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By Jancee Dunn

GRACE SLICK PHONES UP from her home in Malibu. Now sixty-three (would you believe?), the former Jefferson Airplane singer is packing her bags because she’s going on tour – only this time it’s art galleries, not gigs. These days, Slick’s drawings of Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Garcia can fetch $15,000 apiece. “That sounds fabulous,” she says. “ but the gallery gets a third, my agent gets a third and I get the last third.”

Slick’s interest in art budded a few years back. “ I was living with this guy who had a brilliant mind, good-looking, funny, but he was crazier then a bag of squirrels,” she says in her gravelly voice. When they broke up, Slick stated sketching animals to cheer herself up. “Now it’s a full-on profession,” she says, “so you never know,” As for her love life, the twice-divorced Slick now lives alone, which is fine with her. “anybody who wants to screw a sixty-three-year-old woman I wouldn’t wanna screw anyway! OK? Because they have big problems.” She lets out a hoarse cackle.

The girl who once threatened to lace President Nixon’s tea with LSD is a true child of the Sixties. She threw herself into the psychedelic bacchanal in San Francisco, while the Airplane put out now-classic albums such as 1967’s surrealistic Pillow while indulging in­–well, basically everything. “I enjoyed it thoroughly,” she says. Slick foundly, if murkily, recalls one of the more decadent nights of her life, a party at the band’s office in San Francisco. “there was some kind of an orgy going on,” she says. “everybody’s doing drugs and screwing everybody else, and I can’t remember much, but I imagine it was decadent. I didn’t like orgies, because I don’t concentrate well on more than one thing at a time. I’m not good at multitasking.”

  Grace Slick on Cover of Rolling Stone Magazine

Jefferson Airplane were one of rock’s longest-running soap operas. The drug-addled fights! The furious couplings! After Airplane disbanded in 1972, Slick put out some solo albums, then joined Jefferson Starship, the reconstructed version of the Airplane. After a while, they dropped “Jefferson” and all the rock pretensions. The polished, commercial pop of starship (“We Built This City”) wasn’t exactly artistically groundbreaking. And slick left at the end of the Eighties. In the Meantime, she has pretty much eased performing, aside from a 9/11 benefit last year with airplane band mate and former husband Paul Kantner and their daughter China. Slick doesn’t pay attention to most of today’s music. “Now they’ve got dancing girls, and you’ve got to change outfits every three numbers,” she says. “ I wouldn’t do it now – I’m to lazy. In the sixties, mostly we all just got onstage with whatever was clean. I didn’t have anything to wear one night, and I wore two paisley-pattern towels that were pinned at the shoulder, and then I just wore a big belt around the middle of both of them.”

No matter what she threw on, Slick was one of rock’s first female sex symbols. “I thought I was kind of dark and foreboding, kind of witchey, but I didn’t think of myself as being sexy,” she says. “ I thought Marianne Faithfull at that time was very sexy-looking–big fat lips and long blond hair and big boobs and all that.” These days, Slick is more concerned with liver spots. “they seem to come up overnight,” she marvels. “And I go, “What the fuck is this ugly shit going on here?” And these lumps in weird places start happening. It’s just bizarre.

Slick gets occasional lucrative offers to reunite with Kantner and perform at corporate functions. “I don’t want to play for those people,” she says. “they’re sucking in everybody else’s money by day, and getting drunk and seeing some old rock & roll people at night. That’s so sleazy I can’t even believe it. I’d rather live small. And people look dorky on a rock & roll stage when they’re sixty years old.”

She does have one rock & roll vice left, “I smoke my brains out, which I’ve done since I was fifteen,” she says. “I don’t have a hack, or any of that stuff. Although if you looked at my lungs. You’d probably see just two back bags.” Aside from that, she lives quietly. How many women from her day can say she had just as much fun as the guys? “I did pretty much the same thing they did,” she says. “ I pretty much nailed anybody that was handy. My only regret is that I didn’t get Jimi Hendrix or Peter O’Toole.”

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