Jefferson Starship soars into Sidney


Iconic rock band to perform Sunday at Sidney High School

By Jim Davis - jdavis@aimmediamidwest.com



Rock band Jefferson Starship will visit Sidney High School Sunday for a 7 p.m. show in the auditorium.

Rock band Jefferson Starship will visit Sidney High School Sunday for a 7 p.m. show in the auditorium.


Courtesy photo

David Freiberg knows he made the right choice when he chose a music career.

Despite objections from family, he left Cincinnati after college and followed the music to San Francisco where he found exactly what he craved.

Almost seven decades later — in a career that’s taken him around the world with Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship — he’s reminded every day he made the right call.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be, but I knew it wasn’t what (family) wanted me to be … and I turned out to be this,” Freiberg said with a laugh.

“This” turned out to be a guitarist, singer and songwriter in some of rock music’s most influential bands. At age 83 he continues to tour with Jefferson Starship and said he’s looking forward to visiting Sidney Sunday when the band performs at the Sidney High School Auditorium as part of the Gateway Arts Council’s Presents Series.

“We have so much fun playing together,” he said during a phone interview Monday from northern California. “I’m having as much fun as I ever have playing with these guys. They’re all so completely together doing what we’re doing and it’s different every night. We don’t try to repeat everything or do things exactly like the record.”

Freiberg is the last original member of the group formed in 1974 when Jefferson Airplane members Paul Kantner and Grace Slick created Jefferson Starship. The current lineup includes Freiberg on vocals and acoustic guitar; Donny Baldwin on drums; Chris Smith on keyboards and bass; Cathy Richardson on vocals and rhythm guitar; and Jude Gold on lead guitar.

With 40-plus years of music to choose from, Freiberg said fans can expect selections representing both Jefferson Starship and Jefferson Airplane during Sunday’s 7 p.m. performance.

Jefferson Starship found success with “Miracles” from the 1975 album “Red Octopus,” and went on to post radio hits with “Play On Love,” “Count on Me,” “Jane” and “Find Your Way Back” before helping usher in the MTV era with 1984 hits “No Way Out,” Layin’ It On the Line” and “Sorry Me, Sorry You.”

“There are certain songs that we know people just have to hear, so (the set list) comes from all the way back to Jefferson Airplane … and Jefferson Starship,” he said. “I really get a kick out of entertaining people — that’s really where it’s at — and making people feel a little better. And they are great songs and fun to sing and perform.”

Including “Jane” — a song Freiberg co-wrote about an old girlfriend that became one of Jefferson Starship’s biggest hits in 1979.

“I wrote it with Marty (Balin) in mind but he left the band, so it ended up being the audition song for the new singer (at that time) Mickey Thomas,” he said. “But since it was about my girlfriend … they told me I had to sing it, so I’ve been having a ball singing it myself.”

Freiberg said each band member brings specific strengths and talents to the table, but the common thread is Kantner — the late co-founder of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship.

“Everyone that is in the band was playing with Paul for four or five years … so, we were Paul’s band until he passed away (in 2016). It’s in Paul’s honor that we do this,” Freiberg said. “We get together and have a little moment before the show — almost like a prayer before we go on stage — to remind us that we’re carrying it on for everyone that has been in the band.”

And even though he’s been doing this for more than 60 years, Freiberg said he’s still motivated by “the interaction of all of us playing in a band.”

“I look forward to every gig,” he said. “It’s what I’ve always wanted to do, and it’s still working.”

For more information about Sunday’s show, visit gatewayartscouncil.org/performing-arts.

To learn more about Jefferson Starship, visit the band’s web page at jeffersonstarship.com.

Rock band Jefferson Starship will visit Sidney High School Sunday for a 7 p.m. show in the auditorium.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2021/10/web1_StarshipUSE-1.jpgRock band Jefferson Starship will visit Sidney High School Sunday for a 7 p.m. show in the auditorium. Courtesy photo
Iconic rock band to perform Sunday at Sidney High School

By Jim Davis

jdavis@aimmediamidwest.com