50 years today on Nov. 18, Jefferson Airplane landed in Kingston for a concert at the Armory.
Days before the concert, the promoter ran an ad in the Scranton Times that was reproduction of telegram stating the Grace Slick would be joining her band mates at the Kingston show. Performing with band at the time was Marty Balin, Paul Kantner, Papa John Creach, Jack Casady, Jorma Kaukonen and Joey Convington. At the time, Slick was several months pregnant.
The lighting for the show was done by Glenn McKay’s Headlights.
Not much was written about the concert in the pages of the local press except for a lone article from the Wilkes-Barre Record on Nov. 20. The Record wrote about the preliminary hearing for young man from Shickshinny who was arrested after he climbed to roof of the armory on Nov. 18 during the concert and began yelling “I’m an airplane, I’m an airplane.”
When police arrived on the rood and approached the young man, he started shouting “The Jefferson Airplane is not here, but I am an airplane!”
In addition to climbing to the top of the building, the young man also broke several windows at the Armory.
A few days after their appearance in Kingston, Jefferson Airplane took the stage at Rec Hall at Penn State University on Nov. 21, 1970. That day was All U Day, where Penn State students from the small campuses came to main campus. That day the students went to a football game, Penn State played University of Pittsburgh. Following the game, students were treated to a buffet dinner. Some 200 students from the Penn State Scranton campus traveled down to main campus to participate in All U Day.
After dinner, the fun turned to Rec Hall where Jefferson Airplane performed for the students.
A review of the concert appeared in the Daily Collegian, student newspaper at Penn State University, on Nov. 25, 1970. The reviewer, Ken Silverman, said the concert “was directed at a drug-loving crowd. The light show could not be fully appreciated straight.”
The review went onto say that show didn’t start till Grace Slick and Paul Kantner came on stage. “The real show (in most people’s mind) didn’t start till “rock-goddess” Grace Slick and Paul Kantner, the reputed father of expected child, “God,” made their appearance. It looked like “God” might even make his appearance judging from Gracey’s disproportionate middle.”
“Gracey can sing. There’s never been any dispute over that fact and her show Saturday night bore her legend out.”
The reviewer ended with “overall the concert was an experience – for some, thrilling, for others, terrifying. It all depended on your state of mind, or your lack of it.”
Brian Fulton has been the librarian at The Times-Tribune for the past 15 years. On his blog, Historically Hip, he writes about the great concerts, plays/musicals and celebrity happenings that have taken place throughout NEPA. He is also the co-host of the local history podcast, Historically Hip. He competed and was crowned grand champion on an episode of NPR quiz show “Ask Me Another.” Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9140; or @TTPagesPast