Grace Slick

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When the men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you've just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving low.
Go ask Alice
I think she'll know.
Grace Slick (1967)
Grace Slick (1977)

Grace Slick (born Grace Barnett Wing, October 30, 1939) is a retired American singer-songwriter and current artist who was a key figure in San Francisco's burgeoning psychedelic music scene in the mid-1960s. Her music career spanned four decades. She performed with The Great Society, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship and Starship.


  • I was appalled that the San Francisco ethic didn't mushroom and envelope the whole world into this loving community of acid freaks. I was very naive.
    • As quoted in The Routledge Dictionary of Quotations (1987) edited by Robert Andrews
  • It was the first time many of the bands had met and saw each other perform, so we were all really marveling at each other. It was just one good group of people after another. And different kinds of music — from Jimi Hendrix to Ravi Shankar, The Mamas and the Papas to The Who. They had a backstage area where there was food being served 24 hours a day, so everybody was wandering around meeting each other. It was just amazing.
  • She's more even -[daughter China] - I think it jumps generations. You get a screwball in one, and then the next one is straight, then you get a screwball. My grandmother was goofy, my mother was straight.
  • But we all do sort of the same thing and that is rearrange what you thought was real, and, uh, they remind you of the beauty of very simple things. You forget, because you're so busy going from A to Z, that there's, uh, 24 letters in between.
    • Interview on the History Channel documentary Getting High - The History of LSD, 2001; sampled on Drop Out by Infected Mushroom

White Rabbit (1965)[edit]

Originally written for The Great Society and later released on Surrealistic Pillow (1967) by Jefferson Airplane - Performance with Jefferson Airplane - Performance at Woodstock (1969) - Performance with Jefferson Starship
  • One pill makes you larger
    And one pill makes you small
    And the ones that mother gives you
    Don't do anything at all.
    Go ask Alice
    When she's ten feet tall.
  • And if you go chasing rabbits
    And you know you're going to fall,
    Tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar
    Has given you the call.
    Call Alice
    When she was just small
  • When the men on the chessboard
    Get up and tell you where to go
    And you've just had some kind of mushroom
    And your mind is moving low.
    Go ask Alice
    I think she'll know.
  • When logic and proportion
    Have fallen softly dead
    And the White Knight is talking backwards
    And the Red Queen's "off with her head!"
    Remember what the dormouse said:
    "Feed your head! Feed your head!"

Somebody to Love? (1998)[edit]

Somebody to Love?: A Rock-and-Roll Memoir (1998) by Grace Slick and Andrea Cagan
  • In Germany I ingested the entire contents of the hotel mini-bar before a show and stuck my fingers in this guy's nostrils because I thought they would fit.
    • On this incident Paul Kantner remarked: "I remember one night in Germany she spotted a guy picking his nose and she jumped on the guys lap and picked his nose. Half of the audience was grossed out, the other half thought it was great. Hey, half isn't bad!"
  • I've enjoyed the accommodations offered by police departments from Florida to Hawaii. Any time I saw a badge, something in me would snap.
  • Jim Morrison was a well-built boy, larger than average, and young enough to maintain the engorged silent connection right through the residue of chemicals.
  • The first words I ever heard the alcohol rehab counselor say were 'Good morning, assholes!' With that, I liked him right away.
  • The wiser you get on the inside, the uglier you get on the outside. The world's great gurus have beautiful things to say but they generally look like shit.
  • Man is the only animal that knows he's going to die, so we invent a heaven to keep from going crazy. Most people are hypnotized by organized religion from childhood.
  • Loss either teaches you to persist in the face of suffering, or hardens you into a bitter cynic. Sometimes, it does a little of both.
  • Janis knew more than I did about "how it was", but she lacked enough armor for the inevitable hassles. She was open and spontaneous enough to get her heart trampled with a regularity that took me thirty years to experience or understand. On the various occasions when we were together, she seemed to be holding in something she thought I might not want to hear, like older people do when they hear kids they love saying with absolute youthful confidence, "Oh, that'll never happen to me." Sometimes you know you can't tell them how it is, they have to find out for themselves. Janis felt like an old soul, a wisecracking grandmother whom everybody loved to visit. When I was with her, I often felt like a part of her distant family, a young upstart relative who was still too full of her own sophistry to hear wisdom.
    Did we compliment each other? Yes, but not often enough.


  • If you remember the Sixties, you weren't there.
    • Attributed to Slick in Bangkok Babylon (2006) by Jerry Hopkins, p. 217, and elsewhere, this was also attributed to Paul Kantner in The New Yorker, Vol. 67 (1991), Dennis Hopper in Roger Ebert's Movie Home Companion (1992), and in various books to numerous others, including Judy Collins, George Harrison, and comedian Robin Williams.

The cite is a two-line article in the Comedy column of the Los Angeles Times in 1982:

EXIT LINE: Comedian Charlie Fleischer observes: “If you remember the ’60s, you really weren’t there.” (

Quotes about Grace Slick[edit]

  • A startling presence, both vocally and visually... Off the cuff, like the whole '60's were off the cuff. An Oscar Wilde in drag who combined insight and sarcasm that was sometimes light, sometimes dark. A provocateur.
    • Paul Kantner as quoted in The Buffalo News (6 September 1991)

External links[edit]

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