede wrote:
Is there enough acid in the world to make this song make any sense? 
 

When it came out it sucked and I loved the Airplane back then. After 45 years or so....ahhhhhh it still...sucks.
Every once in a while there is an overlap between filk music and pop  music.  This is a good example.
There was a DJ on KNAC back in the 70s who used to play this song on every show.  I've loved it ever since.

FM radio was in peak form back then.
Hmm. I guess this happened, and Jeremy spoke in class today.
Makes my hair hurt.  A truly horrible piece of work.
Grace Slick at her best!
 njswede wrote:
Is there enough acid in the world to make this song make any sense? 
 

After this one, not any more !
 thewiseking wrote:
Wow, the Airplane stretching for a Fairport sound. Failing badly. 
 Grace Slick ain't Sandy Denny, that's for sure...
c.

Is there enough acid in the world to make this song make any sense? 
What? Sounds like Peter, Paul & Mary + Jefferson Airplane feat. The Creepy Audio Clips.
Great song I have given it a 10 for the past 50 years
Wow, the Airplane stretching for a Fairport sound. Failing badly. 
Wow. I think it's been nearly 40 years since I last heard this. My room mate in my 2nd year of college (1980) used to play this constantly. We would laugh and snort along with the weirdness and sigh and occasionally cry at the melancholy; there may have been drugs involved. Such a strange and sad and beautiful song.
funny how even though one grew up in this time, this is the first time I have heard it. Have to applaud her ennunciation
Happy 30th birthday to whomever has their birthday today!
Hearing this for the first time, which is a good thing. But... not everything from the past should be dug up.
Awful.  Just awful. 
How do I turn off comments?
I must suppose songs like this are the reason old people hated rock and roll in the 60s.
Why are they strangling goats in the chorus?
Had not heard this till here. Couple of weeks ago- magical. Haunting and fun.
Good stuff
Ah! I was just humming this song a couple of days ago!  I LOVE RP!!!!
Been putting this off for way tooo long - I've registered and will send support donation. Almost had me many times over the last year or so with so many songs I like, and few days ago when I heard David & David...then tonight (I'm in Kyoto) Kinks' CellHeroes, and soon followed with Lather by Jefferson Airplane...where else am I going to hear Lather! Domoarigato
Listen to the flower people.
 musicforme wrote:
More like this and less Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones and the other overplayed groups brilliant as they may be.

More new music and exploration of the less played past.

 
Yes! - What "musicforme" said!
Listen not to the naysayers, Bill.
Interesting lyrics - I only need to hear this song once in my lifetime, though.
 surfnetter1 wrote:
I was there, then. Still relevant.

 
Yep, me, too.  And still relevant.
I was cooking in the kitchen and thought I was hearing voices, liked this oldie by a local group.
Today, Lather would be labeled "on the spectrum" and/or on ADHD meds.


Different.
Because it's 1968 Jefferson Airplane I've wondered if Lather wasn't that guy who took a trip and just never made it back.
If not for the nose harp bit I'd have more like for it. Good to hear every couple years or so though, then back in the closet
with Lather, who by the way celebrated his 80th Birthday last month. 
{#Crown}




This song scared the bejeezus out of me. I thought Alexa was offering really weird commentary alongside it. 
I was there, then. Still relevant.
Love the album and this track. Saw them back in ‘68. Awesome
For Bill I'm going 8.  Let's bring this baby up the charts.
That's the equivalent as saying all jokes and all comedians are funny and if you don't laugh it's you who is flawed. None the less, I love RP and Bill's musical esthetics as do most of the bellyachers. :-)


woodchuk wrote:
This is a great song!  The negative reviewers obviously have no appreciation for social satire (whether or not satire was intended by Grace & co.)!

  
I agree completely. It takes a sense of humor to fathom satire - obviously lacking in these people. Besides, it's a fun little song...Bill is right in ignoring the bellyaching. It's his fine station - he plays what he pleases, thank you very much.
 woodchuk wrote:
This is a great song!  The negative reviewers obviously have no appreciation for social satire (whether or not satire was intended by Grace & co.)!

 
I agree completely. It takes a sense of humor to fathom satire - obviously lacking in these people. Besides, it's a fun little song...Bill is right in ignoring the bellyaching. It's his fine station - he plays what he pleases, thank you very much.
Thanks for that!  A nice treat, first thing in the morning.

Graham
Somewhere in Kuwait
This is a great song!  The negative reviewers obviously have no appreciation for social satire (whether or not satire was intended by Grace & co.)!

                                         
                                         


                                                  "I've got a fever ... and the cure, is more nose licks."

                                                                                       
                                                                                                       - BRUCE DICKINSON 
 





More like this and less Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones and the other overplayed groups brilliant as they may be.

More new music and exploration of the less played past.
Instant, embarrassing PSD in my office.  Sorry, I love a lot of their stuff, but this is too far out, Daddy.
There's a lot of negativity about this song. I had to read it to believe it. Such literal minds. 

Maybe it would help to know this song was about Jefferson Airplane's drummer, Spencer Dryden. Grace lived with him at the time and she thought his personality was very childlike. 
I guess you had to be there.
I loved this album, they do a great version of David Crosby's "Triad" on this one
Played forever in those days.  Young listeners wouldn't get it, but that's alright.

thanks for playing. 
Man, what a turd.
Very timely song in the Land of Trumpkin.
lol.
 

deepwoodskev wrote:



 



 tsali wrote:
Ah, "Lather." Ah, CROWN OF CREATION. I played this lp to death. For those too young to remember, there's no need to criticize the "old folks'" tunes, just as I won't comment on new music for which I don't care. For those of us wizened and hopefully wiser, music was part of our every breath, our every heartbeat. It was (and is) more than some faintly heard noise in the background; much, much more.Edited By tsali at 9:16 am on 7/22/2003
  
RP is great in so many ways, and the comments from real lives are sometimes strong positive extensions of the music we are all lucky enough to experience here

and if you don't like you psd it! cool : P
 
 Chrisjea wrote:
Now I know what the statement, "This is your brain on drugs" means.   Sweet baby cheezits this is awful.

 
What do you mean?  Check out these 'profound' lyrics:

"...But Lather still finds it a nice thing to do,
To lie about nude in the sand,
Drawing pictures of mountains that look like bumps,
And thrashing the air with his hands.
But wait, oh Lather's productive you know,
He produces the finest of sound,
Putting drumsticks on either side of his nose,
Snorting the best licks in town,..."

I think this song must have originally been titled "Blather", but it's sort of fun in a goofy way, like the space hippies on Star Trek.
I appreciate these guys for what they did to expand the boundaries of music and lyric writing and I admire their humorous approach - it sounds like Grace Slick is just having fun with this tune - but still, this just sounds oppressively dated to me.
Why are there no negative numbers for ratings?
Meh - i'd lather not!
No.
 Redpoint wrote:
Bill: "a Jefferson Airplane track you'll not hear on FM radio."
Sorry Bill, after listening to this twaddle I can't think why it would be played on ANY radio station. 

 
Actually, this did get FM play while I was growing up in the 70s...but it is a plodding downer of a song. At least it makes some sense: you can't say that for other tracks on the album. For an odder and more pointless JA song, check out "Ribumbabap Rubadubaoumoum" : skip the first 30 seconds of intro so you can hear the "vocals". The next track, "Would You Like a Snack", is even worse.

Apparently the record company let the group "experiment" with avant garde music/noodling on this album and "After Bathing At Baxter's" but JA just took its long leash and turned it into your sonic noose. {#Stop}
What the fuck?
Now I know what the statement, "This is your brain on drugs" means.   Sweet baby cheezits this is awful.
Should be followed by Spinal Tap
sounds for a while like i'm on a roller coaster
 leathepea wrote:
You know they must have been licking sheets when they did this one.
 
{#Roflol} Agree! The instrumentation jolted me out of my work because it sounded like a baby crying. Weird stuff! But one of the reasons I love RP. Where else would you hear something like this - even if the only outcome is to be able to state authoritatively "I heard it... and I hated it." {#Sick}
feckin weird, innit?
Jesus Murphy, get off the LSD.
Bill: "a Jefferson Airplane track you'll not hear on FM radio."
Sorry Bill, after listening to this twaddle I can't think why it would be played on ANY radio station. 
What the actual fuck?
More great Airplane! Thanks Bill!
One of the "heavy's" of our era.  Long live the 'late 60's and '70's!  Great music then.  Psychedelia!! 
I think this one could have been left in 1968.
As I recall this was one of the vinyl albums that had something mixed into the manufacturing process to make it a deep, solid color under a UV light. Orange, if I recall correctly.
30?  Old?  How short-sighted was that?
Fantastic to hear this song on RP!

RIP Paul Kantner and Signe Toly Anderson.
Thanks, Paul Kantner, for your vision, your passion, your bold and trippy musicianship over the years! You live on in your great legacy!
Thanks for this fine reminder of how innovative, challenging and radical Jefferson Airplane were back in the day. Even now this song has resonance, especially with all the wars being fought by men with boy's toys. The moral of the story is: if in doubt, don't let the feckers grow up. Keep them in the nursery and let the grrlz run the show :)
Wow, memories.  My older brothers/sisters played this album alot.
 steelinox51 wrote:
Hard to believe the lower rating of this classic.

 
Couldn't agree more. 
Hard to believe the lower rating of this classic.
Had to bump my rating up.  Like this whole album.
This is what makes RP the best radio on the internet: music old and new and great sound quality.
 sends chills down my spine..{#Music}
Absolutely barking.

Love it. 
It was played on midnite FM.

I first heard on cassette tapes recorded when new albums came out and sent to guys in the jungle and offshore.


One of my favorite albums based on when/where I first heard

bam23 wrote:
I cannot recall ever hearing this anywhere but on my record player, quite a long time back. Sure, it's a sort of throw-away, but I think what they were trying to do was worthy. It's absolutely of its time and not the present. This may have been the last good album they recorded.

 


Now you're digging deep!  One of those songs that only the 60s and 70s could produce...unfathomable today.  After all this time I only just appreciated the gentle vocals that seem uncharacteristic of the Grace Slick I remember. Keep digging - keep surprising - that's what I listen for.
Long time, hated it loved it respected it for what it tries to be,   rate?   well,   10 for now.   well done Bob.   we need some Steve Reich now.
https://i.imgflip.com/m39xb.jpg

Tom Waits , clap hands?   yess ok, you win.
I cannot recall ever hearing this anywhere but on my record player, quite a long time back. Sure, it's a sort of throw-away, but I think what they were trying to do was worthy. It's absolutely of its time and not the present. This may have been the last good album they recorded.
 Bleyfusz wrote:
I would not have expected so many disdainful posts on this particular song. Lame? Badly aged? I don't get it. If it was for the lyrics alone, this tune has landmark qualities, as JA in general does. Great to hear it on my favourite radio station.

 
You said it. Odd how polarizing this tune seems to be. I clicked over expecting to see high ratings and comments such as "classic" and "enduring" but found an average of 5.4 with a lot of '1'. Oh well. Great to hear this! Back in the day this was "radical" — without profanity or misogyny. It's creative and weird in an endearing way. YMMV.
Great then; great now....smiling baby wide
I am constantly amazed by what I hear. Lather- made my day! 67, 68 - the years I started really listening to music and not too many people play that stuff now. Also, I have heard Alpha Ya Ya and Gaye Delorme, just for example, amazing but obscure Canadian guys, and a whole lot of other things I love and/or am learning about and loving.  Thanks!
 
 tsali wrote:
Ah, "Lather." Ah, CROWN OF CREATION. I played this lp to death. For those too young to remember, there's no need to criticize the "old folks'" tunes, just as I won't comment on new music for which I don't care. For those of us wizened and hopefully wiser, music was part of our every breath, our every heartbeat. It was (and is) more than some faintly heard noise in the background; much, much more.Edited By tsali at 9:16 am on 7/22/2003
 
Cheers to tsali!  you have to put this odd song in the context of playing the entire album, maybe several stacked albums, and with headphones on to block the rest of the world or crankin' those big-ass box speakers full blast man, pretty intense times
Who else would play this song than RP? Made my Saturday. 
Like it or hate it, it is an iconic song. I hadn't heard it for about 20 years, and it propelled my back into my student days when my more musically literate friends introduced me to Jefferson Airplane (Starship) who were 2nd headliners to Genesis at Knebworth back in 78. Thanx for the memories RP.
 eric wrote:
JA's put out some great music but this, to be blunt, eats ass.
 
How would you know?  Old school gem, not the greatest JA track but not the worst 3 minutes I've ever heard, in any era.
 Bleyfusz wrote:
I would not have expected so many disdainful posts on this particular song. Lame? Badly aged? I don't get it. If it was for the lyrics alone, this tune has landmark qualities, as JA in general does. Great to hear it on my favourite radio station.

 
Because some people see stupidity posted on the innurwebs a few times, think it's the cool/trendy thing to say, and like sheep they follow.

Independent or critical thinking goes out the window, if they ever were capable of it in the first place.
I would not have expected so many disdainful posts on this particular song. Lame? Badly aged? I don't get it. If it was for the lyrics alone, this tune has landmark qualities, as JA in general does. Great to hear it on my favourite radio station.

Vietnam music...

Still wish they had not written about "Sgt. Dow Jones" such a silly-trite name.... Oh well, I now have a couple of "Lathers" and we all enjoying lying about nude in the sand... Wish more people had dogs... Some days dogs are best people to be around. Much less judgmental...


...reminds me a bit of joanna newsom; a similarly controversial reception, i see...
Yeah, I'd rather hear Jim Carrey sing Jefferson Airplane than ever hear this song again. :-s
Two Jeff Airplane songs in the last couple hours is too much in any case, but this particular song hasn't aged very well. Ditch it.
What an odd, quirky, amusing, and lovable tune. I particulaly like the typewriter in the background. Now there's nostalgia for you! Some of the noises remind me of Cousin It - appropriate for the Halloween season.
Tee Vee!?
You know I really liked that tune when it came out and it was nice to hear it again on RP. Sure it's wierd, but that's what makes RP great.
JA's put out some great music but this, to be blunt, eats ass.
You somehow managed to play one of my least liked songs from one of my favorite bands. Oh well, can\'t win them all. Please feel free to explore further in the Airplane\'s cargo hold.
I don't usually flame on RP's musical choices, but, geez! * That is an incredibly LAME song * The music and instrumentation are incredibly dated sounding (Moody Blues anyone? :D )... and the lyrics... Most of JA's lyrics are borderline as it is, but I know I would need to be on some sort of chemical for that one to sound deep. The line: "The young call famous what the old call insane" I think it's the other way around this time. Bill, if you're playing this for the nasal "guitar" solo in the middle, may I recommend Bobby McFerrin's tongue-in-cheek rendition of Cream's "Sunshine Of Your Love". He does a great vocal imitation of a guitar solo at the end... It seems to inspire nostalgia in some, so please understand that I'm not putting down a whole era of music. There was a lot of great music back when I was burping on my mom's shoulder after breastfeeding.
Ah, "Lather." Ah, CROWN OF CREATION. I played this lp to death. For those too young to remember, there's no need to criticize the "old folks'" tunes, just as I won't comment on new music for which I don't care. For those of us wizened and hopefully wiser, music was part of our every breath, our every heartbeat. It was (and is) more than some faintly heard noise in the background; much, much more.
kool :cool: :D (pimp)
10 :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:
What the %*&# was that? :evil:
This is a joke right? I can\'t tell whether it sounds like something from \"A Mighty Wind\" or a soap commercial. :roll: :frustrated: :??: